False Confessions

Read and post various viewpoints or search our large archives.

Moderator: Moderator

Forum rules
Be sure to read the Rules/guidelines before you post!
JoFo
Member
Member
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:14 pm

False Confessions

Postby JoFo » 9 years 1 week ago (Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:54 am)

PBS's FrontLine recently aired a fascinating documentary called "The Confessions". It covers the real-life account of four US Navy crewmen who were implicated in a brutal crime and who, through coercive interrogation, were persuaded to confess to something they had nothing to do with.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline ... ource=grid

I offer this to the forum because it provides a graphic, contemporary account of situations similar to what the Nazi defendants at Nuremberg would have faced.

SevenUp
Valued contributor
Valued contributor
Posts: 255
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:54 pm

Re: False Confessions

Postby SevenUp » 9 years 1 week ago (Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:51 am)

JoFo wrote:PBS's FrontLine recently aired a fascinating documentary called "The Confessions". It covers the real-life account of four US Navy crewmen who were implicated in a brutal crime and who, through coercive interrogation, were persuaded to confess to something they had nothing to do with.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline ... ource=grid

I offer this to the forum because it provides a graphic, contemporary account of situations similar to what the Nazi defendants at Nuremberg would have faced.


Wow. Unbelievable. Painful to watch.

User avatar
Hektor
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 3361
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 7:59 am

Re: False Confessions

Postby Hektor » 9 years 1 week ago (Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:52 pm)

It should be noted that American Prisoners of war did confess to war crimes in Korea.
During the Korean War, thirty-six American airmen confessed to a plot to bomb civilian targets after undergoing what was then called touch-less torture. These high value prisoners were isolated from all human contact but for their interrogators and at least one airman was held in solitary confinement for 10 months. The North Koreans and the Chinese subjected these prisoners to stress positions, such as standing at attention for hours, repeated beatings and prolonged interrogation sessions during which questions were repeated over and over to disorient the subject. During the winter, prisoners were marched barefoot in the snow. Guards regularly threw food at prisoners and forced them to defecate in public. After becoming exhausted and demoralized, some airmen's resistance was overcome and they eventually "confessed" to war crimes. All the confessions elicited under these conditions were false and were procured primarily for propaganda purposes.
http://humanintel.blogspot.com/2009/09/ ... rk_19.html


The first modern use of the word was by CIA operative Edgar Hunter. He used it to describe "re-education" practices used on prisoners of war by the Communist Chinese during the Korean War[1]. The chief concern was that seventy percent of American prisoners of war had confessed to various activities, including without limitation the use of biological agents, that fall under the category of "war crimes." Another fifteen percent collaborated actively with their captors, and only five percent resisted to the end. All prisoners had been subject to often brutal interrogation techniques, including sleep deprivation.
http://www.conservapedia.com/Brainwashing

The American public was first exposed to Soviet "brain perversion techniques" during Korean War when the communists launched a propaganda offensive featuring filmed and recorded testimony of captured U.S. servicemen confessing to war crimes including the use of germ warfare.

By the end of the Korean War, "70 percent of the 7,190 U.S. prisoners held in China had either made confessions or signed petitions calling for an end to the American war effort in Asia. Fifteen percent collaborated fully with the Chinese, and only 5 percent steadfastly resisted."

Military officials were especially alarmed when a significant number of the U.S. prisoners refused to recant their confessions as soon as they returned to the United States.

Beginning in 1960, KGB and Chinese agents directed the Vietnamese in establishing Vietnam's original interrogation guidelines for U.S. prisoners. They suggested interrogation techniques and issued specific intelligence requirements to be extracted during prisoner interrogations.

Official American position on POW confessions was that they were false and forced while privately expressing grave concern that the collaborations proved the communists had developed techniques that could "put a man's mind into a fog."
http://www.usvetdsp.com/mar08/mccain_manchurian.htm





This goes as far as false memories of events that never happened.
But experts in the field of false memories say it is not difficult to manipulate a susceptible subject, given the right conditions.

