The Friendliest Interrogator Of World War II Was A German

“Peace means far more than the opposite of war!” —Mister Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers

In A Nutshell

Hanns Scharff wasn’t your typical Nazi interrogator. Unlike the infamous Klaus Barbie, he didn’t believe in using physical violence. Instead, Scharff got prisoners to spill their secrets through trickery and kindness.

The Whole Bushel

When the Gestapo arrested French Resistance leader Jean Moulin, they used just about every method in the torturer’s handbook to make him talk. Officer Klaus Barbie and his secret policemen put hot needles under Moulin’s fingernails, tightened his handcuffs until his wrists snapped, and slammed a door on his hands until his fingers broke. Despite the brutal beatings, Moulin never cracked. He kept his mouth shut until he slipped into a coma and died. It was a tragic ending to a heroic life, and a strong indicator that Barbie’s methods, while bloody, weren’t all that effective. Perhaps if Moulin had been sent to Hanns Scharff, the story would have had a happier ending.

Scharff was the friendliest interrogator of World War II. Fluent in English, Scharff grilled pilots who were shot down over Germany. Unlike the notorious Barbie, Scharff had a much more positive approach to interrogations. This Luftwaffe officer was a master of mind games. Before he quizzed a prisoner at the Dulag Luft camp, Scharff dug up as much background information on his subjects as possible. Even if he could only find basic info, he fooled prisoners into thinking he already knew all about their objectives. Since he was already aware of their activities, they might as well talk about them, right?

Next, Scharff disarmed his prisoners by becoming their best bud. He often took them on trips to the local zoo, and he even let one prisoner take a ride in a German plane. After building a rapport with a POW, Scharff would take him on walks through the Oberursel forest. Together, the Nazi and the Allied pilot would stroll through the pine trees, observing the birds and chatting about America or England. The whole time, Scharff was listening for little slip-ups that would reveal information vital to the German war machine. Prisoners might inadvertently mention something about bomb sights or causally say something about operational plans. They might tell a story about their training or talk about the planes they used to fly. Scharff was such a smooth talker, such a friendly guy, that the prisoners had no idea they were being conned. They were just glad they weren’t being electrocuted. Many of them signed his guestbook before leaving the camp. In fact, after the war, he was invited to many POW reunions because he was such a gentleman.

Eventually, Scharff moved to the US where he helped the Air Force come up with survival techniques for downed pilots, and taught intelligence agencies how to peacefully interrogate suspects. The Army was so impressed with Scharff’s methods that they incorporated his methods into their curriculum, and soldiers attending interrogation school learn all about his techniques. Although he had a knack for discovering secrets, Scharff’s real passion was art. He opened a studio in California and was commissioned to create mosaics at UCLA, the Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas and, most shockingly, Disney World. Scharff passed away in 1992, but you can still see his work inside Cinderella Castle and at the Epcot Center. Next time you visit the Magic Kingdom, just remember the artist who designed those mosaics had a 90 percent success rate when it came to interrogating Allied POWs.

Show Me The Proof

BBC History: The WWII interrogator who used kindness over violence
LA Times: Hanns Scharff; Creator of L.A., State Capitol Mosaics
Art Of The Mouse (photos of Scharff’s Disney World mosaic work)
Jewish Virtual Library: Klaus Barbie

  • edzyl blane

    90 percent? Wow he’s good (pun intended).

    • twerps make stupid lists

      Where was the pun? Do you mean sarcasm intended? (90% is actually a good figure so even if you are intending to be sarcastic you are a complete clown)

  • Joseph

    How would it be a happier ending if Moulin had broken? That’s one of the dumbest assertions I’ve read on this website. I’m assuming he felt that way since he died rather than risk giving out information that could have gotten others killed.

    • Lewis Driscoll

      I’m thinking it just means that Moulin wouldn’t have been tortured to death. The sentence probably could’ve been phrased better, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean it would’ve been better if he’d broken.

      • Joseph

        You could be right. I’ve heard that no one edits these articles. Hopefully it was just phrased poorly, but that would be something pretty big to miss. This “and a strong indicator that Barbie’s methods, while bloody, weren’t all that effective. Perhaps if Moulin had been sent to Hanns Scharff, the story would have had a happier ending.” makes in seem like he had hoped for the methods to be more effective which would be the happier ending. While saying Moulin’s death was, “a tragic ending to a heroic life” seems to indicate the opposite except that the happier ending would have tarnished that heroism. You’re probably right, my original comment was a little harsh. It probably wasn’t meant way.

      • rincewind

        There are usually a “slip” or two like this in articles that I believe are put there deliberately to get someone to comment. This one was more obvious than most.

