Interrogators in History

Hans Scharff

Hanns Joachim Scharff

Master Luftwaffe Interrogator Hanns Scharff advocated against the use of coercive techniques in interrogation. The American POWs he once interrogated so respected him that after World War II they helped him immigrate to the United States, where Scharff worked for US forces then started a new life as a tile and mosaic artist.

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Sherwood Moran In Japan 1945

 Sherwood F. Moran

Between 1916 and 1940, Sherwood Moran worked as a missionary with the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in Japan. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he volunteered as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, and served as a linguist and interrogator. Moran recognized that torture was not only against American values but also would be unproductive for gaining useful intelligence from the Japanese. He developed effective, humane techniques that shape military interrogation doctrine to this day. Here is the complete text of his 1943 memo on best practices for “interviewing” Japanese prisoners. A short article on Major Moran from History Commons is linked below. His papers are available at Oberlin college.