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.
Basically, under a Labour government, the UK ran secret torture camps, bearing a remarkable resemblance to Nazi torture/concentration camps, in Germany between 1946-1949. The "left" government saw war with the Soviet Union as inevitable, so what's a little torture by Social Democrats in a good cause?
Meanwhile documents about a secret interrogation centre which the War Office operated in central London between 1945 and 1948, where large numbers of men are now known to have been badly mistreated, are still being withheld by the Ministry of Defence. Officials say the papers cannot yet be released because they have been contaminated with asbestos.
It is not clear whether the men in the photographs fully recovered from their mistreatment. It is also unclear, from examination of the War Office and Foreign Office documents now available, when the torture of prisoners in Germany came to an end.
Well, given the use of Diplock Courts in Northern Ireland, who says the torture ever ended?
Round up the usual Communists!