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James R. Ruchti Prisoner of War Interview Transcript

THIS IS JAMES R. RUCHTI.
RUCHTI PRISONER OF WAR COLLECTION.

IT IS JANUARY 13, 1997. THE PROJECT IN QUESTION, PRISONER OF WAR PROJECT, IS A WORLD WAR II PROJECT WHICH WAS CONDUCTED IN THREE LOCATIONS BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT, WHICH WAS THE PREDECESSOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. THE THREE FORTS ARE LOCATED AND WERE LOCATED IN RHODE ISLAND; FORTS GETTY AND FORT WETHERILL , AND A FOLLOW-UP PROJECT OF A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT NATURE WAS CONDUCTED AT FORT EUSTIS IN VIRGINIA.

MY ROLE IN THOSE PROJECTS WAS TO ACT AS AN INSTRUCTOR AT FORT GETTY IN GERMAN HISTORY AND AMERICAN HISTORY AND ALSO TO HELP WITH ENGLISH INSTRUCTION AND I HAD RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE LIBRARY, BOTH AT FORTS GETTY AND WETHERILL, AND LATER AT FORT EUSTIS, VIRGINIA. THE PROJECTS THAT I PARTICIPATED IN WERE CONDUCTED FROM THE SUMMER, THAT IS, JULY, 1945 UNTIL LATE APRIL AND THE BEGINNING OF MAY, 1946. I WAS A SECOND LT. IN THE U.S. ARMY RESERVE, COMMISSIONED IN THE FIELD ARTILLERY, BUT ASSIGNED TO THIS PROJECT IN RHODE ISLAND AT FORT GETTY SHORTLY AFTER I RECEIVED MY COMMISSION AT FORT SILL, OKLAHOMA,
IN JUNE OF 1945.

BUT FIRST A WORLD ABOUT THE PROJECTS THEMSELVES AND THEIR ORIGIN BECAUSE THAT EXPLAINS A GREAT DEAL OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE COLLECTION OF BOOKS, AND PAMPHLETS, DOCUMENTS THAT I HAVE
GIVEN TO THE INDIANA UNIVERSITY SOUTH BEND.

PROJECTS BEGAN BECAUSE THERE WAS A RECOGNIZED NEED IN THE WAR DEPARTMENT FOR A SCREENED AND TRAINED GERMAN MANPOWER WHICH COULD BE USED FOR THE U.S. MILITARY GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS IN GERMANY AFTER THE END OF THE WAR. THE EXACT DATE FOR THE BEGINNINGS OF THE PROJECTS IS UNKNOWN TO ME, BECAUSE I WAS ENGAGED IN THE JAPANESE LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES WHEN THIS OCCURRED. BUT I DO KNOW THAT THE PROJECT BEGAN WELL BEFORE THE END OF THE WAR IN EUROPE. MY ESTIMATE IS THAT IT BEGAN SHORTLY AFTER THE ALLIED MEETINGS IN YALTA IN 1943, AT WHICH TIME IT WAS DECIDED BY THE LEADERS OF THE US, USSR, AND THE UK (THAT IS, PRESIDENTS ROOSEVELT, MARSHALL STALIN AND PRIME MINISTER CHURCHILL), THAT THERE WOULD BE AN ATTEMPT MADE TO REHABILITATE THE GERMANS AT THE END OF THE WAR. THIS WAS TO BE PART OF OUR POLITICAL PROPOSITION FOR A TOTAL AND ABSOLUTE UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER TO BE FOLLOWED BY WHAT WOULD BE CALLED A REORGANIZATION, REEDUCATION AND REBUILDING OF GERMANY SO THAT EVENTUALLY IT MIGHT BECOME, ONCE AGAIN, A MEMBER OF THE CONCERT OF NATIONS DEDICATED TO PEACE, OF COURSE, AND TO DEMOCRACY. IN ADDITION TO THE NEED FOR THE TRAINED GERMAN MANPOWER TO ASSIST OUR MILITARY GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS IN THE U.S. ZONE OF GERMANY AFTER THE WAR, THERE WAS A SECOND IMPORTANT ELEMENT IN THE PRISONER OF WAR PROJECT AT FORT GETTY AND WETHERILL. THAT OBJECTIVE WAS TO BUILD A POLITICAL AND SECURITY NUCLEUS WHICH COULD BE PART OF THE REHABILITATION OF GERMANY; THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NEW GERMAN STATE WHICH WOULD BE FAVORABLY DISPOSED TO THE UNITED STATES AND TO THE WEST. THIS UNSTATED REQUIREMENT WAS THE PRINCIPAL FOCUS OF MUCH OF OUR ACTIVITY AND EXPLAINS A GOOD DEAL OF THE LITERATURE AND BOOKS THAT ARE IN THE POW COLLECTION AT INDIANA UNIVERSITY SOUTH BEND.

IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THOSE OBJECTIVES, WHICH WERE PARTIALLY CLASSIFIED , AND I WILL COME TO THAT IN A MINUTE, IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THOSE ENDS A SPECIAL PROJECTS DIVISION, SPD, WAS ESTABLISHED IN THE OFFICE THE PROVOST MARSHALL GENERAL, WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON.

