A file dated February 1948 has been specially released to the BBC Radio 4 programme Document under The Freedom of Information Act; it makes disturbing reading, with allegations of abuse, and torture committed by British intelligence officers soon after World War 2: "He has swallowed screws and nails, and has suffered lacerations to his arms. He is experiencing serious weight." Is it possible that a German prisoner of war was beaten and starved in British custody after the fighting had finished ? Why would such a thing happen?
A paper-trail of abuse begins at prison in Surrey , camp 020. The man in charge was Colonel "Tin Eye" Stevens, whose harsh regime of interrogations were just this side of legal. At the end of the War he transferred his unit to a small Spa town called Bad Nenndorf in Northern Germany. It now became imperative to extract information from German "insurgents" quickly, is it now that interrogation methods crossed the line into abuse?
As the war ended and so the enemy changed. The Soviets were now seen to be far more of a threat. To find out what the new enemy was up to the British began to recruit the old enemy, Germans who had information on the new Cold War Enemy. But what methods were used to recruit them? What sorts of people were recruited? Known war criminals were first abused then recruited into the British Secret Services to spy on the Soviets. People like Horst Kopkow, a mass murderer whose death was faked by the British, and A.J.F Van der Gouw, a known war criminal who was involved in a notorious Dutch banking scandal, but that did not British recruiting him as a spy.