The claim is from a book by an author called Rupert Butler.

Butler wrote an anti-Nazi book entitled Legions of Death. At the beginning of Legions of Death, Butler expresses his gratitude to two persons, one of whom being British officer of Jewish origin by the name of Bernard Clarke. In the book, Bernard Clarke said that he was the person who captured Rudolf Höss. Numerous written or recorded statements by Bernard Clarke are quoted throughout Legions of Death.

Quote from the book (commandant’s last name is spelled Hoess instead of Höss):

The prisoner was torn from the top bunk, the pyjamas ripped from his body. He was dragged naked to one of the slaughter tables, where it seemed to Clarke the blows and screams were endless. Eventually the Medical Officer urged the Captain: ‘Call them off, unless you want to take back a corpse. A blanket was thrown over Hoess and he was dragged to Clarke’s car, where the sergeant poured a substantial slug of whisky down his throat. Then Hoess tried to sleep. Clarke thrust his service stick under the man’s eyelids and ordered in German: ‘Keep your pig eyes open, you swine. The first time Hoess trotted out his oft-repeated justification: “I took my orders from Himmler. I am a soldier in the same way as you are a soldier and we had to obey orders.” The party arrived back at Heide around three in the morning. The snow was swirling still, but the blanket was torn from Hoess and he was made to walk completely nude through the prison yard to his cell. It took three days to get a coherent statement out of him. But once he started talking, there was no holding him.

Other than this book, is there any corroboration that

  1. Clarke was the one who arrested Hoess

  2. Clarke was present when Hoess was interrogated

  3. Hoess was physically abused?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – MCW
    Jun 11, 2021 at 1:57
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    @NeMo I think is good, I've done only a small edit for a typo in the title, now is more focused on this specific source, thanks
    – Viralk
    Jun 11, 2021 at 9:32
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    @justCal since you are very knowledgeable on the subject, so why not post it as an answer? In the end that's just what I wanted to know and it took a myriad of comments and discussions. He was beaten during his capture not as a form of torture. It really was hard...
    – Viralk
    Jun 11, 2021 at 15:00
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    @rs.29: Your NYTimes link above is broken. Estimating the correct drop for a hanging is at least as much art as science. A tad too little and you suffocate the condemned; a tad too much and you decapitate. Jun 11, 2021 at 17:12
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    @rs.29: No, it's not science. How do I know? Because the Table of Drops kept changing as they realized the values weren't working as advertised. Jun 12, 2021 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


Here is what Rudolf Höss had to say about this in his Death Dealer: The memoirs of the SS Kommandant at Auschwitz (Da Capo Press, 1996):

Compared to where I had been before, imprisonment with the IMT [International Military Tribunal] was like staying in a health spa. […] Even though the prison conditions were good in every aspect and I now had time to read from an extensive library made available to us, the interrogators were really not pleasant. Physically there was no problem, but more so were the mental and emotional effects. I cannot really blame the interrogators — they were all Jews. I was for all intents and purposes psychologically dissected. That's how accurately they wanted to know everything — this was also done by Jews.

So, it is clear that he was not physically abused at Nuremberg. He does not mention Bernard Clarke. If you want it, I can add to my answer what Höss had to say about how he was treated by the British Field Security Police.

  • Page 20f, please. Jun 12, 2021 at 14:38
  • @LаngLаngС What do you mean? The only relevant passage on page 20 is the final paragraph. Is that what you have in mind? Jun 12, 2021 at 14:41
  • That and the following analysis are most relevant, like 2nd para on p21, in all its unambiguousness. After all, the real claim here is that tainted confessions invalidate the conclusions in a very 'far-(right)-reaching manner'. Jun 12, 2021 at 14:44
  • The final paragraph of page 20 is about how Höss was treated by the British Field Security Police, and I wrote in my answer that I would add that part of his testimony if the OP wants me to do that. Jun 12, 2021 at 14:48

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