THE OFFICE OF THE PROVOST MARSHALL GENERAL, OPMG, WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR MILITARY POLICE ACTIONS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES FORCES, GROUND FORCES, ARMY AND OF COURSE, IN THAT ROLE IT WAS ALSO RESPONSIBLE FOR PRISONERS OF WAR IN THE AMERICAN HANDS. THOSE INCLUDED PRISONERS OF WAR PRIMARILY IN THE UNITED STATES, ALTHOUGH THE PROVOST MARSHALL GENERAL WAS A STAFF FUNCTION IN ALL OF OUR MAJOR HEADQUARTERS AND OUR ARMIES OVERSEAS AS WELL. THE PROJECTS THAT I AM DEALING WITH DEAL ONLY WITH PRISONERS OF WAR WHO ARE IN AMERICAN HANDS AND IN THE UNITED STATES ITSELF.

THE SPECIAL PROJECTS DIVISION WAS DEDICATED TO ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF THE US OVERALL GOVERNMENT POLICY AND ESPECIALLY OUR MILITARY OPERATIONS. AMONG THOSE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS WERE, OF COURSE, TO SCREEN AND SEPARATE OUT THE NAZIS AND THE NON-NAZI’S, THAT IS, POLITICAL AND NON-POLITICAL ELEMENTS IN THE GERMAN ARMED FORCES IN THE GERMAN PRISONERS THAT WERE UNDER OUR CONTROL. THE REASON FOR THE DIVISION WAS THAT UNDER THE RULES OF THE GENEVA CONVENTION, GERMANS PRISONERS OF WAR IN THEIR CAMPS WERE SUBJECT TO MILITARY DISCIPLINE AND WERE ENTITLED TO HAVE THEIR OWN REPRESENTATION, WHICH CONSISTED OF ALMOST ENTIRELY IN THE GERMAN ARMED FORCES OF THOSE CONSIDERED LOYAL TO THE REGIME IN BERLIN, NAMELY, MEMBERS OF THE NAZI PARTY OR ITS AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS. THEREFORE, IN ORDER TO REBUILD GERMANY WE NEEDED TO SEPARATE THE POLITICAL NAZIS , MOSTLY OFFICERS AND LEADING NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS, FROM THE REST OF THE PRISONERS AND WE NEEDED TO SCREEN THEM FOR POLITICAL RELIABILITY.

THE SECOND ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THE SPECIAL PROJECTS DIVISION PROGRAM WAS A RE-EDUCATION PROGRAM; REEDUCATION OF GERMANS WHO WERE IN CAMPS IN THE UNITED STATES. THESE REEDUCATION EFFORTS HAD THREE OR FOUR ESSENTIAL AND VERY INTERESTING ELEMENTS. ONE WAS TO HAVE A PROGRAM OF PUBLICATIONS AND BOOKS IN GERMAN AND IN ENGLISH WHICH COULD BE USED BY THE PRISONERS TO INFORM THEMSELVES, REEDUCATE THEMSELVES, BASED ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT FOR THE PERIOD ROUGHLY BETWEEN 1933 AND END OF THE WAR IN 1945, THE GERMAN PUBLIC, AND ESPECIALLY THOSE IN THE GERMAN MILITARY HAD NOT HAD ACCESS TO RELIABLE AND UNBIASED INFORMATION OR THE ANTECEDENTS OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE GERMAN STATE. THE SECOND ELEMENT AND THIRD ELEMENTS WERE REVOLVED AROUND A SERIES OF PUBLICATIONS. SEVERAL OF THE PRISONERS OF WAR CAMPS, IN FACT, ALL OF THE MAJOR ONES, HAD A NEWSPAPER OR A PUBLICATION. THESE PUBLICATIONS WERE MOSTLY IN GERMAN, SOME WERE IN ENGLISH, AND THEY WERE USED--EDITED AND PUT TOGETHER--OF COURSE, UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF AMERICANS BY GERMAN PRISONERS THEMSELVES. AFTER THE NON-NAZIS HAD BEEN SEPARATED FROM THE NAZI ELEMENTS THIS VEHICLE OF A PUBLISHED LOCAL ISSUE NEWSPAPER IN THE CAMPS WAS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF REEDUCATION CONDUCTED BY THE GERMANS THEMSELVES.

