Schreider’s 100 questions

Sturmbannführer (Major) Joseph Schreider, the head of counter-espionage and counter-sabotage in Holland, following the war, provided a list of the questions he wanted his interrogators to ask their captured SOE and SIS agents. They indicate just how exhaustively they questioned the early captives and what information they had managed to extricate about the inner workings of the British secret services. It needs to be added that the British interrogators very likely used exactly the same type of questions to captured German agents.

  1. Length of stay in ENGLAND before the agent set out on his mission

  2. Had the agent fled from HOLLAND or where did he originally come from?

  3. To which Resistance Organisation did he belong in Holland?

  4. What position did he hold in the organisation and what were his duties?

  5. Why did he escape from HOLLAND?

  6. When did he escape?

  7. Name, description, last and probable present residence of refugees, who might, even if only temporarily, have gone with him.

  8. Detailed description of escape route.

  9. In which transit camps for refugees did he stay on his journey?

  10. Did he meet any persons known to him in any of these camps?

  11. What organisations or individuals aided him in his flight, either financially or by other means, e.g. providing him with contacts, etc?

  12. When did he arrive in ENGLAND?

  13. To which or by what British or Dutch officials did he report or was he expected on arrival? (Name and address of such officials and location of such offices including a description of the personnel employed there.)

  14. Did he meet any Dutch or other refugees whom he knew personally at these places?

  15. Did the agent, before being sent to a screening camp (Ueberprüfungslager), come into contact with any officials other than those he had reported to or was met by in the first place?

  16. Name and location of screening camp. (Was it under English or Dutch supervision?)

  17. Length of stay at the screening camp.

  18. How many people of Dutch or other nationality lived in such a camp?

  19. Did he personally know any of the inmates of the camp? If so, name, address and probable permanent residence.

  20. Who interrogated him?

  21. What questions were put to him?

  22. Place of residence and occupation after he left the screening camp.

  23. When, where, by whom and under what circumstances was he asked to become an agent?

  24. When and where did he agree to become and sign on as an agent? (British or Dutch Office?)

  25. What other persons, there for the same purpose, did he meet on that occasion? (Name, description, residence.)

  26. After signing on, was he at once sent to a school for agents, or was he given a place to live in (flat, house) and told to await further orders? (Name and location of school or residence.)

  27. Names and descriptions of any other persons with whom he shared a flat or house, during the waiting period.

  28. Were these people also waiting for further orders?

  29. When was he first sent to an agents’ school?

  30. How and through whom did he get his orders?

  31. By what means and by whom was he taken to the school?

  32. Was he taken to the school alone or did he travel with others?

    The number of schools attended by the agent were to be given in chronological order and for each school the following points had to be covered:

  33. Name and/or number of school.

  34. Name of town, village, etc.

  35. Other details of location.

  36. Description of school building (external appearance, internal layout).

  37. Name and description of Commander in Chief and instructors. What subjects were taught by individual instructors?

  38. The name under which the agent was known at the school.

  39. Number and names of his co-pupils (real name, any alias, nickname, term of endearment or school name). Description of his co-pupils. What does the agent know about the individual pupils?

  40. Did he get to know members of any other course?

  41. Details of school curriculum.

  42. What was taught in each subject?

  43. What were the practical exercises like?

  44. What apparatus or materials were used for such exercises?

  45. Give the daily routine from reveille to Lights-out.

  46. Length of time spent in each school.

  47. Was the agent conveyed from school to school singly or with other pupils? Id so, names.

  48. Who was in charge of such transport?

  49. Where did the agent live in the intervals between courses (schooling) if one course did not immediately follow the other.

  50. If any of his co-pupils left in the middle of a course or did not arrive at the next school, give their possible employment.

  51. Give the description as in No. 39 of any newcomers to the school.

  52. Where did the agent live after completion of schooling and before going on operations? (If he did not stay at a Holding School.)

  53. Which other agents lived with him?

  54. With which British or Dutch authorities or officials did the agent come into contact before going on ops?

  55. When and who handed the agent his written operation orders? When and to whom did he return these orders after learning them by heart?

  56. Repeat verbatim such orders (orders to be written out by the agent by hand in the second person.)

  57. Did the agent have any knowledge of the orders given to other agents?

  58. In connection with the first part of the agent’s mission, did he get any addresses of contacts in HOLLAND?

  59. Were agents supplied with contacts outside HOLLAND and if so, why?

  60. Name and description of agents with whom he was to work. Were the latter already at work or were they to be dropped with him?

  61. Date on which he commenced operations.

  62. Had the agent been dropped or had he been sent ashore from a boat? (The latter method was no longer in use after April 1942.)

  63. Were British or Dutch officers or any other people present at the farewell dinner?

  64. Name and description of any agent at these farewell dinners. (When did they go on operations?)

  65. Who took the agent to the starting point?

  66. Which other agents started the same evening in other aircraft? (Names, descriptions.)

    NOTE: There were no questions about the name or location of the airfield out of which they were flown.

  67. Does the agent know about the operational use of other agents?

  68. Cover-name used by the agent while on board the aircraft.

  69. Name, description and mission of other agents travelling on the same aircraft.

  70. Exact time of start.

  71. When and where were the agents dropped?

  72. When and where and with whom had the agent been dropped?

  73. Were any WT (Wireless Transmission) or DF (Direction Finding) sets dropped and where are they now?

  74. If these sets were not used by the agent or agents, for whom were they intended.

  75. Was it part of the duty of the agent or agents to deliver letters or parcels (disguised objects) to addresses given to him in ENGLAND?

  76. Was the agent received in the dropping area?

  77. What passwords did he have to exchange with the person who met him?

  78. What was the text of his message reporting his successful landing? Did such a message have a check (control)?

  79. How was the report sent? By pigeon or by W/T?

  80. Where was the agent taken after he landed?

  81. Where were any others taken after he landed?

  82. Name used on the agent’s personal pass.

  83. Names used on other agents’ personal passes.

  84. Name used by the agent and his assistants in the WT messages.

  85. Did the agent have a WT operator with him or did he transmit himself? In the first case di the agent have his own code?

  86. Number and make of WT sets.

  87. Name and location of the transmission site. Next time for transmission.

  88. Brief description of basic code used (book-code, poetry-code, transposition tables, etc.).

  89. Brief description of other coding methods used by the agent (letter code, Playfair, Platzbestimmung).

  90. The possible use of an agent’s number or key cipher (Detailed interrogation on WT technicalities and ciphers was done by officials of the Orpo (Ordnungspolizei) and Kriminaloberseketär) MAY-Controls.)

  91. How much money did the agent or agents carry and for what purpose was the money to be used?

  92. Did the agent or agents receive any orders other than the written orders?

  93. What did the agent do until his arrest and what part of his mission had he accomplished?

  94. Had the agent collaborated with any resistance organisation and to what did his collaboration amount?

  95. What channels for contacting his assistant were used by the agent and how could he get hold of his assistant in case of emergency?

  96. Number and contents of WT messages sent and received by the agent until his arrest. (Who drafted and encoded these messages?)

  97. Name and description of any other agents whom he met after he had been dropped. (How could he get in touch with them?)

  98. Did the agent contact any of his relations? E.g. parents, wife?

  99. With whom, where and at what time has the agent appointments which he has not yet fulfilled?

  100. Has the agent or his assistant received orders to return to ENGLAND within a certain time, or is he expecting someone from there?

(Appendix 5 in Michaeol Foot’s SOE in the Low Countries, (2001), St Ermin’s Press, pp.503-508)

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