''Recovering a false memory as a war atrocity is not as unusual as you might think,'' said Pamela Freyd, the executive director of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, a national organization of doctors and researchers that has worked to identify false memories.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.h ... A96E958260
and further:
He has been fascinated by new narratives emerging as Vietnam fades in memory, he said. While many patients obviously had arduous combat experiences, a growing number of cases ''involve a veteran who was not in Vietnam -- or if he was in Vietnam, he was not in combat,'' he said. In group therapy sessions, these patients assemble shards of others' claims and even snippets of movies into fantasies of personal combat experiences, usually of heroic actions or harrowing peril.

But more intriguing, he said, is a small subdivision of that group -- men who falsely implicate themselves in atrocities. ''They make up war crimes for themselves,'' Dr. Young said.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.h ... gewanted=2

nathan
Valued contributor
Valued contributor
Posts: 229
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:14 am

Re: False Confessions

Postby nathan » 8 years 11 months ago (Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:37 am)

JoFo’s horror story is very interesting in two ways. It is interesting because these confessions were obtained within a mere eight hours or so; and because they did not depend on physical brutality.

Physical torture is indeed often used to extract both true intelligence and false intelligence, both true confessions and false confessions. Experts have found that torture is an inefficient method of gaining any sort of truth; their findings are sometimes quoted by torturers themselves - as evidence that they would never dream of torturing anyone. That very defence was deployed the sadists and zenophobes who ran the British London Cage torture centre and it’s even worse Bad Nenndorf outpost in Germany for MI19. These places could break the spirit of aggressive SS sergeants within three days. Hitler's Gestapo notoriously employed torture, especially toward the end of the war, and their victims may have included the revisionist Paul Rassinier. But they got most of their information from public tips, informers and interagency cooperation. These explained their successes in breaking resistance movements, including those inside the concentration camps. Professor Darius Rejali spent more than a decade collecting all the cases of Gestapo torture "successes" in multiple languages; “the number is small and the results pathetic, especially compared with the devastating effects of public cooperation and informers”.

The main reason torturers torture is that they can get away with it. In our own day “Rendition” was a a ruse for getting away with it. We learn from Wikipedia that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed allegedly confessed to orchestrating the 9/11 attacks, coordinating planned attacks on 16 other countries, and personally killing Daniel Pearl. But he seems to have no real idea how the 9/11 hijackers were recruited, it is unlikely that al-Qaeda would have had one person orchestrate attacks in 17 countries from a single location, and there is videotaped evidence that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed did not, in fact, kill Daniel Pearl.

False intelligence can profit nobody whose goal is truth. False confessions extracted from a broken s pirit can sometimes benefit prosecutors, however, because truth is not their main objective. Their main objective is a headline and a conviction. To be sure, what usually breaks men down is not torture but the fear of torture. Yet there is something which must be even more terrible than the fear of torture; and that is the fear of being tortured again. Orthodoxy must pretend that Hoess was serenely convinced that his civil rights would be protected, no matter what he said in the stand, when he was returned to his cells.