NOW TO THE MOST IMPORTANT PART AS IT RELATES TO FORT GETTY AND FORT WETHERILL . THAT IS, AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THE SPECIAL PROJECTS WAS THE SELECTION OF POTENTIAL NUCLEUS OF PERSONNEL THAT COULD BE USED TO BUILD OUR POLITICAL NUCLEUS FOR OPERATIONS IN GERMANY AFTER THE WAR. TO THAT END, 10,000 GERMAN PRISONERS OF WAR WERE SELECTED FROM THE VARIOUS CAMPS BY LOCAL SCREENING TEAMS CONSISTING OF INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS, IN MOST INSTANCES, AT THEIR FORT, CAMP, AND STATION. THESE 10,000 WERE THEN SENT TO FORT DEVENS, MASSACHUSETTS. FORT DEVENS, MASSACHUSETTS, HAD A SPECIAL FACILITY FOR GERMAN PRISONERS OF WAR FOR OUR PROJECT AT FORT GETTY AND FORT WETHERILL. THE FORT GETTY PROJECT WAS A SECRET PROJECT BECAUSE OF TWO IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS. THE FIRST WAS THAT WE DID NOT WANT TO LET THE OPPOSITION, THAT IS, THE GERMANY ENEMY, KNOW THAT WE WERE SELECTING A GROUP OF GERMANS WHO WOULD OPERATE IN OUR AREAS AFTER THE WAR AND THE SECOND, AND PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE, WAS A U.S. PUBLIC RELATIONS CONSIDERATION. THE WAR DEPARTMENT WAS JUSTIFIABLY CONCERNED THAT IF AMERICANS, THE PUBLIC AT LARGE, FELT THAT GERMAN PRISONERS WERE RECEIVING SPECIAL TREATMENT AT OUR HANDS WHEN THE STORIES COMING FROM GERMANY AND FROM OUR PRISONERS, AMERICAN PRISONERS HELD BY THE GERMANS, TOLD OF HORRIFIC DIFFICULTIES AND ALL KINDS OF HARDSHIPS, THAT THE REACTION BY THE AMERICAN PUBLIC TO OUR SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THESE GERMANS WOULD BE MISUNDERSTOOD AND THAT THERE WOULD BE A GREAT DEAL OF ANGUISH THAT WE WERE DOING MORE FOR THE GERMANS THAN HAD BEEN DONE FOR OUR MEN. THEREFORE, IT WAS IMPORTANT THAT THE FORT GETTY AND THE FORT WETHERILL PROJECTS REMAINED CLASSIFIED. THEY WERE CLASSIFIED SECRET. WE WERE NOT PERMITTED, OF COURSE, TO INFORM OUR WIVES OR ANY NON-MILITARY PERSONNEL, UNLESS THEY WERE PART OF OUR PROJECT, ABOUT WHAT WE WERE DOING AT FORT GETTY AND FORT WETHERILL. AFTER THE 10,000 GERMAN PRISONERS HAD BEEN ASSEMBLED AT FORT DEVENS IN THE LATE SPRING OF 1945, THE FORT GETTY PROJECT ITSELF BEGAN. FORT GETTY WAS A FORMER COAST ARTILLERY STATION LOCATED ON JAMESTOWN ISLAND, NARRANGANSET BAY. IT WAS AN IDEAL PLACE FOR A GERMAN PRISONER PROJECT BECAUSE IT WAS ISOLATED. THERE WAS A MILITARY FACILITY, ALTHOUGH IN BAD CONDITION, THAT HAD EXISTED THERE EARLY IN THE WAR AS A COAST ARTILLERY FORT TO HELP DEFEND NARAGANSETT BAY FROM A THREATENED ATTACK OR AN EXPECTED ATTACK FROM GERMAN SUBMARINES. WHEN THAT THREAT DIMINISHED THE FORT WAS ABANDONED BUT THE BUILDINGS WERE STILL THERE, AND OF COURSE THE LOCATION WAS IDEAL BECAUSE OF THE ISLAND FACILITY. THERE WAS NO ACCESS TO IT EXCEPT BY FERRY, AND FOR THAT REASON WE FOUND THE GETTY LOCATION IDEAL. AFTER THE PROJECT WAS BEGUN, WHICH WAS IN JUNE OF 1945, AND I JOINED THE PROJECT EARLY IN THE GAME BUT A LITTLE BIT AFTER IT HAD BEGUN IN THE MIDDLE OF JULY 1945. IT WAS DECIDED THAT WE FROM FORT GETTY WOULD SEND OUR OWN SCREENING TEAMS UP TO FORT DEVENS TO SELECT THOSE STUDENTS, AS WE CALLED THEM, FROM AMONG THE PRISONERS WE THOUHT WOULD MAKE THE BEST POSSIBLE SUBJECTS FOR OUR OPERATIONS IN GERMANY AFTER THE WAR. THESE TEAMS CONSISTED OF OVER FIVE TEAMS, CONSISTED OF ONE OFFICER AND ONE ENLISTED MAN, ALL OF THEM SPEAKING GERMAN, AND THEY WENT TO FORT DEVENS. I WAS A MEMBER, THE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF ONE OF THE TEAMS, AND WE WENT THROUGH THE PRISONERS THERE. A PAPER SCREENING HAVING ALREADY BEEN COMPLETED BY THE LOCAL STAFF WHO REPRESENTED THE SPECIAL PROJECTS DIVISION AT FORT DEVENS. BASED ON THAT PAPER SCREENING WE THEN CONDUCTED A SERIES OF DIRECT ONE ON ONE INTERVIEWS WITH GERMANS TO MAKE OUR SELECTIONS. OUR FIRST GROUP CONSISTED OF JUST UNDER 200 GERMAN PRISONERS OF WAR WHO, IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR PROJECT, HAD TO AGREE TO GIVE UP ALL PRIVILEGES OF RANK WHICH ARE RECOGNIZED BY THE GENEVA CONVENTION. THEY HAD TO AGREE THAT THEY WOULD RETURN TO GERMANY AT OUR REQUEST AND THEY HAD TO AGREE THAT THEY WOULD MAKE THEMSELVES AVAILABLE TO U.S. MILITARY GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES IN GERMANY IN THE AMERICAN ZONE OF GERMANY AND OFFER THEIR SERVICES TO THEM IN THE MILITARY GOVERNMENT PHASE OF THE U.S. OPERATIONS IN GERMANY. THE STUDENTS THAT WE SELECTED WERE A VERY INTERESTING LOT BECAUSE MANY OF THEM, PROPORTIONATELY A VERY LARGE ELEMENT, HAD COME FROM THE ORIGINAL GERMAN 999TH DIVISION. THIS DIVISION WAS A LAST DITCH EFFORT OF THE GERMAN BATTLE IN NORTH AFRICA IN 1942-43, AND WAS RECRUITED LARGELY FROM PETTY CRIMINALS OR PETTY POLITICAL CRIMINALS THAT THE GERMAN REGIME HAD CONSIDERED SEMI- OR ONLY PARTIALLY RELIABLE, AND STAFFED OF COURSE WITH RELIABLE GERMAN NAZI OFFICERS . THAT DIVISION FORTUNATELY SURVIVED THE CROSSING OF THE MEDITERREAN AND MANY OF ITS MEMBERS SURRENDERED VERY SOON AFTER THEY HAD ARRIVED IN THE BATTLE ZONE. VERY FEW OF THEM EVER FIRED A SHOT AGAINST ALLIED TROOPS. THAT DIVISION, THEREFORE, WAS A PRIME SOURCE FOR OUR PRISONERS, THAT IS, THOSE THAT WE WANTED FOR OUR PROJECT. AFTER THEY HAD BEEN SCREENED AND THEY HAD AGREED TO THE TERMS ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS, THEY WERE BROUGHT TO FORT GETTY SECRETLY AT NIGHT BY TRUCK. AND A GROUP OF 200 BEGAN THE FIRST COURSE OF STUDY IN JULY OF 1945. THERE WERE FOUR SUBJECTS ON THIS LARGELY ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT. ENGLISH, U.S. MILITARY GOVERNMENT, U.S. HISTORY, AND GERMAN HISTORY WERE THE FOUR SUBJECTS THAT WERE TO BE TAUGHT. WE WERE TO HAVE THEM FOR TWO MONTHS OR THEREABOUTS, AT LEAST. WE STARTED OUT EXPERIMENTALLY WITH A TWO MONTH GOAL IN MIND, DURING WHICH TIME WE HOPED TO BE ABLE TO ASSURE OURSELVES OF THEIR RELIABILITY AS WELL AS THEIR POTENTIAL VALUE IN POST-WAR GERMANY. THE GERMANS, THEMSELVES, WERE REQUIRED TO WEAR THEIR PRISONERS OF WAR UNIFORMS, WHICH WERE REGULATION U.S. ARMY UNIFORMS WITH “POW” IN LARGE LETTERS STAMPED ON THEM. BUT OTHER THAN THAT THIS SO-CALLED PRISONER OF WAR CAMP WAS A VERY UNUSUAL ONE. INSTEAD OF FENCES AND GUARDS, AND ALL OF THOSE DETAILS WHICH ARE A NORMAL PART OF ANY PRISONER OF WAR COMPOUND, WE HAD A THREE-STRAND BARBED WIRE FENCE WHICH WE HAD TO PUT UP FOR TOKEN REASONS AND ALL OF THE GUARDS AT THE FORT GETTY PROJECT WERE AMERICANS, OF COURSE, MILITARY POLICE UNITS. EVERY MEMBER HAD BEEN A FORMER PRISONER OF THE GERMANS THEMSELVES. SO THAT WAS ONE OF THE REQUIREMENTS THAT WE LAID DOWN FOR OUR GUARDS. THE GUARDS THEREFORE WERE VERY UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IT MEANT TO BE A PRISONER. AFTER THE TRAINING BEGAN WE VERY QUICKLY DECIDED THAT WE WOULD BREAKD DOWN THE GROUPS OF 200 INTO SMALL ELEMENTS. THERE WERE USUALLY 10 OR 12 IN A GROUP OF GERMANS WITH ONE INSTRUCTOR IN EACH OF THESE SUBJECTS. AND THEN WE WOULD REEDUCATE THEM, SO TO SPEAK, OR TRAIN THEM IN MILITARY GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS WITH VERY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THE INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE OF EACH STUDENT AND OF COURSE DEPENDING ON THEIR LINGUISTIC CAPABILITY THE PROGRAM WAS CONDUCTED EITHER IN ENGLISH OR IN GERMAN. INCREASINGLY AS THEY STAYED WITH US FOR EXTRA WEEKS WE TENDEDTO FOCUS ON ENGLISH BECAUSE WE KNEW THEY WOULD BE OPERATING IN AN ENGLISH-SPEAKING ENVIRONMENT WITH THE U.S. MILITARY GOVERNMENT SIDE OF THEIR WORK IN GERMANY AFTER THE WAR. EACH OF THE GROUPS HAD A DIFFERENT COMPOSITION EACH WEEK OR TWO. WE CHANGED OFFICERS, WE CHANGED INSTRUCTORS, IN EACH OF THE CLASSES QUITE FREQUENTLY AND WE CHANGED THE GROUP COMPOSITION QUITE FREQUENTLY BECAUSE WE WANTED TO GET A GOOD FIX ON EACH OF THE INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS AND WE WANTED TO GIVE THEM A WELL-ROUNDED EXPOSURE TO AMERICAN POINTS OF VIEW. AT THE END OF THE PROJECT FOR THIS FIRST GROUP THEY WERE REPATRIATED TO GERMANY WITH AN ESCORT OFFICER FROM THE SPECIAL PROJECTS DIVISION. THIS ESCORT OFFICER’S JOB WAS TO BE SURE THAT THEY, THIS GROUP OF 200, REACHED THEIR DESTINATIONS IN THE AMERICAN ZONE OF GERMANY AND THEREFORE THAT THEY WERE NOT TAKEN AWAY BY OTHER MILITARY GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL, U.S. OR ALLIED, EN ROUTE. WE DIDN’T WANT TO WASTE OUR RESOURCE. WE WANTED TO BE SURE IT GOT TO WHERE WE WANTED IT TO GO. ALTOGETHER THERE WERE SOME OVERLAPPING GROUPS OF COURSE, IN ORDER TO KEEP THE FLOW GOING. WE PRODUCED SOMEWHERE AROUND 1250 INDIVIDUALS, THAT IS INDIVIDUAL GERMAN SOLDIERS, DURING THE PERIOD FROM JULY UNTIL CHRISTMAS. THESE PEOPLE, BY THE TIME THEY HAD FINISHED, HAD AT LEAST AN ELEMENTARY, SOMETIMES AN EXCELLENT, UNDERSTANDING OF ENGLISH. THEY WERE AWARE OF U.S. MILITARY GOVERNMENT PROCEDURES, RULES, REGULATIONS AND HOW THE SYSTEM WOULD WORK IN GERMANY. THEY HAD ELEMENTARY UNDERSTANDING, AT LEAST, OF U.S. HISTORY WITH AN EMPHASIS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE DEMOCRATIC STATE, AND THEY HAD BEEN GIVEN A REFRESHER IN GERMAN HISTORY WHICH EMPHASIZED THE DEMOCRATIC ELEMENTS OF GERMAN SOCIETY, AND OF COURSE THE ANTITHESIS TO THE DICTATORIAL REGIME WHICH THEY THEMSELVES HAD EXPERIENCED BEGINNING IN THE 1930'S. ONE OF THE PRINCIPAL FOCI OF THIS WHOLE TRAINING PROGRAM FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF OUR PARTICIPATING AMERICAN OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN WAS
AN ACUTE AWARENESS OF THE DANGERS OF COMMUNIST THREAT TO GERMANY AND CENTRAL EUROPE AT THE END OF THE WAR. WE PAID AS MUCH ATTENTION TO LEFT-WING OR COMMUNIST SENTIMENTS AMONG THE PRISONERS AS WE DID TO THEIR NAZI OR NON-NAZI STATUS. AND NO PRISONER WHO INDICATED IN ANY WAY SYMPATHY TO THE RUSSIANS, THE COMMUNISTS,
WAS PERMITED TO FINISH OUR PROJECT. THIS EFFORT WAS DELIBERATLEY DONE, BECAUSE ALTHOUGH NOT PART OF OUR U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY OVERTLY AT THE TIME IT WAS NEVERTHELESS WELL UNDERSTOOD BY THE VERY EXCELLENT FACULTY AT FORT GETTY THAT THIS POLITICAL DIFFERENTIAL BETWEEN DEMOCRACY AND DICTATORSHIP WAS NOT GOING TO END WITH THE NAZI REGIME.

