The Interrogator: The Story of Hans Joachim Scharff, Master Interrogator of the Luftwaffe

Overview

This is the story of Hanns Scharff the master interrogator of the Luftwaffe who questioned captured American fighter pilots of the USAAF Eighth and Ninth Air Forces in World War II. This Intelligence Officer gained the reputation as the man who could magically get all the answers he needed from the prisoners of war. In most cases the POWs being interrogated never realized that their words, small talk or otherwise, were important pieces of the mosaic Hanns Scharff was constructing for the benefit of Germany's war ...
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Overview

This is the story of Hanns Scharff the master interrogator of the Luftwaffe who questioned captured American fighter pilots of the USAAF Eighth and Ninth Air Forces in World War II. This Intelligence Officer gained the reputation as the man who could magically get all the answers he needed from the prisoners of war. In most cases the POWs being interrogated never realized that their words, small talk or otherwise, were important pieces of the mosaic Hanns Scharff was constructing for the benefit of Germany's war effort. In the words of one erstwhile POW; "What did Scharff get from me? Nothing, yet there is no doubt he got something. If you talked about the weather or anything else he no doubt got some information or confirmation from it. His technique was psychic, not physical." Another POW commented, "Hanns Scharff could probably get a confession of infidelity from a Nun!" They are right. To this day ex-POWs fret and worry over what they said or even might have implied during their interrogations, and over what use Scharff may have made of their slip-ups. This book delves into the question: What was this magic spell or formula used by Scharff which made prisoners drop their guard and converse with him even though they are conditioned to remain silent? The tortures and savagery of the North Koreans and North Vietnamese caused prisoners to resist to the death. Hanns Scharff's methods broke down barriers so effectively that the USAF invited him to speak about his methods to military audiences in the United States after World War II. Raymond Toliver is also the author (with Trevor Constable) of Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe (available from Schiffer Publishing Ltd.).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764302619
  • Publisher: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1997
  • Series: Schiffer Military History Series
  • Pages: 346
  • Sales rank: 309,650
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2001

    What does Disney World and a WWII German Interrogator have in Common?

    During WWII many allied crewmembers were captured by the German Luftwaffe. Most of them on the western front were sent to Auswerestelle West, also known by the Misnomer of 'Dulag Luft'.(After the War the post became an American Army Intelligence post called Camp King)The United States Militray tried their best to prepare the crews for this eventuality. Rumors circulated such as torture, skiing, women, and drink. This book chronicles the history of the most famous interrogator, Hanns 'Poker Face' Joachim Scharff. It discusses exactly how he extracted information as well as how it was used against the United States War effort. It also will answer what Disney's Magic Kingdom Castle and Hanns Scharff have in common. It also discusses our treatment of Axis POW'S after WWII. The author is a true historian who has a lot of passion for the subject. (I must admit that I have contacted him for help on a research project that I conducted.) Because the book was coauthored by Hanns Scharff, there is no better source of information. For anyone who conducts interrogations or anyone who is subjected to them, this book is a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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