Nevertheless the essential motive for standing by a false confession cannot be so much the fear of renewed torture as an overwhelming sense that denial would be hopeless. That in turn is fed largely by an overwhelming sense that nobody will believe your denial. The most intimidating factor is not the fists of your interrogator but his overpowering and unshakable conviction that you are guilty. He may not have quite enough evidence to prove you are guilty; but he has powerful motives to believe you are guilty. In addition to these motives, he does have evidence, lots of evidence; he has a detailed and elaborate descriptions of the crime. He reads them out to you again and again. He can quote a hundred eyewitness; and to cap it all, other co-perpetrators have already confessed. You have read the newspaper reports, he says. So don’t make us angry again. Don’t make things worse for yourself. Make things easier for yourself. Make things easier for your family. We know you are not wholly to blame. We know you are only obeying orders. Nobody can punish you for obeying orders – that would not be reasonable. We want to be reasonable. We want to help you. So name the men who gave you the orders. You won’t name the man in the dock? We can respect that. You are being loyal. Very well, at least name someone who is dead or disappeared. Show us you are serious. I myself want to help you. Our sergeant does not want to help you. Did you know that he was Jewish? Half his family has disappeared. You can hardly blame him for having been a bit aggressive.... Let’ s try keep him out of this. Then you can get some sleep. When you are willing to put something in writing, we can all get some sleep. But we can’t do that until you stop telling all these monstrous lies. Don’t let us get angry again. Don’t force us to hand you over to the Russians. We want to keep them out of this. But don’t ask us to believe that all these other people are lying and you alone are telling the truth. Don’t ask us to believe that all these government commissions and national tribunals were plain mad. It’s you who sound plain mad. Don’t compound your crimes by trying to deny them in front of judges. Others have confessed in front of those judges. Those judges have already hanged men for these crimes. Are you saying those judges are criminals? Are you saying they would hang innocent men? Are you going to accuse them of that at your trial? You really don’t want to be helped, do you? We can go through another night if that’s what it takes for you to admit that the game is up. Do you know that others have committed suicide after we questioned them? Do you know why? Because they were driven mad by conscience, that’s why. But you don’t seem to have a conscience. You just sit there. Denying monstrous crimes, itself another monstrous crime. Perhaps you had no direct part in it all, but don’t ask us to believe you did not know it was going on. You did hear rumours? So, someone must have told you. So you did know about it after all. If you knew about all those killings you must have seen some. Don’t make us angry again by admitting you knew all about it but never saw anything at all. Not once, not even just once? Don’t tell us you never saw the gas chambers. Don’t tell us you never saw a selection. Show us you are serious. You can end this right now. Nobody can punish you for accidentally witnessing a murder, especially if it was just once..... And so on. And so forth. And more of the same.


Even within the highly evolved British legal system it was not until recently safe to repudiate a signed confession. It was not merely your word against the police. The presumption was that the police were innocent; the interrogation room was a vessel of truth. Victims had the burden of proving that their confession was coerced. It was never enough to say “I was in a cell; I was worn out; I would have signed anything”. That would only make things worse. Accusing the police of brutality would make things ten times worse. You had to prove your case. A friend of mine was responsible for the elaborate linguistic analysis which proved beyond reasonable doubt that the confessions of certain alleged Irish terrorists were made in words supplied by their interrogators. Nowadays in consequence juries and even the judges in Britain tend not to believe the police automatically, and they would no longer be antagonised by a simple recantation. That is why interrogations since the early eighties are carried out under the most stringent conditions. Such conditions did not obtain for German war criminals in 1945.

User avatar
Hannover
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 9898
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2002 7:53 pm

Re: False Confessions

Postby Hannover » 8 years 11 months ago (Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:20 pm)

One of the nice features about this forum is the massive amount of info. that is available for recall. Of course the many Believers that have posted here (and rather easily spanked) do not like the fact that their arguments have been and are so easily debunked; AND their hopeless positions remain for all to read, the indoctrinated Believers and Jewish supremacists hate that.
Here is an older post by yours truly concerning the ease in which people can be manipulated to say the most bizarre things; think of the absurdly impossible 'gas chambers' and alleged but non-existent mass graves which people claim in spite of the utter impossibilities of the claims. In fact that is the so called 'holocaust' in a nutshell, a very profitable Industry consisting of laughable tales which defy science, logic, and rational thought. Read on

- Hannover
Hannover wrote:This article elaborates a bit on how 'memory' is manufactured and manipulated, how fantasies are invoked. See links that follow for more.

Study: It's Easy to Plant False Memories

The Associated Press, Sun 16 Feb 2003
http://www.cnn.com/2003/HEALTH/02/16/fa ... index.html

DENVER (AP) — Remember that wonderful day when Bugs Bunny hugged you at Disneyland? A study presented Sunday shows just how easy it can be to induce false memories in the minds of some people.

More than a third of subjects in the study recalled that theme-park moment — impossible because Bugs is not a Disney character — after a researcher planted the false memory.

Other research, of people who believed they were abducted by space aliens, shows that even false memories can be as intensely felt as those of real-life victims of war and other violence.

The research demonstrates that police interrogators and people investigating sexual-abuse allegations must be careful not to plant suggestions into their subjects, said University of California-Irvine psychologist Elizabeth Loftus. She presented preliminary results of recent false memory experiments Sunday at the national meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Loftus said some people may be so suggestible that they could be convinced they were responsible for crimes they didn't commit. In interviews, ``much of what goes on — unwittingly — is contamination,'' she said.