THE FORT WETHERILL PROJECT WHICH WAS LOCATED NEAR TO FORT GETTY AT ANOTHER COAST GUARD ARTILLERY FORT WAS A SIMILAR PROGRAM IN EVERY RESPECT WITH ONE MAJOR EXCEPTION. AND THAT IS THERE WAS AN INCREASED EMPHASIS ON THE MILITARY GOVERNMENT ESPECIALLY PUBLIC SAFETY TRAINING. THAT IS, WE THOUGHT THAT POLICE AND PUBLIC SECURITY, PUBLIC SAFETY, IN GERMANY AFTER THE WAR WOULD BE ONE OF OUR MOST DIFFICULT TASKS, AND WE WANTED TO BE SURE THAT OUR ALLIED MILITARY GOVERNMENT OFFICERS HAD A CORE OF RELIABLE GERMANS THAT THEY COULD USE FOR THAT PURPOSE. AND SO THERE WAS LESS EMPHASIS ON U.S. AND GERMAN HISTORY AND MORE EMPHASIS ON PUBLIC SAFETY AT THE FORT WETHERILL PROJECT WHICH RAN PARALLEL TO FORT GETTY BUT TURNED OUT QUITE A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER FEWER PRISONERS. HOWEVER, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE COLLECTION AT IUSB, THE LIBRARY COLLECTION, THE BOOKS AND PUBLICATIONS WERE CROSS REFERENCED AND WERE USED BY BOTH. WE HAD ONE LIBRARY, IN OTHER WORDS, WHICH SERVED BOTH PROJECTS.