        • Nathaniel A.

          Really now? What makes you think that?

          • rincewind

            Just my opinion. If I wrote an article, I would put in obvious slips/arguments to get the ball started in the comment section as soon as possible. which, after all, is what this site is mainly about. Nothing wrong with this tactic though.

          • Nathaniel A.

            This site is by no means mainly about making as many people as possible comment. I recognized it as a good tactic but I doubt they practice it.

          • rincewind

            What is this site about then? It would be quite boring if people didn’t comment. That’s the most interesting part! Why do you doubt they practice it?

          • Nathaniel A.

            I will give you their motto: “Maximum learning with minimum reading! Knowledge Nuts was founded so you can find the information you want. When you want it. Fast.” No where on there does it say anything about comments. I know the comments are interesting, but they are for commenting on the list, if there is no list then no comments.

          • rincewind

            I never even noticed the motto. You must read everything! I agree that the list is essential. I like LV. However, I don’t think LV would be as popular as it is without the comment section – it is a good combination.

          • Nathaniel A.

            You are spot on there.

  • inconspicuous detective

    being a nazi doesn’t automatically make a person evil. plenty of them believed whole – heartedly what they were doing was right. they also believed they were doing the world a service. most had a complex combination of sadistic or torturous lives and their personal self; the one that you go to the bar with, the loving father, the family man, etc.

    it’s not justification, but again being a nazi didn’t and shouldn’t be something that just assumes the human who believes in that is evil or bad.

    • Joseph

      Yeah, joining a hate group means they’re great people. The only possible exception were the ones that just went along with it to prevent being murdered and they wouldn’t really qualify as believers.

      • inconspicuous detective

        i never said anything about their character other than that they weren’t explicitly evil for being a nazi or in some way/shape/form being affiliated with them.

        those soldiers who fought for Germany weren’t doing it because they were afraid of something. they were fairly cool with the idea.

        • Joseph

          How is it not evil to belong to a group based on the ideology that their race is superior to everyone else? I don’t like racism so, I’m going to stick with the idea that Nazis are evil.

          • inconspicuous detective

            how is it not? easy. if you believe in something or another, you’re considering it for all intents and purposes to be superior in some way, shape, or form which is why you subscribe to that belief.

            for instance: a catholic is a catholic because they believe they’re right.

            an atheist is an atheist because they believe they’re right.

            a nazi is a nazi because they believe they’re right. from their perspective, those invading their land to stop them from fulfiling their destiny are truly evil, and serve to validate their belief. now i’m not calling it right (what the nazis think or thought) but the perspective is what matters.

          • rincewind

            Do you know what the Nazis did, such as human vivisection on children without anaesthetiser? How can anyone think that is not evil?

            To quote Albert Einstein:
            The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.

          • inconspicuous detective

            they weren’t all guilty of this. guilty by association here doesn’t make people evil or good. again, the actions are what’s evil here and SOME of the people, but not all. those who didn’t participate actively in the genocide but were enthusiastic about the party and/or fought for Germany during WWII weren’t exactly evil. misguided, yes, evil, no.

          • rincewind

            Only about 12% of the population were Nazi Party members. Nobody was forced to become a Nazi. I suppose today they would be called neo_Nazis. You are calling neo-Nazis good people?

            Most of the soldiers who actually fought for Germany during WWII were NOT Nazis.

          • inconspicuous detective

            yea, that one might need a source. i have an estimate i found of 8.5 million members of the nazi party, with no idea as to just how many of those members were actually nazis in the sense people here seem to be labeling everyone who was a part of the party, and no real figure for how many actually backed the cause of Germany above all (which is where i’m getting my “soldiers as nazis” thing). so, 12% would be impossibly accurate in the same way 8.5 million is.

          • Liege_Lord

            If your in an ethic’s class and are discussing cognitive theory of morals, yes your right. If your in the real world I would like to believe there is some objectivity to right and wrong. Culturally anthropologically speaking, its ok for someone in New Guinea to murder a person in cold blood and eat them, because its part of their culture, right? I can accept that, but what if the person they are murdering is NOT part of their culture… things become less black and white. I don’t think the starving and tortured Jews of Europe sat around in extermination camps and thought “well, they THINK what they’re doing is right.. so we can’t reallllly blame them because some stoic philosopher says we are all individual universes in our minds and must decide ourselves right from wrong”… I just… don’t think that thought crossed their minds as they felt the cold steel barrel of a gun pressed to the back of their head as they crouched in front a ditch filled with their decomposing loved ones.

          • inconspicuous detective

            point was, there were many different people behind that name “nazi”. not all of them were evil because of affiliation.