The news media's power of suggestion also can leave a false impression, Loftus said.

``During the Washington sniper attacks, everyone reported seeing a white van,'' she said. ``Where did it come from? The whole country was seeing white vans.''

A key, researchers said, is to add elements of touch, taste, sound and smell to the story.

In the Bugs Bunny study, Loftus talked with subjects about their childhoods and asked not only whether they saw someone dressed up as the character, but also whether they hugged his furry body and stroked his velvety ears. In subsequent interviews, 36 percent of the subjects recalled the cartoon rabbit.

In another study, Loftus suggested frog-kissing incidents that 15 percent of the group later recalled.

``It is sensory details that people use to distinguish their memories,'' said Loftus, who has conducted false memories experiments on 20,000 subjects over 25 years. ``If you imbue the story with them, you'll disrupt this memory process. It's almost a recipe to get people to remember things that aren't true.''

In other research presented Sunday, Harvard University psychologist Richard McNally tested 10 people who said they had been abducted, physically examined and sexually molested by space aliens.

Researchers tape-recorded the subjects talking about their memories. When the recordings were played back later, the purported abductees perspired and their heart rates jumped.

McNally said three of the 10 subjects showed physical reactions ``at least as great'' as people suffering post traumatic stress disorder from war, crime, rape and other violent incidents.

``This underscores the power of emotional belief,'' McNally said.

For more on easily manufatured 'memories' and fantasies:

'Key to False Memories Uncovered'
http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=4629

'False memories as 'facts' / some examples'
http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=14

'False memories and the "misinformation effect"'
http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=1995

- Hannover
If it can't happen as alleged, then it didn't.

Ray Barren
Member
Member
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:26 pm

Re: False Confessions

Postby Ray Barren » 8 years 11 months ago (Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:52 pm)

Hannover wrote:One of the nice features about this forum is the massive amount of info. that is available for recall. Of course the many Believers that have posted here (and rather easily spanked) do not like the fact that their arguments have been and are so easily debunked; AND their hopeless positions remain for all to read, the indoctrinated Believers and Jewish supremacists hate that.
Here is an older post by yours truly concerning the ease in which people can be manipulated to say the most bizarre things; think of the absurdly impossible 'gas chambers' and alleged but non-existent mass graves which people claim in spite of the utter impossibilities of the claims. In fact that is the so called 'holocaust' in a nutshell, a very profitable Industry consisting of laughable tales which defy science, logic, and rational thought. Read on


This is very interesting to me.

Do you think that the Americans and British made the German Nazi members believe that they committed the gassings when they interrogated them? What about Germans who didnt talk about the extermination process until years later and without interrogations?
I am new to the Holocaust debate because I never knew anyone who questioned the event in history. Here for good and free exchange of ideas on Holocaust.

User avatar
Hannover
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 9898
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2002 7:53 pm

Re: False Confessions

Postby Hannover » 8 years 11 months ago (Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:09 pm)

Ray Barren said:
[1]Do you think that the Americans and British made the German Nazi members believe that they committed the gassings when they interrogated them? [2]What about Germans who didnt talk about the extermination process until years later and without interrogations?

1. No, they were forced to say whatever their captors wanted and whatever they thought would save their hide knowing full well that the bogus postwar courts had established 'judicial notice' on the mythological 'gas chambers'. The courts accepted the 'gas chambers' as fact even though there was no forensic study done* and the impossibility of the claims was ignored. *Actually, the communist Soviets did present a report at Nuremberg that established that the Germans built and used steam chambers to kill Jews, hilarious.

2. The same judicial notice was in use in the later trials providing very few options for those who were brought into the bogus courts, for which complete verbatim transcripts are curiously not available. Imagine trying to save yourself in a court which basically stated: 'despite the lack of proof, the homicidal gas chambers are considered fact, you cannot testify otherwise lest you be in even greater jeopardy'. Not hard to see why someone would say whatever was necessary to appease the show trial inquisitors.

And of course, Ray Barren cannot explain how these 'gas chambers' worked in a way that doesn't violate laws of physics, chemistry, and logic. Nor can he show us a single 'holocaust' mass grave as alleged. I challenge him to start a thread on any so called 'confession' that he wishes. I challenge him to start a thread on the absurd 'gas chambers'.