THE FINAL PROJECT IN THIS SPECIAL EFFORT BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT OFFICE OF PROVOST MARSHALL GENERAL WAS AT FORT EUSTUS, VIRGINIA. THIS WAS CONDUCTED BETWEEN JANUARY AND THE END OF APRIL 1946 AND HAD A DIFFERENT FOCUS FROM THE GETTY AND WETHERAL PROJECTS IN THAT IT WAS A LARGE SCALE PROGRAM, THERE WAS ONLY ONE WEEK OF TRAINING, OR, AS WE CALLED IT, EDUCATION, FOR THE PRISONERS. THERE WERE VERY LARGE NUMBERS PRODUCED BY THIS PROGRAM. WE HAD ABOUT 2000 AT THE TIME OF ROUGHLY 40,000 COMPLETED THAT PROJECT. THIS WAS DONE BECAUSE WE WISHED TO CIRCUMVENT AN AGREEMENT THAT GENERAL EISENHOWER, SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER IN EUROPE, HAD MADE WITH THE FRENCH IN WHICH HE HAD AGREED THAT THEY, THE FRENCH, COULD TAKE AMERICAN PRISONERS OF WAR , THAT IS, GERMANS IN AMERICAN PRISONS, AND USE THEM
FOR THE REBUILDING OF FRANCE AFTER THE WAR, UP TO A CERTAIN NUMBER.
I BELIEVE THE NUMBER DID APPROACH 40,000 IN THE AGREEMENT. WE TURNED OUT SOMETHING ABOUT THAT NUMBER AND THEREFORE SINCE THERE WAS AN EXCEPTION IN THE EISENHOWER AND FRENCH AGREEMENT WHICH SAID THAT ANY GERMAN PRISONERS WHO WERE SPECIALLY TRAINED, OF COURSE, WOULD NOT BE SUBJECT TO THIS ALLOTMENT TO THE FRENCH AND SINCE WE HAD TRAINED THEM, ALBEIT ONLY BRIEFLY FOR A WEEK, WE CONSIDERED THAT ENOUGH OF A LEGAL COVER AND SO THESE PEOPLE WERE NOT SUBJECT TO THE FRENCH DRAFT FOR THE REBULDING OF GERMANY. MANY GERMAN PRISONERS REMAINED IN FRANCE FOR AT LEAST A YEAR, SOME MORE THAN THAT AT THE END OF THE WAR, AND WERE USED IN RECONSTRUCTION ACTIVITIES, SOMETIMES UNDER VERY HARSH CONDITIONS.
WE DIDN’T FEEL THAT THESE PEOPLE THAT WE HAD IN THE SPECIAL PROJECT AT FORT EUSTUS SHOULD FALL INTO THAT CATEGORY, ALTHOUGH THEY WERE NOT NECESSARILY AS CAREFULLY SCREENED AND WERE NOT SUBJECT TO THE SAME PLEDGE OF DUTY TO ALLIED MILITARY GOVERNMENT. WE WANTED TO HAVE A LARGER BODY OF GERMAN PRISONERS WHO HAD AT LEAST SOME EXPOSURE TO THE U.S. AND WHO MIGHT THEREFORE BE FAVORABLY DISPOSED
TO US AND WOULD THEREFORE HELP REBUILD A DEMOCRATIC WESTERN U.S.- ORIENTED GERMANY . WE WANTED THEM SEPERATED FROM THE RUN OF MILL OF THE GERMAN PRISONERS. THEY HAD ALL BEEN SCREENED AT THEIR POST CAMPS AND STATIONS IN THIS COUNTRY, AND WE OURSELVES MADE NO FURTHER EFFORT TO SEPARATE THEM OUT UNLESS WE SAW SOME OBVIOUS BAD APPLES, AND THERE WERE NEXT TO NONE OF THOSE IN THE BRIEF PERIOD THAT WE HAD THEM.

