On arrest Helmuth was taken to the RSHA offices in the PrinzAlbrechtstrasse at the south end of the Wilhelmstrasse (appropriately enough, the site is today occupied by the Berlin Wall and the East German Ministry for State Security). This was the principal city centre for interrogation. The SD have probably acquired a false image of being as stupid as they were brutal and clumsy in their brutality. In fact some of the cleverest upholders of the régime had found their way into the service and they were often smooth, superficially affable, almost gentlemanly — though none the less sinister on that account. They had no respect for human life but could recognise intelligence and courage when they encountered it. They showed discrimination in their choice of methods and interrogations could be conducted in soft leather chairs just as much as under arc lamps. Helmuth was never tortured, partly out of respect to the Field-Marshal’s heir (the reason given by Heinrich Müller, the head of the Gestapo) but partly because their estimate of his character led them to think that it would be ineffective. In the autumn, however, he believed that drugs were being put in his food to make him talk.
KeywordsPolitical Prisoner False Image Preventive Detention Inherent Dignity Official Colleague
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