          • HSVFan

            American soldiers invading Iraq can come under the same principle, they believed they were morally superior and deomcracy would make them better people, are they evil ?

      • Phil Giordana Fcd

        The concept of “hate group” didn’t exist at the time.

        • Joseph

          It does now so you understand the meaning of the term.

          • twerps make stupid lists

            So Oscar Shindler was a Nazi…… Was he Evil? Would all the Jews he saved say he was an Evil man? Hmmmmm

          • Jenny Mulhall

            Excellent point!

          • Ray

            He was obviously a very poor Nazi.

          • Chester

            No he was just an opportunist…you’ll be hard pressed to find any “jew saving” Schindler did before the Eastern front started to go bad for the Germans.

          • twerps make stupid lists

            Keyboard historians are just as bad as keyboard tough guys…… your statement about finding schindler & jew saving before the eastern front collapsed is a contradiction in terms due to the fact that the wholesale outright start of the jew extreminations didnt begin until the Nazis began to lose the war.
            Anyway in the era of 44 45 when the SS was rampantly executing German citizens for crimes against the state such as collaboration and desertion, do you really think schindler said to himself “one day if I save a few hundred jews people might think well of me”

          • Chester

            Actually Massacres of about one million Jews occurred before the plans of the
            Final Solution were fully implemented in 1942, but it was only with the
            decision to eradicate the entire Jewish population that the extermination camps were built and industrialized mass slaughter of Jews began in earnest. Long before the situation went bad on the Eastern Front, the defining point of German offensive capability being their defeat at Kursk in August 1943. When you said keyboard historian where you talking about yourself because than itd be accurate, otherwise i suggest shutting up and opening a text book sometime. Schindler wasn’t in Germany he was in occupied Czechoslovakia and as a fact there is 0 record of him attempting to, thinking about or even hinting about the rescue of jews prior 13 March 1943, February 2n 1943 saw Germany Defeated at Stalingrad and the soviet advance on the eastern front Coincidence??

          • twerps make stupid lists

            The likes of the Jews executed by the Einsatzgruppen etc….. How could he do anything about that?
            What did you do about those Jews?
            Oh you done nothing either?
            Oh you complete Nazi you!

            So Keyboard historian , until you can but together the random facts that you have rattling around up there I wouldnt say anything, saves you from embarresement

          • Chester

            What random facts…”your statement about finding schindler & jew saving before the
            eastern front collapsed is a contradiction in terms due to the fact that
            the wholesale outright start of the jew exterminations didnt begin
            until the Nazis began to lose the war.” Your quote…

            1. The Final Solution was implemented in 1942…The Nazis were not loosing the war in 1942 so your wrong, the nazis did not start loosing the war until August 1943 after they suffered irreplaceable losses on the Eastern Front at Kursk…your a loser.

            2. Schidler did not start “saving jews” until 13 March 1943, on February 2nd 1943 1 month before Schindler started “saving jews” Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus surrendered to Russian forces at Stalingrad closing the battle which cost over 800,000 German lives and ushering in the soviet advance on the Eastern Front….you loser

            3. My facts are correct i am correct and my dissertation that Schindler (who had apparently 0 scruples about making money on Jewish slave labour prior to March 13, 1943) isnt a wrong one…you loser

          • twerps make stupid lists

            Wow calling me a loser 3 times , did you jump up down and piss your pants you wrote that?

            The Nazis were losing the war in 1942, thats why they put out feelers to end it.

            But Im not arguing with a moron & Im not going down to your level “your a loser” (so intelligent)….. Chester by the way, suits you very well as a name.

            But anyway state of Israel granting schindlerr a pension until his death, and granting him the honour of burying him on Mount Zion in Jerusalem when he died, all of those Jewish statesmen and government and the Jewish population as a whole know FAR LESS that THE MIGHTY CHESTER because he can talk about fucking Stalingrad!!!!

            God Chester have a day off from being a prat once in your life.

          • Chester

            No problem its hard arguing when your points are soundly defeated, come back when you open up a text book and read a few chapters so i can school your ass at WW2 history again..BTW you started all this by calling me a Keyboard Historian. Also Germany was wining the war in 1942, it only started to loose after Stalingrad and then had its offensive capabilities squashed after Kursk so if you wanna act like a smart ass and call me a Keyboard Historian youd best back it up..I Can you Cant you are a Loser love it!

          • twerps make stupid lists

            What points of mine do you think you defeated? Why are you again continually talking about Stalingrad?

            Is this an Aspergers thing about Stalingrad? The point was if you remember , You said Schindler didnt save any Jews before Germany started losing the war, and the obvious point is….. HOW COULD HE?