THAT BY WAY OF A VERY BRIEF BACKGROUND, OF THE PROJECTS AND MY PARTICIPATION IN THEM, I WOULD NOW LIKE TO TURN TO THE LIBRARY AND THE BOOKS WHICH WERE USED AND WHICH FORM PART OF THE COLLECTION AT IUSB. THERE ARE OTHER DOCUMENTS THAT WERE USED IN THE INSTRUCTION WHICH ARE NOT PART OF THE COLLECTION DONATED TO IUSB. SOME OF THOSE DOCUMENTS ARE LOCATED AT THE US ARMY WAR COLLEGE, ARMY HISTORICAL LIBRARY, AND THERE IS ANOTHER PARALLEL COLLECTION AT THE MAX KADE INSTITUTE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, BOTH OF WHICH HAVE SUBSTANTIAL INTEREST IN THE U.S. OPERATIONS WITH GERMAN PRISONERS. THE ORIGINAL, THE WAR DEPARTMENT, OF COURSE, IN CARLISLE BARRACKS IS THE ARMY WAR COLLEGE. THEY HAVE A GREAT INTEREST IN MILITARY HISTORY FOR FUTURE OPERATIONAL REASONS AND THE MAX KADE INSTITUTE HAS A VERY SUBSTANTIAL INTEREST IN GERMANS IN AMERICA AND IS CO-SPONSORED BY THE WEST GERMAN GOVERNMENT AND THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, WITH THE EMPHASIS ON WHAT GERMANS HAVE DONE IN THE UNITED STATES . THEIR PRISONER OF WAR CHAPTER IS A VERY INTERSTING SUBGROUP OF THAT BASIC INTEREST. ANYWAY, THE LIBRARY AT FORT GETTY WAS THE CENTRAL POINT. WE HAD CONCENTRATED OUR LIMITED SUPPLY OF BOOKS AND PUBLICATIONS THERE BECAUSE WE HAD ONLY A FEW, WE NEEDED MORE TIME AND HAD MORE TIME TO USE THE LIBRARY FACILITIES THERE, THAT IS, THE GERMANS DID. THERE WAS A GREAT DEAL MORE INTEREST BY BOTH THE GERMAN AND THE AMERICAN ELEMENTS AT THE FORT GETTY AND THE FORT WETHERAL PROJECTS IN LIBRARY RESOURCES BOTH FOR INSTRUCTIONAL PURPOSES AS WELL AS FOR THE LONG RANGE VIEW OF WHAT WE WOULD BE DOING IN EUROPE AND IN GERMANY AFTER THE WAR. WE HAD, OF COURSE, THE HIGHEST CONCENTRATION OF OUR HAND-PICKED GERMAN PRISONERS RIGHT THERE AT FORT GETTY. THE BOOKS IN THE COLLECTION , MANY OF WHICH ARE NOW AT IUSB, CAME FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES MOSTLY ON THE EAST COAST. THEY CAME FROM UNIVERSITY AND PUBLIC LIBRARIES IN NEW YORK, MASSACHUSETTS, AND CONNECTICUT . USUALLY THEY WERE EXTRA COPIES OF THE BOOKS IN THOSE COLLECTIONS. THEY WERE PURCHASED AND OBTAINED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT SPECIAL PROJECTS DIVISION WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF INDIVIDUALS WHO LATER BECAME FACULTY MEMBERS, SOME OF THEM CIVILIANS, AT THE FORT GETTY PROJECT, AND THEY WERE OF COURSE THEN SENT TO FORT GETTY. VERY SHORTLY AFTER I ARRIVED IN JULY OF 1945 COL. ALTHEA SMITH, WHO WAS THE COMMANDANT OF THE FORT GETTY AND FORT WETHERAL PROJECTS, ASKED ME TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE LIBRARY AND OF COURSE I WAS GLAD TO DO THAT. WHAT WE HAD WERE HELTER-SKELTER ENGLISH, AMERICAN, GERMAN PUBLICATIONS . SOME OLD, SOME NEW, AND IT WAS IMPORTANT THAT WE PUT THEM IN THE KIND OF USABLE CONDITION SO THAT OUR PRISONERS AND FACULTY COULD MAKE USE OF THEM. TO THAT END I WAS LUCKY TO FIND AMONG THE PRISONERS AT FORT DEAVENS A FORMER GERMAN LIBRARIAN . HIS NAME WAS GEORG HOMMER (sp?). HOMMER , WE WOULD SAY HAMMER, WAS CALLED, IN RUSSIAN, MOLOTOV. AND SO, AMONG ALL OF THESE GERMANS AND QUITE A NUMBER OF THE AMERICAN FACULTY, GEORG HOMMER WAS CALLED MOLOTOV. NOT ONLY BECAUSE HE HAD THE NAME FAMILIARITY BUT BECAUSE HE WAS A VERY FIRM-HANDED LIBRARIAN WHO GUARDED HIS STOCK WITH GREAT CARE, AND WAS AN EXCELLENT LIBRARIAN. HE WAS ALSO VERY NEARLY BILINGUAL; HE SPOKE VERY EXCELLENT ENGLISH AS WELL, OF COURSE, HIS GERMAN. ANYWAY THE BOOKS THEMSELVES FELL ROUGHLY INTO THREE CATEGORIES AFTER WE GOT THEM SORTED OUT AND CATALOGUED. THERE WERE THOSE THAT WERE IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE THAT DEALT ESPECIALLY WITH THE U.S. MILITARY, U.S. HISTORY AND OF COURSE U.S. GOVERNMENT. WE WERE TEACHING U.S. HISTORY AS PART OF ONE OF OUR MAJOR SUBJECTS. A VERY LARGE NUMBER OF PUBLICATIONS ALSO IN ENGLISH DEALT WITH MILITARY GOVERNMENT . THESE WERE RULES, REGULATIONS, PROCEDURES USED BY MILITARY GOVERNMENT. MOST OF THOSE NOW I HAVE DONATED TO THE US ARMY WAR COLLEGE AT CARLISLE, AND THEY ARE IN THEIR COLLECTION THERE, THAT IS, THE MILITARY GOVERNMENT-SPECIFIC ITEMS AS WELL AS SOME CLASSIFIED ITEMS THAT WERE USED BY THE FACULTY.

