Kahn's 1 June 1944 assessment by Diekmann
This assessment for Kahn was completed by Adolf Diekmann on the same day that Sylvester Stadler completed Diekmann's own assessment. It is obvious from what is written, that Kahn is still adjusting to his changed role from that of military policeman to a Panzer Grenadier officer (both roles were within Das Reich Division). Knowing what happened at Oradour just 9 days later it is interesting to note that Kahn was, "willing to take great responsibility", "easily stirred into action" and was "zealous and diligent".
Unfortunately the original of this document seems to have been typed on tissue paper, with the result that the text is smudged and has bled through from front to back and vice versa. The rendition below is my best attempt to date with this material, but it must be admitted that some words may have been transcribed incorrectly. However I am confident that my interpretation is true to the spirit of the original. If at all possible I will have another attempt at getting a better copy to work from in the future.
Comments below are in italics.
Assessment for 1. 6. 1944.
Assessment notes for Hauptsturmführer Otto Kahn.
1) Character appraisal: (strengths and weaknesses, tendencies, addictions):
Serious, matured personality, open and willing to take great responsibility, zealous and diligent, purposeful, quiet and reliable, easily stirred into action.
2) Mental and physical disposition, official knowledge and accomplishments.
Mental and physical disposition good, his official knowledge and performance are good because he commands well, despite lesser-practical experience (Kahn had recently been transferred from the military police to the infantry and was thus unfamiliar with his new role)
3) Appearance and conduct towards superiors, comrades, subordinates - private conduct:
Composure and manner before the ranks is confident and assured, off-duty his perfect behaviour makes him liked in the circle of comrades. His NCOs' and men find that he is a strict, but just and carful leader, he understands when to improvise (at the trial in Bordeaux in 1953, Georg René Boos said that Kahn was, "a hard man").
4) Ideological alignment, convincing and extempore lecture type?
Consolidated ideologically, lecture subject spirited and stirring, ordering (of subject matter?) must become even more relaxed and assured (Kahn was not a Nazi Party member, but evidently seemed to subscribe to their views)
5) Proving himself before the enemy. Specialist in particular area. Is present service position filled?
Has exposed himself through bravery and calmness at the front of the enemy. Kahn has filled his present service position despite the short changeover from the military police to Panzer Grenadier officer.
6) Suitability for next higher or other application. Details of undeleted penalties:
-0- (I assume this mark equates to a 'nil' entry for this section).
7) Have the shortcomings been revealed to the assessed in the assessment?
He has been given notice of the shortcomings (the text is non-too clear at this point, but I am sure that this is correct).
Diekmann ........ SS-Sturmbannführer and Battalion Commander
Comment of the next rank higher
Stadler ............ SS-Standartenführer and Regimental Commander (Stadler signed the form without making any comment at all, which I assume means that he agreed with the contents).
© Michael Williams 10th March 2000 ... updated Thursday, 25 August 2022