Convicted in absentia at Bordeaux in 1953


     This list of names was provided by the French authorities to assist the German legal system in determining whether or not Heinrich Lammerding was guilty of ordering the destruction of Oradour-sur-Glane and thus could be extradited to France, where he had already been condemned to death in absentia. As can be read below, all the names on the list had also been condemned to death in absentia and at least one of them (Ernst Karweger) was to become the subject of a separate enquiry within Germany.

     This list does not mention the 21 men who had already stood trial in Bordeaux in 1953. Of these 21 men, 2 of them had been condemned to death at the trial (Georg Boos and Karl Lenz) and 1 acquitted (Erwin Dagenhardt who was able to prove that he was not in Oradour during the killings). Also not mentioned was Wilhelm Nobbe, as he was not present in court; he had been found clinically insane prior to the trial beginning and so was not actually tried at all.

     As can be seen, the French authorities gave all the men in the list, their French army equivalent ranks and did not use the SS grading structure; why this was I do not know. What is also noticeable is that from the wording of the document, the Germans knew that Otto Kahn was alive and also (presumably) where he was living. Kahn was wanted by the French, who regarded him as a principle factor in the tragedy of Oradour-sur-Glane and he was believed to have moved to Sweden and be living under another name. In fact he was living in Germany under his own name at Ottmarsbocholt, 20 km south of Münster and died there in 1977.

     Other names not mentioned were those of:

1) Johannes Seefried, the SS doctor who had been to Oradour with the troops and (according to his statement) had not seen any killings at all; a strange claim from an ophthalmologist. Seefried was, to the best of my knowledge, never accused of any involvement in the killings, yet by his own admission, he was present throughout the attack.

2) Werner Christukat, who was to be arrested on 5th December 2014 and charged with involvement in the massacre. Christukat did not deny being at Oradour, but said that he never hurt anyone whilst he was there and so, due to a lack of evidence he was not charged or prosecuted with any crime. 

     Comments below are in italics.

To the German office for the notification of the next of kin of those who died in the former German Wehrmacht. 

6th January 1964

1 Berlin 52 ..... Eichborndamm 167/209 

Subject: Investigation into Lammerding for murder (Heinrich Lammerding had been the commander of the Das Reich Division at the time of the attack on Oradour).

Reference: 1 My letter from 29.1.1963 - 45 Js 2/62 -,

            2 Your letter dated February 27, 1963 - Ref. VI / KR 3 - 6894 -. 

According to a statement by the Federal Foreign Office on 25th January 1963, the following military personnel were convicted in a criminal case brought before the Permanent Military Tribunal in Bordeaux, which heard the case against members of the "Das Reich" division, all of whom probably belonged to the 3rd company of the Der Führer regiment: (the ranks shown below have a mixture of spellings, none of them equivalent to their original SS rank spellings, but the meaning is clear-enough I think).

1)   KAHN, Otto, Caitaine (sic) de L'armée allemande,

2)   LANGE, sous-lieutenant,

3)   BARTH, sous-lieutenant,


4)   KLAR, sous-lieutenant,


5)   BIERLING, sous-lieutenant,


6)   GNUG, adjutant,


7)   TOEPFER, adjutant,


8)   RAUSCHER, adjutant,

    9)   BAIER: Sergeant,

   10)   BAUER, Sergeant,

   11)   BOHRER, Sergeant,

   12)   GENARI, Sergeant,

   13)   KIRCHNER, Sergeant,

   14)   KRILL, Sergeant,

   15)   LAUBER, Sergeant,

   16)   MAURER, Sergeant,

   17)   NELL, Alfred, Sergeant,

   18)   NEUBAUER, Sergeant,

   19)   PICHA, Sergeant,

   20)   REINNERT, Sergeant,

   21)   STEGER, Sergeant,

   22)   TCHEIGE, Sergeant,

   23)   AMANN, Caporal,

   24)   BINDER, Caporal,

   25)   GOERKE, Caporal,

   26)   JUNG, Hans, Caporal,

   27)   KARWEGER, Ernst, Caporal,

   28)   BOEHM, Soldier,

   29)   GARY, Soldier,

   30)   GREINER, Kurt, Soldier,

   31)   HEILL, Soldier,

   32)   HEINRICH, Soldier,

   33)   ILCHMANN, Soldier,

   34)   JAGIENAK, Reinhard, Soldier,

   35)   JANSEN, Soldier,

   36)   KOENIG, Soldier,

   37)   NEUNNER, Soldier,

   38)   NICKEL, Soldier,

   39)   PAKOWSKI, Soldier,

   40)   PEPPLER, Soldier,

   41)   STEPHAN, Soldier,

   42)   TAES, Soldier,

   43)   TETART, Soldier,

   44)   WOLTMANN, Soldier. 

This notice is based on your request expressed in Reference 2 above. 

With regard to the military ranks, I may say that the ranks of the Waffen SS must be used accordingly, e.g. with Caitaine (sic): SS-Hauptsturmführer, Sous-lieutenant: SS-Untersturmführer, Adjutant: Oberfeldwebel or Feldwebel, Sergeant: Feldwebel or Unteroffizier, Caporal: Unteroffizier or Obergefreiter. 

I ask you to check whether there are documents about an SS Untersturmführer Barth - cf. (to compare) above list No. 3), who was promoted to SS-Obersturmführer in 1944. According to Captain Kahn, Barth was wounded on 30 June 1944. Kahn does not know whether he survived the war (this must mean that the German authorities knew that Kahn was alive and presumably, where he was living at the time). 

Since this procedure should be brought to an accelerated conclusion, I would be grateful for an immediate completion.


 On behalf of



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© Michael Williams: 25 July 2020 ... revised 25 August 2022.