THE SECOND CATEGORY OF BOOKS AND PUBLICATIONS WE HAVE, WERE OF COURSE IN GERMAN--IN THE GERMAN LANGUAGE. WHEREVER POSSIBLE WE TRIED TO GET GERMAN PUBLICATIONS BECAUSE THEY WERE MUCH MORE USABLE BY THE GERMAN STUDENTS, BY THE PRISONERS, THEY DEALT PRIMARILY WITH THE GERMAN HISTORY AND GERMAN LITERATURE. WE TRIED TO SELECT BOOKS, WE DID SELECT BOOKS AND USE BOOKS WHICH WERE PRIMARILY FOCUSED ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF DEMOCRACY IN GERMANY AND OF COURSE, WE TRIED TO GET BOOKS THAT WE KNEW THAT HITLER AND THE REGIME, THE NAZI REGIME HAD EITHER BANNED OR DESTROYED BECAUSE THERE WAS A GREAT CURIOSITY ABOUT THOSE AMONG OUR PRISONERS. MANY OF WHOM HAD REMEMBERED THESE PUBLICATIONS BEFORE THEY WERE BANNED IN THE FAMOUS GERMAN BOOK-BURNING EPISODE OF THE 1934-35 PERIOD.

AND THEN FINALLY WE HAD WHAT YOU MIGHT CALL PERIODICALS. THESE WERE MOSTLY CURRENT U.S. PUBLICATIONS, NEWSPAPERS, AND MAGAZINES,
SOME OF THOSE WERE PERISHABLE IN NATURE THEY WERE THEREFORE NOT INCLUDED IN ANY OF THE COLLECTIONS THAT I HAVE DONATED TO IUSB OR TO CARLISLE, OR TO THE MAX KADE INSTITUTE. THEY’RE AVAILABLE WIDELY IN AMERICAN LIBRARY COLLETIONS OF THAT TIME. THE PURPOSES OF THESE BOOKS AND PERIODICALS OF COURSE WAS TO SUPPORT INSTRUCTION, TO BE USED AS REFERENCE MATERIAL FOR CLASSWORK BY THE POW STUDENTS WHO HAD USE OF REFERENCE MATERIALS, ENCYCLOPEDIAS AND THAT KIND OF THING, AND THEN THERE WAS RECREATIONAL READING FOR THE GERMANS WHICH WE ENCOURAGED, AND OF COURSE WE WANTED, ABOVE ALL, TO HELP THE GERMANS UNDERSTAND THE AMERICAN POINT OF VIEW. ESPECIALLY HOW AND WHY OUR DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS WERE FORMED AND WHAT OUR POLITICAL THINKING WAS LIKE. WE ASSUMED THAT THE AMERICAN DEMOCRACY WAS GOING TO EMERGE AS ONE OF THE MAJOR MODELS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF POST-WAR EUROPE, ESPECIALLY POST-WAR GERMANY AND THAT OF COURSE DID, IN FACT, TURN OUT TO BE THE CASE. THESE BOOKS WERE A VERY EARLY HARBINGER OF OUR INTEREST IN THAT SUBJECT, THAT IS, THE U.S. GOVERNMENT’S INTEREST.

