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Thread: Dulag Luft Files

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    Default Dulag Luft Files

    A pilot and ex-POW I interviewed today recalls his interrogation in Dulag Luft in Frankfurt. His cell was standing room only and had no windows. In the evening, he was sent for and found himself in front of an Officer who said in a Manchester accent, “Hello, my name is Black.” He replied, “are you a traitor?” and the Officer laughed and said, “no, my name is actually Schwartz,” and explained he had been to Manchester University.

    Does anyone recognise this interrogator from their research and can they give me any further information on him, please?

    Schwartz then asked if he would like to hear the news from London, and the radio was turned on in time for the BBC news. Then Schwartz pulled out a folder marked, “41 Squadron” and looked down a list of the pilots that had been shot down, until he reached my pilot’s name, which had an annotation next to it, “Escaped.” Schwartz then went on to astonish him with his knowledge of him, asking if he missed his dog Monty (still on the base back in the UK), but assured him not to worry as he was being looked after by fellow pilot, Flt. Lt. ‘Barney’ Newman (he was). He also knew about his history in the RAF, including his time in Malta and his prior career in mining and surveying in South Africa. To this day, he does not know how Schwartz could have obtained this information.

    Two questions here:

    1. Does anyone know if such files (i.e. a "41 Squadron" folder) might still exist? They don't seem to be amongst those in the National Archives in London (though some interrogation records are there), so might they exist in a German Archive?

    2. Though no-one from the Squadron was recently captured (the nearest two both evaded), it is still hard to believe that interrogation of other Squadron pilots would have generated so much information about a single pilot (though I don't know what info they held on other pilots, hence my previous question). Whilst I am aware that the Allies captured information on interrogations which led to some airmen being tried after the War for having given away too much information during their interrogation (files at TNA in London), I am not aware of any 41 Squadron pilot being tried for such an act that information of the type held by the Luftwaffe about my pilot would have resulted in. Although I appreciate an answer to this question may be pure hypothesis, does anyone have information on how German Intelligence could have obtained such detailed information on an active pilot?

    Thanks
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    A good description of the whole uncomfortable process of interrogating captured Allied airmen is in David Kahn’s ‘HITLER’S SPIES’. Chapter 9, ‘Questioning the Foe’ covers that subject and, if you acquire the hardback version, cites many references. The meticulous gathering of trivia, employed by captors on both sides, is discussed frankly and includes a few examples of how this process persuaded captured airmen to ‘open up’ to their captors.

    Hope this helps,
    Bruce

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    Thanks Bruce
    I've ordered a hardcover copy from Abebooks.
    Cheers
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    You could also try "The Interrogator: The Story of Hanns Joachim Scharff: Master Interrogator of the Luftwaffe" by Raymond T. Toliver (2nd Edition ISBN: 0764302612).

    I haven't read it so couldn't say how good or useful it would be

    A

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    Thanks Amrit
    I'll have a look for it.
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Default Dulag Luft

    There is a very good chapter on Dulag Luft in "Footsteps on the Sands of Time" Oliver Clutton-Brock. A good read and vast database of Bomber POWs.
    You may also be interested in "The London Cage" Lt Col AP Scotland, which is how we did it to them. Probably second hand bookshops only though.
    You said that some Dulag Luft records are held at National Archives. Do you have a reference for these? I was led to believe that some ended up in America but they were otherwise lost. I am currently emailing various German record offices in the hope of finding one.
    Happy Hunting
    James

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    Default Dulag Luft cells & interrogtions

    My late father, Flt Sgt GJ (Roger) Davis, of 514 Sqdn, was pilot of Lancaster DS817 when it was shot down over Frankfurt on 20/12/43. After his capture, he was sent to DL. In his memoirs he describes his cell, (9'x5', slit window with bars & black-out covers, iron radiator turned off at night to chill, & on to max in day to cook prisoner), encounters with several persons who spoke fluent english complete with accents, some of whom were German, & who presented "Official Forms" to collect info so NoK could be advised of prisoner's survival. Also displayed an unsettling knowledge of familiar territories. These included a Dr Kroger, at Oberursel hospital where his injuries were treated, & an attractive lady there known among the PoWs as Mata Hari, who apparently slept with prisoners to obtain info. after some isolation time in solitary.
    Rgds, Cal.

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