- Hannover

More below.
Hannover wrote:The canard 'No Nazi ever denied gas chambers' is easily shot down: many did not accept the ludicrous claim and those that did had compelling reasons to lie and attempt life saving "confessions".
see:
http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5330
excerpts:
The sham courts established 'judicial notice' on the gas chambers, which meant they were accepted as fact by the court without ever providing proof, simple as that. This sham 'judicial notice' made any defense against the gas chambers claim impossible. And to hedge their bets, the Alllies had various means at their disposal.

American judge, van Roden:

"Statements admitted as evidence were obtained from men who had first been kept in solitary confinement for three, four and five months..The investigators would put a black hood over the accused's head, punch him in the face with brass knuckles, kick him and beat him with rubber hoses"


All but two of the Germans, in the 139 cases we investigated, had been kicked in the testicles beyond repair. This was Standard Operating Procedure with American investigators.

- Judge E. L. van Roden, "American Atrocities in Germany", The Progressive. February 1949, p. 21f.


Judge van Roden's allegation of torture to gain "confessions" is confirmed by Texas Supreme Court Judge, Gordon Simpson. He confirmed that savage beatings, smashing of testicles, and months of solitary confinement occurred.
- Congressional Record, appendix. v. 95,sec.12, 3/10/49

The prisoner was torn from the top bunk, the pyjamas ripped from his body. He was then dragged naked to one of the slaughter tables, where it seemed to [Bernard] Clarke the blows and screams were endless. Eventually, the Medical Officer urged the Captain: 'Call them off, unless you want to take back a corpse.'"(12)
- 12.R. Butler, Legions of Death, Hamlyn, (London, 1983), p.237


Ernst Kaltenbrunner, wartime head of the powerful Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), was certain that he would soon be put to death regardless of the evidence presented to the Tribunal: "The colonel in charge of the London prison that I was in has told me that I would be hanged in any case, no matter what the outcome would be. Since I am fully aware of that, all I want to do is to clear up on the fundamental things that are wrong here." In a question-and-answer exchange, Kaltenbrunner rejected the charge that he had ordered gassings:102

Q. Witness after witness, by testimony and affidavit, has said that the gas chamber killings were done on general or specific orders of Kaltenbrunner.

A. Show me one of those men or any of those orders. It is utterly impossible.

Q. Practically all of the orders came through Kaltenbrunner.

A. Entirely impossible.


Until his death in 1981, Speer steadfastly insisted that he did not know of any extermination program or gassings during the war. His position was remarkable because, if a wartime policy to exterminate the Jews had actually existed, almost no one would have been in a better position to have known about it. As Reich Armaments Minister, Speer was responsible for the continental mobilization of all available resources, including critically needed Jewish workers. That millions of Jews could have been transported across Europe and killed at a wartime industrial center as important as Auschwitz, and elsewhere, without Speer's knowledge simply defies belief.103
http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v12/v12p167_Weberb.html

and
'getting the desired 'confession'....via torture'
http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=1121
excerpt:
Lt. Col. Ellis and Lt Perl of the Prosectution pleaded that it was difficult to obtain competant evidence. Perl told the court, "We had a tough case to crack and we had to use persuasive methods."

He admitted to the court that the persuasive methods included various "expedients, including some violence and mock trials." He further told the court that the cases rested on statements obtained by such methods.

The statements which were admitted as evidence were obtained from men who had first been kept in solitary confinement for three, four, and, five months. They were confined between four walls, with no windows, and no opportunity of exercise. Two meals a day were shoved in to them through a slot in the door. They were not allowed to talk to anyone. They had no communication with their families or any minister or priest during that time.

This solitary confinement proved sufficient in itself in some cases to persuade the Germans to sign prepared statements. These statements not only involved the signer, but often would involve other defendants.

Our investigators would put a black hood over the accused's head and then punch him in the face with brass knuckles, kick him, and beat him with rubber hose. Many of the German defendants had teeth knocked out. Some had their jaws broken. All but two of the Germans, in the 139 cases we investigated, had been kicked in the testicles beyond repair. This was Standard Operating Procedure with American investigators. Perl admitted use of mock trials and persuasive methods including violence and said the court was free to decide the weight to be attached to evidence thus received.

