Geheime FeldPolizei

GFP office Brussels

While being held by the Geheime Feldpolizei in Rue Traversiere, Yvonne DELOGE was interrogated by a GFP agent called BRODMEIER, who gave her a very hard slap in the face because she would not reply to the questions he asked. Jennie DE SUTTER, wife of Marcel VAN DER STUYFT, had had Yvonne DELOGE arrested, and then had herself shut-up in the same cell as Yvonne, in an effort to win her confidence and to get her to reveal information about people hiding Allied servicemen. DE SUTTER and her husband, who had both been sentenced for currency trafficking, were both used by the GFP as "stoolpigeons" to trap Resistance workers, and to try to get them to bring Allied servicemen to them.

Louisa DELOGE had been arrested by BRODMEIER who afterwards interrogated her. She was interrogated 17 times by him, and during a short absence, she was attacked by one of his assistants (obviously on his orders), who gave her a violent punch in the mouth which broke two teeth. Despite repeated requests, BRODMEIER refused to allow her a change of underwear (in a parcel which someone, perhaps her mother, had sent in for her), on the grounds that she was a prisoner in solitary confinement.

The following description of the GFP comes from German Military Police Units 1939-45 by Gordon Williamson & Ron Volstad. Published by Osprey Publishing.

"The Geheime Feldpolizei-GeFePo or GFP- was Germany's 'plain clothes' military police, somewhat similar to the British Special Investigation Branch (SIB) of the Military Police. It was formed in 21 JULY 1939 by order of the chief of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, Generaloberst Wilhelm Keitel. Members of the GFP were classed as Wehrmachtsbeamten or 'military officials'.The functions of the Geheime Feldpolizei were many, and included counter-espionage, counter sabotage, detection of treasonable activity and counter-propaganda. The Geheime Feldpolizei also assisted the Army legal system in investigations for courts martial. Officials of the Geheime Feldpolizei, largely recruited from the Criminal Police, had similar authority to those of the Polizei and Sicherheitsdienst. In carrying out their duties they could wear whatever civilian clothes or uniform was considered appropriate. Each member had, in addition to his ID disc and Soldbuch, a pass in green card showing his photo in civil and military dress, and a police warrant disc. By virtue of his special identity papers, the GFP official was entitled to pass through military roadblocks enter military buildings; utilise military signals and communications equipment; commandeer military vehicles; procure military supplies and accommodation wherever necessary in execution of his duty; and use public transport systems free. Some of the general tasks allocated the GFP official include: personal escort to various military VIP's; assistance to state security personnel in counter espionage work; interrogation of captured enemy soldiers; detection of enemy aliens using German ID/uniforms, etc.; securing of telegram and mail facilities on entering enemy territory; securing of railway terminals; searching out enemy radio equipment and signal detection; rounding-up inflammatory and libellous materials; precautionary measures against rail sabotage; detection of enemy agents dropped by parachute; assistance at customs posts against smuggling; watch on river traffic; prevention of unauthorised travel; checking travel papers; watch on neutral personnel (i.e. diplomatic and military attachés, etc.) and on foreign newspaper correspondents, etc. The overlap between some of the duties of the Feldgendarmerie and Geheime Feldpolizei is clear but by no means unique, as some overlap between the work of all security agencies is inevitable."

Other Geheime FeldPolizei operatives in Brussels at the time of the arrests and who were involved in their interrogation were: Cmd.Ober Feldwebel Frithjof KLEINPAUL (pictured left) born at Dresden on the 15th February 1903 his home was at Flensburg . Was a professor in a commerce school in Leipzig. Spoke good French. Feld polizei-inspector Paul BROSAN born at Breskow 27 November 1906 lived in Berlin where he worked for the Criminal police. Feldwebel Alois PEDERZANI born 4th Jube 1900 at Israeldorf, living in Lubeck in 1940. Was interpreter at the Rue Traversiere and knew perfect English.

Former RAF airman Harry Levy, author of "Dark Side of the Sky", who was taken to Rue Traversiere after his arrest writes in July 2001 "It is of course particular interest to me in that the reference to the Rue Traversiere, must be the same building to which I was taken when arrested in Brussels and later taken to, from St.Gilles on several occasions during the first two weeks of my imprisonment. I do make a brief reference to it in my book, when I remark on the apparent normality of the place. I quote- "At the Feldpolizei headquarters we passed queues of men and women waiting for documents and all the other paraphernalia necessary for citizens living in an occupied city. As we entered the building, the two Germans on either side of me, people looked at us out of the corner of an eye, not turning their heads. Inside the building there were no screams, no frightening sounds. Soldiers and civilians went about their business." I was struck by the normality of the place. The officer who interrogated me, just typed the answers. Despite my obvious lies he made no comment - seemingly, a clerk in soldiers uniform."

However the treatment of the Belgians was all together tougher especially towards the end of the occupation.

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© John Clinch 2002