Diekmann, Adolf, born on 08-12-1914 in Magdeburg , was the battalion commander of Division Das Reich, nickname “Wolfsangel” , who was the highest ranking officer present at Oradour-sur-Glane on 10-06-1944 the day that 642 men, women and children were murdered and the whole town was destroyed by fire. Together with SS Obersturmbahnführer, Commander of SS-Panzer Grenadier Regiment 4 “Der Führer”, Otto Weidinger,
Commander of SS-Panzer Grenadier Regiment 4 ‘Der Führer”, they surrounded the village and killed and dstroyed its inhabitants and buildings. In most books, his name is given as Otto Dickmann; SS records show that his name was Adolf Otto Diekmann. It was common for German men at that time to use their middle name. Diekmann’s commander was SS Standartenführer, Kommandeur der 9th Panzerdivision , Sylvester Stadler.
The 9th Panzer fought a bitter six-day battle with the U S 2nd Armored Division, nicknamed “Hell on Wheels” under General Lieutenant Edward Hale “Ted” Brooks
in the Puffendorf-Immendorf sector, knocking out 76 tanks and inflicting 1.300 casualties while suffering 1.100 men and 86 tanks lost. Following this, the division was sent into the OKW reserve. It continued fighting to slow the progress of the US First Army pushing from the west, destroying its 2.325th enemy tank near Geilenkirchen. In 238 battle days, the 2nd Armored suffered 7.348 casualties, including 1.160 killed in action. he reason to destroy Oradour was the kidnapping of Hellmuth Kämpfe. Sturmbannführer Helmuth Kämpfe was kidnapped by FTP, resistance, fighters, led by Jean Canoa and turned over to Guigouin, the Communist leader who probably ordered his death on the day that the village of Oradour sur Glane was destroyed
When Stadler heard about the massacre and the destroying of Oradour. he reported Diekmann to Brigadeführer Heinz Lammerding, Lammerding died age 65, on 13-01-1971 and requested that Diekmann be court martialled for exceeding his orders.
Death and burial ground of Diekmann, Adolf Rudolf Reinhold.
Diekmann a dedicated father here with son Rainer, was court martialled but never brought to trial since he was killed in action a few weeks later, on 29-06-1944. His fellow officers said that Diekmann was distraught; they believed that Diekmann committed suicide by deliberately getting himself killed in battle. Robert Hebras, one of the 5 survivors of the Laudy barn, wrote a book called “Oradour-sur-Glane, the Tragedy Hour by Hour,” in which he described Diekmann as a “blood-thirsty man” and said that “Major Diekmann was a man whose callousness had earned him the reputation of a cold, cruel butcher, and a drunkard besides.” The commander of “Der Führer” (see Adolf Hitler) (did you know) Battalion 3, who was kidnapped by members of the FTP, the French Communist resistance, on 09-06-1944. The SS soldiers claimed that the reason for going to Oradour-sur-Glane on 10-06-1944 was to look for Kämpfe, an officer who was very well liked and a close friend of Adolf Diekmann . On the day of the massacre, Diekmann had been given information about Kämpfe by two collaborators in the Milice, (see Joseph “Jo” Darnand)
the French secret police which helped the German Gestapo. Allegedly, the French resistance fighters in Oradour-sur-Glane were going to execute SS Sturmbannführer, Division Das Reich. “Oradour sur Glane “ Der Führer Battallion, Helmuth Kämpfe by ceremoniously burning him alive that day. Otto Weidinger
, who was the last commander of Der Führer Regiment in Das Reich Division, defended Diekmann’s actions in ordering the destruction of Oradour-sur-Glane; he testified for the defense at the trial of 21 of the perpetrators in 1953.
Obersturmführer Heinz Barth “the butcher of Oradour”
was the only Nazi officer involved in the Oradour massacre to have been judged, in 1983 in East Germany. Awarded a “war victim” pension in 1991 (which would later become a wide-ranging controversy and would lead to changes in German law regarding war or disability pensions for World War II war criminals) by the reunified German government, he was released in 1997, reportedly in consideration of his age and health and for having “expressed remorse”. Ten years later Heinz Barth died of cancer, age 86, unpunished, on 06-08-2007, in Gransee. Adolf Diekmann is buried at the age of 29, on the war cemetery of La Cambe, France.
In 2014 the 72 years old son of Adolf Diekmann, Dr. Rainer Diekmann was suitably disgusted, “sick to the stomach”. He said he had never traveled to Oradour – German leaders and, to the extent they survive, former combatants have been familiar visitors to French soil for the various war commemorations – because he was “ashamed to be the son of such a man”.
Near his father’s grave are also buried Panzer Ace Hauptsturmführer der Waffen SS, Zugführer 13 SS Panzer Regiment 1 “LSSAH”, Michael Wittmann and his crew. Also the Generalleutnant der Infanterie, Kommandeur der 6th Infanterie Division , Arnold von Biegeleben, Generalmajor der Infanterie, Chef der ST Panzergruppe West, Sigismund Edler von Dawans and Generalleutnant der Infanterie, Kommandeur 326th Infanterie Division , Victor Drabich Waechter.