One 18 year old defendant, after a series of beatings. was writing a statement being dictated to him. When they reached the 16th page, the boy was locked up for the night. In the early morning, Germans in nearby cells heard him muttering. "I will not utter another lie." When the jailer came in later to get him to finish his false statement, he found the German hanging from a cell bar, dead. However the statement that the German had hanged himself to escape signing was offered and received in evidence in the trial of the others.

Sometimes a prisoner who refused to sign was led into a dimly lit room, where a group of civilian investigators, wearing U. S. Army uniforms. were seated around a black table with a crucifix in the center and two candles burning, one on each aide. "You will now have your American trial," the defendant was told. The sham court passed a sham sentence of death. Then the accused was told, "You will hang in a few days, as soon as the general approves this sentence: but in the meantime sign this confession and we can get you acquitted." Some still wouldn't sign. We were shocked by the crucifix being used so mockingly.

In another case, a bogus Catholic priest (actually an investigator) entered the cell of one of the defendants, heard his confession, gave him absolution, and then gave him a little friendly tip: "Sign whatever the investigators ask you to sign. It will get you your freedom. Even though it's false, I can give you absolution now in advance for the lie you'd tell."

- Hannover

and:
Here's a look into just what it takes to get prisoners to say what the interrogators want them to say.
The first Dachau Trial (Trial of Martin Gottfried Weiss and 39 others) offers an insight into the manner in which these 'confessions' were obtained.
- H.

(TESTIMONY OF KICK, microfilm pages 000145-9).

Q: Are either of these two statements 96 or 97 in your handwriting?
A: The post-script on page 4 of 96 is in my handwriting.

Q: The rest of it is written in what manner?
A: The other part of it is typed.

Q: Did you dictate the typing?
A: No.

Q: Who did?
A: The interrogating officer.

Q: Who was the interrogating officer?
A: Lt. Guth.

Q: Is the language contained in either of those statements your language or the language of Lt. Guth?
A: Those are the expressions of Lt. Guth.

Q: And at the end of your statements you signed them, and swore to them as being the truth, did you not?
A: Yes.

Q: ... will you describe to the court the treatment that you received prior to your first interrogation anyplace?

(Prosecution objection as to whether beating received on the 6th of May could be relevant to confession signed on the 5th of
November).

Q: ... Kick, did the treatment you received immediately following your arrest have any influence whatever on the statements
that you made on the 5th of November?
A: ... The treatment at that time influenced this testimony to that extent, that I did not dare to refuse to sign, in spite of the fact
that it did not contain the testimony which I gave.

Q: Now, Kick, for the court, will you describe the treatment which you received immediately following your arrest?
A: I ask to refuse to answer this question here in public.

President: The court desires to have the defendant answer the question.
A: I was here in Dachau from the 6th to the 15th of May, under arrest; during this time I was beaten all during the day and
night... kicked... I had to stand to attention for hours; I had to kneel down on sharp objects or square objects; I had to stand
under the lamp for hours and look into the light, at which time I was also beaten and kicked; as a result of this treatment my
arm was paralysed for about 8 to 10 weeks; only beginning with my transfer to Augsberg, this treatment stopped.

Q: What were you beaten with?
A: With all kinds of objects.

Q: Describe them, please.
A: With whips, with lashing whips, with rifle butts, pistol butts, and pistol barrels, and with hands and fists.

Q: And that continued daily over a period of what time?
A: From the morning of the 7th of May until the morning of the 15th of May.

Q: Kick, why did you hesitate to give that testimony?
A: If the court hadn’t decided I should talk about it, I wouldn’t have said anything about it today.

Q: Would you describe the people who administered these beatings to you?
A: I can only say that they were persons who were wearing the United States uniform and I can’t describe them any better.

Q: And as a result of those beatings when Lt. Guth called you in, what was your frame of mind?
A: I had to presume that if I were to refuse to sign I would be subjected to a similar treatment.

(TESTIMONY OF KRAMER, microfilm pages 000298-9).

Q: Kramer, were you interrogated after your arrest anywhere except Dachau?
A: Yes, in Fuerstenfeldbruck.