            HE WAS IN NO POSITION TO!

            Its like if a house never went on fire , and you complain that there was no firemen to put it out.

            Your a complete Idiot…. Im surprised the library lets you in to use their computer.

          • Chester

            The points in which i defeated you are simple…

            YOU:”Keyboard historians are just as bad as keyboard tough guys…… your
            statement about finding schindler & jew saving before the eastern front collapsed is a contradiction in terms due to the fact that the wholesale outright start of ********the jew extreminations didnt begin until the Nazis began to lose the war*********.Anyway in the era of 44 45 when the SS was rampantly executing German citizens for crimes against the state such as collaboration and desertion, do you really think schindler said to himself “one day if I save a few hundred jews people might think well of me”

            ME: 1)The Final Solution began in January 1942, Long Before the German Army Started Loosing the war So my statement isnt a contradiction yours is just plain wrong.

            2) The SS was killing German Civilians for collaboration Schindler was in Czechoslovakia not Germany, so whats your point.

            3) The point isnt my statement about Schindler didnt save any Jews before Germany started losing the war, THE FUCKING POINT is that you saying Jews were not being killed when Germany was wining the war and they were! YOU SAID THIS:””””””the jew extreminations didnt begin until the Nazis began to lose the war”””””‘ .If the final solution began in January 1942 how can my statement be a contradiction you twerp!

          • twerps make stupid lists

            So your backtracking now…. yes we all know the Nazis killed Jews from the outset, from Poland up to the Nordic countries then France and the Low countries.

            As YOU started talking about schindler YOUR QUOTE “Schindler wasn’t in Germany he was in occupied Czechoslovakia and as a fact there is 0 record of him attempting to, thinking about or even hinting about the rescue of jews prior 13 March 1943, February”

            The point was Schindler couldnt of helped anyone until the outright extermination ,concentration camps started because the jews that he did save were not in his sphere of influence.

            Now if you want to prattle on “but there were jews killed before then” EVERYBODY KNOWS , your not special for harping on about points that EVERYONE KNOWS.

            Give it rest Chester

          • Chester

            Schindler got his Jew labour from Belzec Concentration Camp set up in 1940, and later Plaszow Concentration Camp set up in 1942…So he had more than ample opportunity to save them because it was going on, they had camps well before the Soviets started to advance on the Eastern front..You are wrong love it.

          • Joseph

            At first I thought you were a troll from seeing some of your other comments. It seems I was wrong about that. He’s not really a good example for the reasons you gave and he’s the only member of the Nazi party to be buried there, which is really extraordinary. They also gave him the title “Righteous among the nations”. I really doubt that Jewish people would go out of their way to honor his memory and supply him with a pension if he hadn’t done everything he could. It’s hard to know exactly what happened that far in the past, but I’ll trust the actual people he saved over some random guy online that doesn’t know the difference between looser and loser. Anyway, the only reason he needed the money was because he spent almost everything he had trying to save as many people as possible. He even filed for bankruptcy.

          • Joseph

            There’s an exception to any rule. It’s also obvious that he didn’t agree with the core principles of the Nazi party.

      • Jenny Mulhall

        In the years after WW1, the German people were subject to crippling war reparations, crime, poverty and unemployment was extremely high and morale was very low. Hitler and the Nazi party were popular because they created employment (Volkswagen) slashed crime rates to historic lows and rekindled Germany’s pride. As inconspicuous detective said above, many Nazis felt they were doing right; remember it was members who (unsuccessfully) tried to assassinate Hitler once his evil became apparent to those closest to him. Many ordinary Germans simply could not believe that Hitler was guilty of all his crimes, until faced with photographic evidence.

        • Ray

          Part of their platform was the Jews were greedy, materialistic, and subhuman. If you think that’s the right thing, you’re not playing with a full deck of cards.

          • Jenny Mulhall

            How extraordinary that you made such a deduction from my comment! If you care to read a little into it; these dreadful policies were NOT on the platform early in the Nazi party. Jobs, security and pride for Germany were. Once the German people were secure in their confidence in the party and Hitler, these policies started to trickle in. As to my deck of cards; I no more play cards than I jump to childish, hysterical conclusions…

          • Ray

            They were on the platform early on. I’m only one person and I’m probably older than you if that’s your real picture.

          • Jenny Mulhall

            There deeds were as Evil as I have ever come across, whenever they chose to reveal them. I’m sorry I was so sharp in my reply. As to my picture; SPF 50 all of my life! 😉

          • HSVFan

            A famous Quote by Friedrich Nietzche ”
            In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”

          • Wes Johson

            But you’re still an idiot, Ray. read some real texts on the history of Nazi Germany, instead of relying on what you prefer to believe.

