April 3, 2006
BACK WHEN WE TOOK WAR SERIOUSLY:
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