Occupied France -1943
Hard Arrest – French Resistance PRIMROSE CIRCUIT Safe House
The unmarked Citroens roared out of the yard at the rear of the Gestapo Regional Headquarters, klaxons blaring. The object was to get to the target address in the French provincial town before the Resistance terror cell had a chance to disperse. Several streets away from the target the vehicles “went quiet”, turning off their warning horns so as not to alert the terrorists. The cars carrying the Stop Team peeled off, heading for the rear of the premises to prevent any of the occupants escaping through back yards. The Assault Team vehicles blocked either end of the quiet street and men in French civilian clothes, but cradling MP40 machine pistols with their skeleton stocks folded, jogged up the pavement and crouched on either side of the target doorway. They quickly pulled on red and white armbands with a Swastika emblem to identify themselves in case of friendly fire. Residents and pedestrians in the street quickly found other things to do and other places to be. The three men of the Door Entry Team, leather coats over French
Bleu de Travail working clothes, strolled down the centre of the street. Under two of the coats were sawn off shotguns loaded with solid ball and under the third was a sledgehammer. Level with the doorway the three turned smartly. The shotguns blasted the top and bottom hinges, the sledgehammer swung and the door crashed inwards. The Entry Team stepped aside and the Assault Team swept into the building, yelling “Gehieme Staatspolizei, Hande Hoch!” to dominate the occupants. A man appeared at the top of the stairs brandishing a pistol. A burst from an MP40 smashed him against the wall. He slid down it, rolled over and began leaking into the stair carpet. The team charged up the stairs, several of them trampling on the man as they passed. Someone kicked the pistol away. In an upstairs room they found a girl in a long skirt trying to escape through a window. They dragged her back, kicking and punching her, and held her against the wall. The Team Leader sauntered over, his machine pistol hanging round his neck on a strap.
“Catherine, I presume?” he said and punched her hard in the stomach.
They hooded and manacled the girl and dragged her down the stairs, throwing her into the back of the waiting Citroen. Two of the team jumped in and sat on her, their hands pawing at her roughly as the car pulled away.
Gestapo Region 5 Headquarters - Department E3 - Counter Terror Section
In the occupied territories the Gestapo Counter Terror Section tried to keep as low a profile as possible, so both Specialist Interrogator Margit Kessler and her young assistant Elsa Bauer were wearing civilian blouses and skirts under the white doctor coats they wore for the psychological impact, known as “white coat syndrome”, on their subjects. Knowing that he had been responsible for the deaths of German soldiers, neither of them had any sympathy for the naked young man, a boy really, splayed out on the steel interrogation table. In terrible pain from his ruined testicles the boy was moaning and crying, writhing as much as the leather straps on his wrists and ankles allowed.
Kessler was prepared to concede that, actually, he had done quite well, managing to resist the nail pulling and dry drowning. It wasn’t until Bauer had slipped the clamp over his balls and started to tighten it, half a turn at a time, that the screaming had turned to pleading and information had spewed out of him.
Kessler knew that, whilst he had been given up to them by a previous subject as Robert Carrere, he was actually an operator with the British Special Operations Executive and she doubted that he was even French. No matter. He had given them the address of the safe house where the Circuit Courier, Catherine, was resident and, after Kessler had opened the microphone link to their Ready Room, the plainclothes Rapid Response Group, made up of SS and SD Troopers on secondment, had scrambled. The French Resistance terrorists operated on a cell system, limiting the information that any one person held. The Circuit Courier however had, of necessity, far more information about personnel, places and events and this made them a high value target. Once he had broken she had milked the boy dry, before instructing Bauer to remove the clamp, and now his usefulness was at an end.
He looked pitiful, his face streaked with tears, his scrotum black and swollen to the size of a tennis ball. She leant over him, telling him that her assistant was going to administer pain relief.
Bauer, who had been cleaning and stowing away the interrogation implements, heard the instruction and went to her locker. Opening it, she took out her Walther service pistol, cocking it as she walked back to the table. Kessler had moved down the table out of the line of fire but, even so, the sleeve of her coat was spattered as Bauer put the muzzle of the pistol to the boy’s temple and squeezed the trigger. The boy just had time to scream “Nooo!” before his brains splashed onto the tiled floor.
Under the CLEAN HOUSE Directive the bodies of prisoners subjected to Level 3 Interrogation were to be bagged and dispatched by the first available transport across the occupied territories to the nearest Extermination camp, where they would be fed through the crematorium as a “special” and no records would be kept.
Kessler instructed Bauer to summon the cleaners.
Basement Cell Block – Gestapo Headquarters
They had stripped and body searched her, looking for suicide capsules. Then, holding her down, members of the Rapid Response Group had taken turns with her, laughing and slapping her as they did so.
Now, naked and hooded, the girl Catherine was chained to the wall, awaiting the attentions of the Interrogation Team. Just to keep the pressure on, every time they passed the guards rattled their truncheons against the bars of the cell.
Secure Billet – Gestapo Personnel
Kessler and Bauer signed out from the Headquarters building and walked across the square and up the stairs to the billet they shared on the top floor of the secure building. After showing their passes to the Security staff they let themselves in through the ornate double doors.