        • Liege_Lord

          Oh hell ya we can judge people from another time lol. We can’t say we would have done things differently, that is correct, but we can judge objectively. That said, as a history major, I will agree there were countless variables after WWI that lead to the Nazi rise, but…. so what? Plenty of countries experience horrendous obstacles, you can’t just say, we had it bad so this, anything that starts “In the years after WWI” may was well be followed by blah blah blah blah, became genocidal monsters.
          No excuses here. Lets take a similar horrific situation for a specific group of people, “In the years after WWII, the Jews experienced unfounded hardships….”; now, does that sentence end in, Israel was founded and began commiting mass genocide and instigated a police state? No it doesn’t… because everyone handles hardship differently, but everyone is responsible for their actions regardless.

          • Jenny Mulhall

            Oh dear… wilful misunderstanding really does seem to be the order of the day today, doesn’t it? Thank you for your reply, Liege Lord (and it’s nice to meet another History buff) but I’m afraid that you and Ray have both missed my point. I replied initially in support of Inconspicuous Detective’s point that not all members of the Nazi Party were Evil. Many people confuse the elite SS (‘the Nazis) with the political party which was the Nazi Party. That would be as strange as saying that Mrs. O’Neill down the street is Evil because she supports Sinn Féin (here in Ireland). The years following WW1 caused a perfect storm of many variables (as you said) into which came a man of extraordinary Evil and Influence. Ordinary German people (who were members of the Party) were not evil and were largely ignorant of Hitler’s aims until they were nicely indoctrinated. I hope you enjoy your studies, Liege Lord and I look forward to chatting to you again.

    • The Nationalsozialistishe Deutche Arbeiterparti (Nazi Party) platform was based on militaristic , racial, antisemetic, and nationalistic policies. No one without evil in their hearts and minds joined an organization and “…believed wholeheartedly in what they were doing…. The very idea that one can hate others because they are of a different race or because they are Jewish is evil on it’s face.

      • inconspicuous detective

        i would hesitate to call anything outright evil when it comes to belief. the actions taken by them? yea, that would be evil. but by the token you’re putting out there, ANY particular belief system or ideology can be evil WITHOUT any action taken in the first place. with some nazis, you had some otherwise good people believing in something totally wrong and their actions were evil. if you or i walked into a home in nazi Germany, we’d probably be treated like guests and never once be threatened or msitreated intentionally. but when it came to jews, THEY were evil. THEY sold the Germans out in WWI. THEY are why Germany suffered.

        in an even more odd analogy, imagine if nazis were the persecuted group by communists (which was for a time a very real possibility). you could be making a case for why the antisemetic German socialists were innocent and merely “radical, but not evil.”. that would be where i’m going with this — not justification, allowance, or claiming their actions to be right.

        • Ray

          There’s something seriously wrong with you.

          • inconspicuous detective

            i’m tempted to say something to you, but you miss enough points and troll the better part of three fourths of the time you’re on here. you wanna be right, don’t act like an ass. then maybe someone can slip by and take you seriously. MAYBE.

          • Ray

            This coming from the kid that posts everything he happens to be thinking at the time. This website is kind of like your diary. Being an ass has nothing to do with being right or wrong.

          • inconspicuous detective

            yea, it does. nobody is willing to take you seriously kid. half the time you’re present on here, you’re trolling, and when you’re you sound like a total douchebag. even if you were right, people wouldn’t buy it. if they aren’t ignoring you, they’d just disagree or try to argue because they up and don’t like you. it would do us all better if you just shut up.

          • Ray

            dear diary
            this is incontinent detective again i don’t know what punctuation or capital letters are but also i dont like ray and my invisible friends dont like ray lets tell ray no body likes him

            That’s what I got from your comment. How old are you?

          • inconspicuous detective

            yea alright, whatever. like i said you’re only around to either appear incompetent and try to make light of your sad excuse for an intellect, or you act like an asshole presumably because you get put down in the mundane daily life you lead.

            sad, very, very sad. now get outta here already twerp.

          • Ray

            How old are you?

          • Joseph

            Someone commented that he was 12.

          • Ray

            Now it all makes sense.

          • Joseph

            That’s kind of funny, but you’re still an ass. Stop picking on the kid.

          • Ray

            Fair enough

        • Ridiculous! I don’t even have to reply to specifics here because the flaws in your logic is obvious.

          • inconspicuous detective

            you’re confusing actions with associations. Germans who believed in the ideology who didn’t actively participate in the haulocaust or who were out fighting for Germany weren’t evil. scary that in this day and age people are so quick to cast an entire group down based on the extreme actions of some of that group. probably how america has become so weak is this same thought process with less radical action.

