SS officer could say just about anything to avoid the gallows for his heinous war crimes. However, Fritz Knohleyn not lie, when in 1946, said that he had been tortured in London when British soldiers tried to get him to confess.
Britain has a reputation for a country that prides itself on its commitment to justice and respect for the law. She declares his high moral principles when it comes to human rights. She was among the first to sign the Geneva Convention of 1929 relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.
However, in 2005, the result of an investigation surfaced about a detention center for prisoners of war, called "London by the cell." After several requests, in accordance with the law on free access to information, the journalists managed to get access to government documents relating to this place.
They opened the grisly details about the functioning of a secret torture center in one of the most prestigious areas of the British capital.
Through the London cage completed several thousand Germans, who were beaten, deprived of sleep and forced to take an unnatural posture for a few days.
One said that they would be killed and buried in secret, others, who had no medical training people performed unnecessary surgeries. The guards boasted, calling himself "an English Gestapo."
London cell was part of a network of nine centers interview room, which functioned throughout Britain and were in charge of the Directorate of Military Intelligence.
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Scotland spoke about the methods of interrogation of German officers in his book "London cell".
But the prisoners who could wield too much valuable information, brought to one of the secret Victorian villa, located on Kensington Palace Garden — one of the most fashionable parts of London.
Today, these houses belong to the ambassadors, billionaires, sultans and princes. Each of them is worth at least £ 50 million.
However, seven decades ago in the homes of six, seven and eight in the street Kensington Palace Garden is the interrogation room, cells for prisoners and guards premises. Here, nine officers and many NCOs to use any method to squeeze information out of suspects.
The chief of the prison was a lieutenant colonel Alexander Skotlend — a recognized master of the interrogations. After the war, he wrote a memoir, which described in detail the methods used in the "London cell."
"If any of the Germans possessed the information required, we always get it."
Before the publication in 1954 of Scotland, as it was expected, sent the manuscript to the War Office. After that, all four copies were seized, and all who had known about them, persuaded to remain silent in fear of prosecution.
The biggest horror provoked recognition that torture continued after the war ended.
Of the 3,573 prisoners who passed through Kensington Palace Garden, a thousand signed a confession or gave evidence of war crimes.
Former SS officer Fritz Knohleyn was one of them. He was suspected in the shooting of 124 British soldiers 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 "London cell." 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 flap, a few days in a row, and it periodically overturned buckets of water. If he dared to rest, then beat him with sticks. He was forced to run around in a circle, having loaded with heavy logs and barrels. When he complained, then started to refer to it even worse.
His cellmate pleaded for death because he could no longer endure torture.
Knohleyna charges were ignored. He was found guilty and hanged. This is what happened with many others, have passed through the "London cell."
Scotland, of course, denied the allegations of torture and called them lies. So when a few years later he decided to "unburden" and wrote a book detailing used in the "Cage" methods of interrogation, it caused a real shock.
He said that he forced the detainees to incriminate themselves. The general, who was sentenced in 1946 to death, signed a confession, because, in the words of Scotland, "was in deep depression after a series of tests."
The defendants in the dock Nazi leader Hermann Goering and Rudolf Hess
One naval officer was convicted on the basis of the recognition that, in the words of Scotland, was signed only after "certain humiliating procedures." Another was hanged after a confession obtained as a result of "psychological treatment." The third signed everything that was required of him after he was threatened that another prisoner with no medical training he underwent surgery for appendicitis …
In the War Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the manuscript should never see the light.
However, two years later, officials were forced to make concessions, once there was a threat that the manuscript will be published abroad. Scotland were forbidden to restore the original version of the book, but is allowed to write a new abridged version, in which the most incriminating points would 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. Officials have come up with excuses to reject the request, and, in the end, quietly handed a copy to the National Archives, where it lay undisturbed until the reporters do not get to it in another quarter of a century.
Will there be other evidence of torture in the "London cell"? For sure. Even now, many of the documents of the Ministry of Defence are still inaccessible