Karl Lenz

Karl Lenz giving evidence at Bordeaux in 1953
Photograph courtesy of Time magazine

    Karl Lenz standing to give evidence at the Barre in the courtroom in Bordeaux, during the trial of the 21 members of the Der Führer Regiment, of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich, that were available to the French authorities during January - February 1953. The tension and emotion on Lenz's face are clearly visible in this picture, as it is in the view of his hands. Remember that he had been in captivity since some time in 1944, so he had been awaiting trial for nearly 9 years. Whatever the shortcomings of the French judicial system, in this photograph, Lenz seems well-fed and quite smart in appearance. Lenz was the highest ranking German to stand trial in 1953 and on 10th June 1944 at Oradour-sur-Glane he had been an SS-Oberscharführer (Company Sergeant Major, see SS-Rank table). Before he was transferred into the SS in 1943, Lenz had been a Feldwebel in the Luftwaffe, which was the equivalent non-SS rank.

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© Michael Williams ... May 2009