Once they had taken off the civilian coats hiding the holsters and placed their weapons in the drawer of their bedside cabinet Kessler pointed to a spot on the floor and Bauer stood on it, eyes cast down meekly. Without speaking, Kessler strutted round her, inspecting her. Close to, she smelled of Rose Water with a hint of sweat. Kessler unbuttoned the girl’s blouse, sliding it off and casting it aside. Her brassiere followed. Kessler told Bauer to put her hands on her head and she did so, showing her cropped underarm hair. Kessler knelt in front of her, unfastening the side buttons on her skirt. It slid down and Bauer stepped out of it, leaving just her Apricot coloured lace trimmed full briefs. With her face level with Bauer’s thick, dark bush Kessler pulled them down to her ankles. Knowing what was expected of her, Bauer sank to her knees, keeping her hands on her head. Kessler kissed her briefly, then stood up and began to undress. When she was naked she went and sat on a velvet covered armchair in the corner, putting a leg over each arm.
“Crawl over here, bitch, and lick me. Lick me until I tell you stop.”
Bauer obediently crawled across, leaving her knickers on the floor behind her, and began to lap.
Kessler wound her hand into the girl’s hair, pulling her head away as she began to climax, and then pushing it back down as the sensation subsided. When she could stand it no longer she ordered Bauer onto the bed. Using fingers and tongues, the two women pleasured each other noisily, much to the discomfort of the Security guard stationed outside, who was left with a rock hard erection and no means of dealing with it.
Afterwards they shared a bath, lathering each other with Lavender scented soap and discussing the procedures for the forthcoming interrogation of the girl Catherine. Then they rinsed, towelled one another and climbed naked into the big bed.
Interrogation – Catherine – Circuit Courier – PRIMROSE Circuit
Phases of Level 3 Interrogation
Disposal then follows.
The subject Catherine, still hooded, her naked body covered in cuts and bruises from the treatment she had received, was hanging by the wrists, with her feet just clear of the floor, from leather straps attached to a pulley in the ceiling. Other straps round her ankles were attached to ring bolts in the floor, pulling her legs wide apart. She was alternately crying and moaning.
Bauer, clad in the normal white coat, was moving about the room preparing the implements that Kessler had specified. Noticing that the subject’s nipples were stiff with fear she stopped in front of her, pinching them hard between finger and thumb, making the girl shriek with pain and surprise. Bauer told her that, if she thought that was pain, she should wait until the officer arrived. Pretty soon she would be screaming her lungs out. Bauer laughed and moved on.
The door opened and in came Kessler. She smiled at Bauer and, without speaking, picked up one of the thin, flexible steel rods that Bauer had leant against the wall. Bauer picked up the other one and the two women took up station on either side of the subject. On a signal from Kessler they began to whip the subject, back and front, Kessler working on her breasts and belly and Bauer on her back and buttocks.
After a few minutes they both began to flag and Kessler called a halt. The subject’s body was crisscrossed with angry red wheals, some of them open and bleeding. Bauer had been right about the screaming.
While Bauer pulled on a pair of protective gloves, Kessler reached up and pulled the hood off the subject’s head, revealing a blotchy, tear streaked face, eyes screwed shut against the sudden glare of the lights. Bauer moved round behind her, ready to hold her steady.
Adopting a conversational tone Kessler, pulling on her own gloves, told the subject what was about to happen to her. Pointing to the two glass bottles with droppers on the implements trolley which Bauer had prepared, she explained that they contained Hydrochloric Acid. Did Catherine know that acid smoked as it burned? She was about to find out. Ignoring the tearful protests and sobbing she detailed the order in which it was going to be used. Nipples, one at a time, first. Then, allowing her gaze to move down the subject’s body, they would proceed to even more sensitive areas. Finally, the eyes, one at a time. Then, burned and blinded, they would have her shipped off to a camp. They would take bets in the Mess as to how long she would last in that condition.
By this time the subject was almost hysterical.
. As Kessler picked the first bottle and took out the dropper Bauer moved in close, pressing against the girl’s bloodied back, marking her white coat in the process. Reaching round she squeezed the subject’s left breast with both hands, offering the nipple to Kessler. Kessler allowed a single drop to fall onto it and then both women stood back, allowing the subject to thrash against the straps. The panic gradually subsided as the body realised that it was not, in fact, burning.
Kessler smiled at Catherine.
“That was just a demonstration. Water. The next one is real.”
Unscrewing the dropper on the second bottle she put it up to the subject’s nose so she could smell the fumes. Slowly, while Bauer took a tight grip, she held up the dropper.
Catherine was rigid with terror.
Kessler appeared to consider.
“Since you’ve got nice tits you have one chance, and one chance only, to tell me when and where the next liaison aircraft is coming from England. Unfortunately, your friend Robert didn’t know.”
Offered a last second reprieve the subject was shrieking
“Tonight! Tonight! Its tonight!”
Exactly what Kessler had been aiming for. Broken.