          • reread the ideology, the platform and basic tenants of the Nazi Party. When you join an organization you are declaring your belief in and support for that organization whether or not you perform those functions yourself.

          • inconspicuous detective

            people are out there right now who believe happy and caring men and women are going to be tormented in a pit of fire for eternity when they die, and in some instances take violent action against these people in real life all because of their sexual orientation.

            yet despite this, we don’t consider christians evil. why? i’ll tell you why: because we never went to war with christians. in part we believe “Germans” were evil because that’s where nazism spawned — yet other nations committing the same atrocities — the soviets for instance — are not even remotely comparable to people because of the propaganda and magnitude of the holocaust.

            once more, i’m not saying people were right. i’m not supporting anything the nazis did. i’m saying when an entire group is thrown under the bus because of radical extremists you will have a very scary situation on your hands. think of the atrocities that came about because of that line of thought — that the “other guy” was wrong, evil, sick, weird, twisted, with no consideration for the person beneath the ideology or belief.

            then again, nobody remembers the armenians.

          • Joseph

            I don’t believe Germans are evil for the atrocities the Nazis committed. The Nazis were responsible for the atrocities the Nazis committed. Part of the basic tenants of the Nazi party was racial superiority and hatred for the Jews. People that believe in those ideals were/are evil. Maybe some of them went along with it because it was popular in Germany at the time or wanted to keep their head down, those people may not have been evil. The ones that were racist and committed those acts of atrocity or even agreed with those acts were evil. It’s doesn’t matter if they were nice to their wife. If they wanted the extinction of an entire religion or even just hated those people they were evil.

          • inconspicuous detective

            “People that believe in those ideals were/are evil”

            see this is where i hit a snag with everyone today. if you believe those people to be evil, would that make you evil? essentially, that’s how i’m reading people’s comments here. that “every single person who would in the two decades of the 1930s – 40s say they were a nazi are unforgivably evil” is just a broad way of saying “we blame everybody”.

            it’s just not that simple. for example here: the westburogh baptist church is a christian church, correct? they’re pretty much slime. scum. dare i say evil. would anyone who claims to be a christian then in westborugh then be evil? even if they agree homosexuality is a sin and is worthy of hate and vitriol but don’t participate in the actions of that church, are they evil as well? does this expand to all christians — even those who might be sympathetic to homosexuals? that’s where we begin to see the murk in the water for what it is. when it comes to nazis it’s easy to say “oh they’re all evil” but they weren’t all out killing jews and participating in slaughter. some were nazis because it put country first, or it brought Germany back from the depths of poverty. it gave them pride. it wasn’t about the final solution to every single nazi — and that is where we’re losing eachother.

          • Joseph

            All racist people are evil. The westboro “church” is a hate group and they have 40 members (mostly all in the same family). I would hardly think that a population of 40 can be compared to the entire Christian religion. They are all evil. Yes, everyone that hates homosexuals and wants to do them harm is evil.

          • Starr Brite

            ???????????????!

          • inconspicuous detective

            the common excuse given by the turks for the armeanian genocide is that they were evil and brought it on themselves. similar in more than a few ways to how people are blanketing the nazis as “all evil”. parallels are present between that line of thinking and the line of thinking that all nazis or believers in a particular group are evil, bad, etc.

    • Patriotic Dane

      True, stereotype are extremely hurtful and a person is good or bad whether they were nazi or not, well said my friend…

      • inconspicuous detective

        hey. somebody got it! 😀

        • Patriotic Dane

          🙂

    • Liege_Lord

      Hey man been a while since we conversed via comments hah. I wholeheartedly respect the point your making, and to summarize it in a succinct fashion, I think it is simpler to say “things are not always black and white”, and leave it at that.

      That said, there is one facet to being a Nazi that does make them bad people, and that is they supported the Nazi movement, which was, unquestionably, regardless of whether you “thought” you were doing good, was empirically and objectively immoral. You have to take responsibility for the party in which you belong [this is why people try to differentiate between Nazis and Wehrmacht, the ladder were just German soliders not committed to the party.

      You can be a part of the KKK and be a nice person with some redeeming qualities, but at the end of the day, your part of the KKK. There are plenty of other “groups” that maintain the same “positive” beliefs you have, and if not, go and create one, but it doesn’t change the fact that a core aspect to your group is unmitigated hatred.

