SS officer could say anything to avoid the gallows for his terrible war crimes. But Fritz Knohleyn not lied when he said in 1946 that he had been tortured in London when British soldiers tried to reach him to confess.
Britain has a reputation for a country that is proud of its own commitment to justice and the respect of the law. It says that own big moral principles when it comes to human rights. She was among the first to sign the Geneva Convention of 1929 on the appeal of prisoners of war.
But in 2005, as a result of investigative journalism has come up about a detention center for prisoners of war, called the "cell of the English." After several requests, in accordance with the law on free access to disk imaging, the journalists managed to get access to government documents relating to this place.
They opened strshnye details on the operation of a secret torture center in one of the most popular areas of London.
Through the London cage completed several thousand Germans, who were beaten, deprived of sleep and forced to take unnatural posture for a number of days.
One states that they will destroy and secretly buried, others who had no medical education, people performed unneeded surgery. Watchmen boasted, calling himself "the Gestapo of England."
English cell was part of a network of 9 interview room centers that operated throughout the UK and were in charge of the Directorate of Military Intelligence.
But the prisoners, which could have a particularly valuable information, brought to one of the secret Victorian villa, located on Kensington Palace Garden — in one of the most fashionable parts of London.
Now these houses belong to the ambassadors, billionaires, sultans and princes. Any one of them is not less than 50 million pounds sterling.
Yet seven decades back in the homes of six, seven and eight in the street Kensington Palace Garden housed the interrogation room, cells for prisoners and the guards room. Then nine officers and a lot of NCOs used any means to squeeze information out of suspects.
Chief of the bullpen was a lieutenant colonel Alexander Skotlend — a recognized master of the interrogations. After the war, he wrote the memoirs in which carefully outlined the methods that were used in the "cell of the English."
"If any of the Germans possessed the relevant information to us, we are constantly receiving it."
Before the publication in 1954 of Scotland, as it was expected, sent the manuscript to the War Office. Then all four copies were seized, and all people who were on their clear, assured silent terror under prosecution.
The biggest nightmare caused the recognition that torture lasted beyond the end of the war.
Of the 3,573 prisoners who passed through Kensington Palace Garden, a thousand signed recognition or gave testimony about war sins.
The last SS officer Fritz Knohleyn was one of them. He was suspected in the shooting of 124 British soldier in France, who had surrendered to the German prisoners in 1940. Knohleyn argued that at the time was in another place.
At trial, he said that after the war, was tortured in the "cell of the English." He was deprived of sleep for four days, he was forced to walk around for four hours, and beaten.
He had to wash the stairs and restrooms tiny shred, a few days in a row, and at times it overturned bucket of water. If he dared to rest, then thrashed him with sticks. He was forced to run around in a circle, having loaded with heavy logs and barrels. When he complained, then it began to be treated even worse.
His cellmate pleaded for death, as could no longer endure torture.
Knohleyna charges were ignored. He was found guilty and hanged. It happened to many others who have been through the "London cell."
Scotland is clearly refuted allegations of torture and called them lies. For a couple of years when he decided to "unburden" and wrote a book detailing used in the "cell" of interrogation methods, it caused a real shock.
He said that forced the detainees to denigrate themselves. The general, who was sentenced in 1946 to death, signed recognition, because, in the words of Scotland, "was in the deepest depression after a number of tests. "
One naval officer was found guilty on the basis of the recognition that, in the words of Scotland, was signed only after "certain humiliating procedures." Another was hanged after admitting acquired as a result of "mental treatment." Third signed everything that was required of him after he was threatened that another inmate without medical education will make him an operation for appendicitis …
In the War Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the manuscript should never behold the light.
But two years later, the bureaucrats had to make concessions, after that as there was a threat that the manuscript will be posted abroad. Scotland were forbidden to restore the initial version of the book, but is allowed to write a shortened version of the latest in what most incriminating moments can be removed.
This relaxed version of the book appeared in bookstores in 1957.
Many years later, in September 1979, the publishers of Scotland wrote to the Ministry of Defence and was asked to provide them with the first draft of the manuscript. Bureaucrats invented pretexts to deny the request, and, in the end, quietly handed a copy to the State Archives, where it lay undisturbed until the journalists are not reached it yet in a quarter century.
Will there be other evidence of torture in the "English cell"? Probably. Even at the present time many of the documents of the Ministry of Defence as before remain difficult to access.