April 3, 2006


Revealed: victims of UK's cold war torture camp (Ian Cobain, April 3, 2006, The Guardian)

Photographs of victims of a secret torture programme operated by British authorities during the early days of the cold war are published for the first time today after being concealed for almost 60 years.

The pictures show men who had suffered months of starvation, sleep deprivation, beatings and extreme cold at one of a number of interrogation centres run by the War Office in postwar Germany.

A few were starved or beaten to death, while British soldiers are alleged to have tortured some victims with thumb screws and shin screws recovered from a gestapo prison. The men in the photographs are not Nazis, however, but suspected communists, arrested in 1946 because they were thought to support the Soviet Union, an ally 18 months earlier.

Apparently believing that war with the Soviet Union was inevitable, the War Office was seeking information about Russian military and intelligence methods. Dozens of women were also detained and tortured, as were a number of genuine Soviet agents, scores of suspected Nazis, and former members of the SS.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 3, 2006 10:06 AM

Perfectly ok of course. You see there was a Labour gvt in power then.

Just as Gitmo, and the supposed torture taking place there would be a.o.k w/ the NYT et al if a Dem administration were in charge here.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at April 3, 2006 11:03 AM

If it were just Communsits that were tortured, there no doubt would be a hue and cry by this evening for Tony Blair to apologize for the abuses done in the name of the post-war Labour government. But having to demand the Tony apoligize to the Gestapo as well probably will keep this from being more than a two-day story.

Posted by: John at April 3, 2006 11:11 AM

I thought the British Cold War internment camp was called "The Village" and run by a different No.2 each week.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 3, 2006 11:48 AM