      Scharff was Nazi. He may have had “kinder” interrogation tactics, but he wasn’t a good guy. He was trying to syphon intelligence from POWs in order to kill allies and protect the Third Reich. He was protecting a group of people commiting genocide, and it can’t be sugar coated. Was he better than Barbie, ok, but just because you do one thing that seems less horrific than others, it doesn’t justify the end result, his “means to an end” were simply less macabre, and most likely just because it was more effective, or he would have tortured people anyway.

      • inconspicuous detective

        yea you’re right. we haven’t spoken in a while — interesting that it played out this way. anyway, i put it in short and sweet terms but i’ll do it again here too: basically, if everyone in the nation (more or less) is a part of the ideology then exactly who is evil? everyone? what about the guy who is fighting for GERMANY and not the extermination of jews (arguably he is by extension which is everyone else’s point but i digress). or that humble housewife who sees the nation go from rags to riches on the back of militarizing? it is how you said, that things are not black and white. part of the party, part of the reich, but part of the problem? debatable.

    • Kavish Malhotra

      are you talking about the erwin rommel and the afrikaorps

  • Ray

    The only good nazi is a dead nazi.

    • twerps make stupid lists

      You are a true Internet Warrior!

      • Ray

        I’m not sure what that means.

        • twerps make stupid lists

          I know you dont know what it means, and thats why you make the comments that you do.

          • Ray

            That must mean you don’t know what it means either.

          • twerps make stupid lists

            Have you just had a stroke or something?

            I said it to you , of course I know what it means….. to summarize for you Ray, because I dont want you to be confused for the rest of your life. An internet warrior or keyboard warrior, is a complete pussy who likes to talk tough on forums and online message boards…. but would never dare say the things he says in real life.

          • Ray

            That describes you perfectly.

          • twerps make stupid lists

            God Ray, your not even witty or intelligent…. whats the point?
            This quote sums up why your not worth my time.

            “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
            ― Mark Twain

          • Ray

            Lol, well I’ll do the same you retarded little troll. I don’t argue with stupid people or children and you seem like both.

          • twerps make stupid lists

            It takes one sentence from you to contradict yourself (and if I were you, id look up the definition of Troll or do you just use terms you’ve seen on the internet LOL, SWAG ,YOLO ,TWERK) You Go Ray!

          • HSVFan

            you are the stupid person

      • Joseph

        This makes you both look like trolls.

    • Scott

      Oh, I dunno about that. Oskar Schindler was a Nazi and everybody seems to think he’s okay.

      • Scott

        How can you downvote somebody who supports attractive blondes living? Whoever gave me that vote should jump off a high bridge. You didn’t see how hot she was, so you shouldn’t judge! So what she dislikes Jews. I don’t dislike Jews as a whole but I have met some unpleasant people who happened to be Jewish, so I can’t throw stones.

      • Ray

        I only made the comment because inconceivable detective or whatever it is made the opposite. No, she wastes oxygen.

    • Joseph

      This makes you both look like trolls. I know this comment was already made.

  • patrick weidinger

    Interesting and demonstrates what has been known for a long time, you can get a lot more information out of prisoners by not torturing them.

    • Chester

      Sometimes you dont have time to become their friend, hours maybe minuets before an attack, or a potion changes hands so at that point you might have to break some legs.

  • Scott

    You catch more flies with honey than shit. Any good interrogator knows that information extracted through torture has the potential to be false. Make somebody think you’re their buddy and you can take what they say straight to the bank.

    • Joseph

      It depends on the situation and the timeframe to gather the information. I agree with you in general, but torture is faster. Also, it depends on how dedicated they are to their cause. It’s possible that some people would lie no matter what.

  • Scott

    Perhaps if Moulin had been sent to Hanns Scharff, the story would have had a happier ending.

    Like the destruction of the French resistance? I mean, that certainly would have been a happier ending from the German perspective.

    • Chester

      Barbie shouldnt have got out of hand, the most effective way to garner information is psychologically, instead of torturing moulin he should have tortured one of moulins associates in front of moulin. Brutal yet effective.

      • Scott

        I agree. But that would have lead to him cracking and spilling the beans, which would have bode ill for the resistance.

        • Joseph

          I guess he’s taking the German perspective. Well, at least their perspective at that time.

          • Scott

            It’s a valid viewpoint. We’re so conditioned to view history in a “good vs. evil” context but in reality the Germans were just average joes fighting for their beloved homeland, just like everybody else. Regardless of the motivations of the higher-ups in the Nazi government, the vast majority of Germans (and Nazi party members, for that matter) were not horrid, Jew killing monsters. They were people who wanted to ensure that their children would have a bright future. It’s for that reason that I really hate when the German people are demonized.

