The bathtub, whether you will it or not, was still more humane.

—Masuy at his trial, 19471


5
Bathtubs

After defeating France in 1940, the German government divided the country into two zones. Germany occupied the northern zone. A dependent government, Vichy, ran the southern zone.

In the northern zone, mainly in Paris, several French gangs conducted intelligence operations on behalf of the Germans. French historians refer to these gangs by their leaders: Lafont and Bonny, Masuy, or Berger. They are known collectively as the “French Gestapo.” Then there were groups that operated outside of Paris. Vichy had a brutal security force, the Milice, and police squads, the most notorious of which was run by Inspector Marty in Toulouse.

In later generations, Frenchmen dismiss these torturers as “a miserable handful of traitors not worth mentioning.”2 Traitors they undoubtedly were, but historians certainly think they are worth mentioning for their inventive tortures. Jacques Delarue, the main French historian of the Gestapo, compares the French Gestapo to the medieval craft-torturers, noting how proudly they produced “variations and discoveries.”3 Alec Mellor, the postwar scholar of torture, singled out the Belgian torturer, Masuy. With Masuy, “Modern torture has found its first theoretician and this inhuman century had the doctrinaire that it merited.” Mellor suggested that the twentieth century be dubbed “the Century of Masuy.”4

In this chapter, I describe innovation in torture technique among the French gangs, for “in the domain of torture, the French agents were more refined and more cruel. They showed themselves more Nazi than the Nazis themselves.”5 First, I describe the two most inventive agents, Masuy and Marty. Masuy in Paris claimed a new approach to water torture. Marty in Toulouse

-108-

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Torture and Democracy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • Torture and Democracy xxv
  • Introduction 1
  • I - Torture and Democracy 33
  • 1: Modern Torture and Its Observers 35
  • 2: Torture and Democracy 45
  • II - Remembering Stalinism and Nazism 65
  • 3: Lights, Heat, and Sweat 69
  • 4: Whips and Water 91
  • 5: Bathtubs 108
  • III - A History of Electric Stealth 121
  • 6: Shock 123
  • 7: Magnetos 144
  • 8: Currents 167
  • 9: Singing the World Electric 190
  • 10: Prods, Tasers, and Stun Guns 225
  • 11: Stun City 239
  • IV - Other Stealth Traditions 259
  • 12: Sticks and Bones 269
  • 13: Water, Sleep, and Spice 279
  • 14: Stress and Duress 294
  • 15: Forced Standing and Other Positions 316
  • 16: Fists and Exercises 334
  • 17: Old and New Restraints 347
  • 18: Noise 360
  • 19: Drugs and Doctors 385
  • V - Politics and Memory 403
  • 20: Supply and Demand for Clean Torture 405
  • 21: Does Torture Work? 446
  • 22: What the Apologists Say 480
  • 23: Why Governments Don't Learn 519
  • 24: The Great Age of Torture in Modern Memory 537
  • A - A List of Clean Tortures 553
  • B - Issues of Method 557
  • C - Organization and Explanations 566
  • D - A Note on Sources for American Torture During the Vietnam War 581
  • Notes 593
  • Selected Bibliography 781
  • Index 819
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