Q: Did that interrogation have any effect on the statement that you made here?

Prosecution: I object to that question as being immaterial and irrelevant.

President: Explain exactly what happened.

Q: Will you explain exactly what happened at that interrogation?
A: I do not want to talk about it.

Q: The court desires you to explain what happened.
A: I was beaten by an interrogation officer. Several prisoners were also present. I was supposed to tell how many people I
shot or hanged. I can say with a conscience that I never killed a person. Thereupon, I was beaten over the head with sticks
and rubber hoses until I broke down.

Q: Anything else to say about that?
A: No ...

(TESTIMONY OF DR. WITTELER, microfilm pages 000327-331).

A: During my interrogation I had to sit in front of the desk of Lt. Guth. A spotlight was turned on me which stood on the desk.
Lt. Guth stood behind the spotlight and the interrogation started. “We know you, we have the necessary records about you...”
I started to make an explanation. I was immediately stopped. I was yelled at. He called me a swine, criminal, liar, murderer,
and that is the way the interrogation continued. I couldn’t give any explanations. I was only told to answer “yes” or “no”... I
was interrupted immediately and told that all I had to do was answer “yes” and “no”. I couldn’t even explain it. I was told to
shut up and to answer “yes” or “no”... since it was not like he thought it was, I had to get up and stand. So I stood up until
1:30 in the morning - seven hours.

Q: ... at the conclusion of the drafting of this statement you signed it?
A: No, I answered that it is not correct... this statement was not written in my presence. It was written in another room. The
reporter was with me in the room all the time, but the statement was written in another room. After I couldn’t stand up any
more this statement was put in front of me at 1:30. And then when I said that this testimony... is not by me, that is the testimony
of Dr. Blaha-who was present for several hours that night... so that I didn’t want to sign it. Lt. Guth said he would interrogate
me until tomorrow morning, that he had other methods...

(DR. BLAHA WAS A CZECH COMMUNIST WHO CLAIMED THE GERMANS FORCED HIM TO SKIN PEOPLE
AND MAKE SLIPPERS, SADDLES, PURSES, HANDBAGS, GLOVES, AND TROUSERS OUT OF HUMAN SKIN.
HE ALSO WAS THE ONLY WITNESS AT THE DACHAU TRIAL WHO CLAIMED THERE WAS A GAS
CHAMBER AT DACHAU. HIS TESTIMONY WAS INTRODUCED INTO EVIDENCE AT NUREMBERG AS
“PROVEN FACT”).

Q: How many people were present at the time you were interrogated?
A: Altogether, three: Lt. Guth, Dr. Leiss, and I, and, for a short time, Dr. Blaha.

Q: This writing in your own handwriting. Was that dictated or did you make it up? A: When I found that the interrogation
would end that way, I wrote down this last part and signed my name to it.

Q: Was it your own words or was it dictated to you?
A: Lt. Guth dictated those words...

Q: Prior to the time that you signed that statement, have you been served with any papers in this particular case?
A: No, I didn’t know why I was in Dachau. I had no idea I was one of the accused. After the interrogation at 1:30 I was sent
to the colonel and the colonel then read the charge to me. The first time I heard I was supposed to be a murderer, was then.

Q: You mean Col. Denson read the charges to you?
A: Yes. (Col. Denson acted as prosecutor in this trial and delivered the prosecution summation. Lt. Guth appeared as a
witness and denied all accusations of improper conduct. Guth was a viennese who came to the United States in 1941).

(TESTIMONY OF GRETSCH, microfilm pages 000701-3).

Q: Gretsch, is this statement in your handwriting?
A: No, that isn’t my handwriting.

Q: What part of this paper is in your handwriting?
A: This is my handwriting here.

Q: And what is this? What part of the paper is this?
A: That is, “I have made the above statements without compulsion, and I have read and corrected it and understand it fully. I
swear before God that it is the pure truth”.

Q: That is the oath, is it not?
A: Yes, that is the oath.

Q: And is the oath the only part of this statement that is in your handwriting?
A: Yes...

Q: ... Gretsch, you signed each page... did you not?
A: Yes, I signed it on the bottom, but I didn’t read it. It was in a hurry...

