Hanns Scharff is often referred to as Germany’s ‘Master Interrogator’.
And for good reason: he was one of the most successful interrogators during the Second World War. Yet his technique was different than you’d perhaps suspect: he never laid a hand on a prisoner.
Hanns-Joachim Gottlob Scharff (December 16, 1907 – September 10, 1992) was a German Luftwaffe interrogator during the Second World War. He has been called the “Master Interrogator” of the Luftwaffe, and possibly of all Germany; he has also been praised for his contribution in shaping U.S. interrogation techniques after the war. As an Obergefreiter (equivalent to Private First Class) he was charged with interrogating captured American fighter pilots after he became an interrogation officer in 1943.
He has been highly praised for the success of his techniques, in particular because he never used physical means to obtain the required information. Scharff’s interrogation techniques were so effective that he was occasionally called upon to assist other German interrogators in their questioning of bomber pilots and aircrews, including those crews and fighter pilots from countries other than the United States.
Additionally, he was charged with questioning many more important prisoners who were funnelled through the interrogation center, such as senior officers and famous fighter aces.
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