Kessler was tempted to drip acid onto the terrorist bitch anyway but she realised that it would be counterproductive at this stage.
All thoughts of resistance were crushed and the subject sobbed out the answers almost before she had finished the questions.
Having been given the “pain relief” order Bauer was kneeling in front of the subject, enjoying her fear as she worked the barrel of her service pistol as far up inside the girl as she could get it. During the struggle the little foresight had caught on something and blood was running down Catherine’s thighs. Eventually, tiring of the subject’s pleading and crying, Bauer got fed up and squeezed the trigger. The shot was muffled by the girl’s body, the small calibre bullet tearing upwards through her but not killing her immediately. Bauer ripped her pistol free and watched as the girl jerked and juddered and died, blood gushing out of her and pooling on the floor. When the body eventually stopped moving Bauer released the pulley and let it fall, splashing in its own blood. She wiped her pistol barrel on its thigh and sniffed dismissively.
More work for the cleaners.
Gestapo Headquarters/Town Square
Kessler had gone straight into a meeting to discuss the interception of the British aircraft and, after organising the cleaners and stripping and cleaning her weapon, Bauer was at a loose end. She felt grubby after the exertions in the interrogation room and decided to go back to the billet to freshen up. She signed out of the building and was crossing the square when, suddenly, she was jostled by three men. She knew that there was a problem but, before she could reach her service pistol, her hands were pinioned behind her and a sack, smelling strongly of Garlic, was pulled over her head. A voice whispered in her ear
“This is for Robert.”
She heard a vehicle pull up and she was pushed inside.
Lucas Farm – 0200 hrs.
Kessler sat in the back of an open Kubelwagen feeling cold, tired and pretty much a spare part. As a linguist, fluent in French and English, she had been ordered to attend the raid on the Lucas Farm, given up as the landing site by Catherine, and subsequent interception of the British liaison aircraft. Quite what her presence was going to achieve she wasn’t sure.
The farmer Lucas was already dead, having started to resist when the SS had begun to strip his wife and young daughter, and now those two were on their way to a camp. The SS Troopers were hidden around the designated field awaiting the aircraft’s arrival.
Vaguely, she wondered what had become of Bauer. She hadn’t been at the billet when Kessler had gone to change into uniform for the raid. Kessler knew that she had signed out “On Enquiries”, which, as everyone knew, could mean anything that you wanted it to mean. She hoped that Bauer would be there when she returned.
There was a barely audible thrumming as the high wing, short take-off and landing Lysander from the RAF Special Duties Squadron approached.
As the the correct recognition code, also given up by Catherine, was flashed from a torch it swept overhead, turning to land into the wind.
SS Troopers, their helmets removed so as not to present the wrong silhouette, lit the smoke pots marking the makeshift runway.
Barely visible in its matt black paint job, engine throttled right back to a slow, deep throb, the short. stubby aircraft with the large, out of proportion wingspan touched down at the end of the field. It slowed rapidly, but was still going fast enough to somersault onto its back when its undercarriage caught in the wire that had been stretched across the field in its path. The engine screamed briefly then seized as the propeller dug into the earth.
In the light from the smoke pots the Germans could see the pilot hanging upside down in the cockpit, struggling with his harness.
Suddenly, there was a bloom of flame as fuel was ignited by the hot engine. No one moved to help the pilot as his movements became frantic and then the tank blew and the whole aircraft was engulfed in fire.
They could hear the high, banshee screeching as the pilot danced in the flames, then it stopped as his vocal chords burnt away in the tremendous heat. He still danced, writhing and twisting in his funeral pyre.
Like most special Duties pilots he had been flying with an automatic weapon, probably a Sten Gun, slung round his neck and now the ammunition began to cook off, sending 9mm rounds at random into the bushes at the edge of the field. A nervous soul began to return fire until screamed at by an NCO.
Gradually, when there was nothing left to burn, the fire died down and the SS began to clear the site.
The carcass of the aircraft, with the bones of the pilot still in situ, would be left as a warning to anyone thinking of getting involved with the Resistance. The SS knew that, in time, information about the interception, maybe even pictures, would find its way back to the British.
From the Germans’ point of view it was a good night’s work.
Gestapo Headquarters/ Town Square
Kessler sat at her desk in a cold, killing rage.
Bauer hadn’t returned to the billet, and she hadn’t reported for duty, but she had turned up – or at least, part of her had.
Her head, still with an agonised and terrified expression on its face, had been found by a patrol spiked on the railing of the local public lavatory.
A sign tied round the head said
THIS IS FOR ROBERT CARERRE
A uniformed SS detachment was out rounding up hostages for the normal reprisals.
Kessler was supposed to be completing an After Action report on the Lucas Farm raid but she couldn’t concentrate and decided to go and watch the execution of the hostages.
She signed out of the building and was crossing the square when, suddenly, she was jostled by three men. She knew that there was a problem but, before she could reach her service pistol, her hands were pinioned behind her and a sack, smelling strongly of Garlic, was pulled over her head. A voice whispered in her ear
“This is for Catherine.”
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