Memorandum by Howard Elting, Jr., American Consulate, 12 October 1944
October 12, 1944
There are at present 17 American aviators in St. Antoine Prison, Geneva. They were beaten up on arrival in an attempt to make them tell who had tried to pass them over the frontier. This was done in the presence of First Lieutenant Odier (officer in charge of the Geneva arrondissement territorial in the absence of First Lieutenant Gautier). The pretext for the beating was that they had attempted to assault their guards, presumably in the prison itself. This pretext is said to be absolutely false, according to one of the American officers who escaped (a Captain from West Point said to be the son of a General in the United States Army) and also according to another individual who was arrested with our men.
It appears that they refused ot reveal any information and are accordingly being treated like common criminals, kept in solitary confinement on bread and water.
First Lieutenant Odier is reported to be a small man who failed in civil life and is now determined to show his importance.
Howard Elting, Jr.