            I know you didn’t say anything close to that effect and I’m rambling, I’ve had a few drinks and I just get worked up when it comes to history. People are just so ignorant it makes me crazy.

          • Joseph

            The only people I think are evil are the ones that were racist or actively involved in any crimes. I don’t have any idea how much of the German population that would fit, but I hope it was a very small portion. There’s always exceptions to any “rule”, but if a person thinks a Jew is a subhuman dog and it’s ok to kill them, that person is evil. If I’m not mistaken Hitler sent out squads of people to kill German citizens that weren’t trying to fight the Russians at the end. There’s at least some of the Germans themselves that were victims (aside from Jewish Germans).

  • Kavish Malhotra

    what if the resitantce leader had been given to Scharff

    • rincewind

      The SS and Gestapo were sadistic bastards. I think most were more interested in inflicting pain than extracting information. Perhaps this was the reason why Moulin wasn’t sent to Hanns Scharff – Klaus Barbie just wanted to have his fun.

      • Kavish Malhotra

        yeah guess so but its one of the big what ifs

  • rincewind

    The title “The Friendliest Interrogator Of World War II Was A Nazi” is wrong…

    Who says that Hanns Scharff was a nazi? He was just a German soldier doing his job in a professional rather than a sadistic manner. He was drafted into the German Wehrmacht – nothing to do with the Gestapo or SS.

    Only about 12% of the population were Nazi Party members, so the same was probably true of the military. Most enlisted men were probably not. He was a Hauptgefreiter (lance corporal). Like all soldiers in wartime, he was fighting for his homeland. On the other hand, the SS and Gestapo were bastards. I think most were more interested in inflicting pain than extracting information. Perhaps this was the reason why Moulin wasn’t sent to Hanns Scharff – Klaus Barbie just wanted to have his fun with the French Resistance leader, Jean Moulin.

    • Chester

      Your wrong the majority of the SS wernt in concentration camps or torturing prisoners they were part of elite military divisions fighting in the toughest areas in every single German theater of operation.. They were always on the front lines and received the brunt of the enemy’s advances. Contrary to popular belief not all SS soldiers were sadists ( one of the reason the Nazis switched from bullets to gas when implementing the final solution) most were soldiers doing their job and fighting for their country, membership in the NDSP was not mandatory and many people were not part of it in fact more NDSP members were in the Wehrmacht than the SS.

      • rincewind

        The Waffen-SS was created as the armed wing of the Nazi Party. It was never a part of the regular army. At the post-war Nuremberg Trials the Waffen-SS was condemned as a criminal organization due to its essential connection to the Nazi Party and involvement in numerous war crimes.

        I agree with you that they were savage warriors, when they (members of the “master race”) were in combat with actual armed soldiers (sub-humans from mongrel countries such as Britain and America) rather than civilians (defenceless men, women, and children).

        The SS committed many massacres (too many to list here) such as the Marzabotto massacre. Among the victims, 45 were less than 2-years-old, 110 were less than 10-years-old, 95 were less than 16-years-old, 142 were over 60-years-old, 316 were females and five were Catholic priests.

        Anyway, my main point still stands: the title “The Friendliest Interrogator Of World War II Was A Nazi” is wrong…

        • Chester

          Glad to know you can read Wikipedia i know what the SS was for.. The SS also comprised some 38 divisions and after 1939 basically became the elite Vanguard of the German army not all of them where NDSP members so i guess that doesn’t make them Nazis either?? If you fight for Nazi Germany you kinda are by default a Nazi lol whether Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe, Wehrmacht or SS. The SS also never considered Americans and British as sub-human, they left that distinction for The Soviets.

  • Robb Hudspeth

    I don’t even know if I’d classify this guy as a Nazi. He sounds much more like a German Air Force Intelligence Officer. There’s a difference. Most members of the German armed forces were not Nazis. In fact, they were the ones trying to assassinate Hitler. But “Nazi” gets the clicks.

    • HSVFan

      Yeah like when shows say nazi soldiers, they should say wehrmacht soldiers.

  • Michael

    The Germans were heros in World War 2

  • Christina Winker

    “Friendly”? How is a sociopath interrogator being described as friendly? Smfh

    • HSVFan

      Not a sociopath if he was invited to POW dinners.

  • Christina Winker

    I mistakenly read the comments here and for the love of god YOU ARE = YOU’RE
    IF YOU’RE UNSURE WHICH your/you’re TO USE IN YOUR COMMENT, PLAY IT SAFE AND SPELL THE SHIT OUT! I had to read countless “your wrong” comments. How does that happen?!

    • Chester

      Because most people arnt Grammar Harpys. Your on the Internet get over it.

  • 1000 Things

    Interesting read…talented man