Q: ...Were you told to sign your name to each sheet of paper?
A: Yes...

(PROSECUTION REBUTTAL - TESTIMONY OF COL. CHAVEZ, microfilm pages 000712-4).

Q: Kick testified that he was beaten daily from the 7th of May until the 15th of May... did you have occasion to examine
Kick?
A: Yes.

Q: ... did you have occasion to observe his physical condition?
A: I did.

Q: Did he have any black eyes?
A: He did not.

Q: Did he show any evidence of violence having been used upon him?
A: He did not.

Q: Was any one or both of his arms paralysed?
A: Not that I observed. He was just as natural as he is now. In fact, he looked better at that time than he does now. I
observed nothing. He was very co-operative, and the record will so indicate. He was sworn and he gave his testimony in a
very gently manner.

Q: Did he at any time state to you, Colonel, that he had been beaten or in any manner mistreated?
A: He did not.

Q: ... how often did you see him?
A: Just during the time that he was interrogated. Q: ... of course he was fully clothed?
A: Yes.

Q: But there is no question about it - at the time you talked with him he was quite cooperative?
A: He was...

(COL. CHAVEZ WAS THE AUTHOR OF THE “CHAVEZ REPORT”, WHICH WAS TO HAVE “PROVEN” THAT A
GAS CHAMBER EXISTED AT DACHAU. THE REPORT WAS NEVER INTRODUCED INTO EVIDENCE, AND
THIS ACCUSATION WAS DROPPED BEFORE TRIAL. COL. CHAVEZ APPEARED AS AN EXPERT WITNESS
AT DACHAU ON NOV. 15, 1945, BUT MADE NO MENTION OF A GAS CHAMBER. THE CHAVEZ REPORT
WAS THEN RE-WRITTEN AND INTRODUCED INTO EVIDENCE AT NUREMBERG AS DOCUMENTS 2430-PS
AND 159-L, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS KNOWN TO BE UNTRUE).

(TESTIMONY OF LT. LAURENCE, microfilm pages 000714-5).

Q: Did you have occasion to examine Albin Gretsch?
A: Yes, Sir.

Q: ... and did he complain of any mis-statements?...
A: Not at all, sir... they are mostly his own words, sir. And I may add, sir, that I wasn’t in a hurry at all. He took many hours
and as he was rather slow in answering, I gave him all the time he wanted...

Q: The statement, with the exception of the oath, is in your handwriting, is it not, Lt. Laurence?
A: Yes.

(Of course, while German allegations of mistreatment are always dismissed as baseless, similar accusations from prosecution
witnesses are accepted as “proven facts”.Among the offenses for which KICK was hanged was knocking 15 teeth out of the
lower jaw of Llewellyn Edwards of 12, Nora St. Cardiff, Wales, who claimed to have lost 15 upper teeth at some other
time[!]):

Q: At the time you went in Kick’s office, how many teeth did you have in your head?
A: Fifteen, sir. On the bottom, sir. Fifteen of my own, sir. On the top I had artificial teeth. (microfilm page 000722).
If it can't happen as alleged, then it didn't.

JoFo
Member
Member
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:14 pm

Re: False Confessions

Postby JoFo » 8 years 11 months ago (Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:57 pm)

Thanks to all who have weighed in so far on this topic.

Two realizations to come out of the documentary "The Confessions" that particularly impressed me were the following:

False confessions are relatively easy to obtain and that makes their value as an indicator of guilt dubious. The reasons behind false confessions could range from insanity to altruism, but in this case it boils down to a determined, coercive interrogation based on the presumption of guilt. This is where I see parallels to the post-war Nuremberg trials.

Secondly, it is very difficult to undo the damage to a defendant once a false confession is rendered. Even after the introduction of exonerating evidence, public opinion still tends to favor the confession. The strength of this was demonstrated in the documentary by the way in which the prosecution's story twisted and turned ad absurdum to accommodate the constantly changing testimony, and yet the charges still held!

The lesson to be gleaned from this is that the validity of any confession--or testimony in general--should only be determined within the broader context of corroborating evidence.

Jofo


Return to “'Holocaust' Debate / Controversies / Comments / News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MSN [Bot] and 5 guests