FINALLY, I’D LIKE TO JUST MENTION QUICKLY SOME OF THE PERIODICALS THAT WE HAD SO THAT ANYONE LOOKING UP OR DOING RESEARCH ON THIS SUBJECT COULD THEMSELVES CHECK THEM. IN ADDITION TO THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE, TIME AND NEWSWEEK, LIFE MAGAZINE AND LOOK MAGAZINE, ALL OF WHICH WERE DAILY OR WEEKLY PUBLICATIONS WHICH WERE AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY TO THE GERMANS AND OF COURSE OUR FACULTY AND STAFF, WE HAD THREE PRINCIPLE PUBLICATIONS IN GERMAN. ONE WAS CALLED STATZ HERALD UN CITUN (sp?).
STATZ HERALD UN CITUN IS A GERMAN LANGUAGE PUBLICATION WHICH CAME
OUT AND WAS PUBLISHED IN NEW YORK, THERE WAS ALSO A SECOND EDITION FOR A WHILE IN MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN . THIS WAS THE LARGEST, MOST WIDELY DISTRIBUTED GERMAN LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER IN THE UNITED STATES AT THE TIME. IT WAS A REGULAR DAILY NEWSPAPER BUT WRITTEN IN GERMAN. THE SECOND PUBLICATION WE HAD WAS CALLED AUF BAU WHICH MEANS CONSTRUCTION, RECONSTRUCTION IN GERMAN. THIS WAS A LIBERALLY-ORIENTED , I WOULDN’T SAY LEFT WING, BUT WAS A LIBERALLY- ORIENTED PUBLICATION WHICH CAME FROM NEW YORK . [IT] WAS PRODUCED BY GERMAN EMIGRES AND HAD A LARGE NUMBER OF ARTICLES OF INTEREST TO ANYONE WHO WAS INTERESTED IN POST-WAR GERMANY. IT WAS DEDICATED TO THE AMERICANS WHO WERE IN AND THE AMERICAN AUDIENCE IN GERMAN SPEAKING AMERICAN AUDIENCE IN THE UNITED STATES BUT OF COURSE WE SUBSCRIBED TO THAT RIGHT AWAY. WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE OF INTEREST TO THE GERMANS AND IT WAS. AND THEN FINALLY WE HAD ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING PUBLICATIONS THAT CAME OUT OF THE WAR . IT WAS CALLED DER RUF. DER RUF WAS A GERMAN LANGUAGE PUBLICATION, ALSO WITH AN ENGLISH VERSION WHICH WAS PRETTY NEARLY VERBATIM FROM THE GERMAN WHICH WAS THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE USED, AND WAS PUBLISHED BY GERMAN PRISONERS OF WAR THEMSELVES UNDER AMERICAN SUPERVISION AT A PLACE CALLED FORT CARNEY(sp?), RHODE ISLAND, WHICH WAS NOT FAR AWAY FROM THE FORT GETTY PROJECT. THIS PUBLICATION WAS WIDELY DISTRIBUTED THROUGHOUT GERMAN PRISONER OF WAR CAMPS IN THE UNITED STATES, AND WAS A VERY INTERESTING PUBLICATION WITH THE EMPHASIS ON DEMOCRACY AND WHAT THE GERMANS COULD DO FOR THEMSELVES AFTER THE WAR, IT WAS VERY HIGH QUALITY, PRODUCED BY SOME OF THE VERY BEST PRO-AMERICAN ELEMENTS AMONG THE GERMAN PRISONERS IN THE UNITED STATES AND WAS VERY WIDELY READ NOT ONLY AT FORTS GETTY, WETHERAL AND EUSTIS, BUT THROUGHOUT THE GERMAN PRISONER OF WAR GROUPS IN AMERICA. THE ONLY EXISTING COMPLETE SET OF THOSE GERMAN LANGUAGE EDITIONS OF DER RUF IS AT FORT CARLISLE. I WAS ABLE TO RETRIEVE THAT WHEN WE DISBANDED OUR PROJECTS AND I HAVE SENT IT TO THE US ARMY WAR COLLEGE HISTORICAL LIBRARY THERE, AND THE COMPLETE SET IS AVAILABLE AT CARLISLE.

A WORD NOW ABOUT THE USAGE OF THIS LIBRARY, ITS FACILITIES AND PUBLICATIONS BY THE GERMANS . I WON’T COMMENT ON THE AMERICAN USAGE BECAUSE THAT WAS LARGELY FOR REFERENCE PURPOSES, PARTICULARLY ALLIED MILITARY GOVERNMENT, RULES, REGULATIONS , ETC.
BUT I WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON HOW THE GERMAN PRISONERS OF WAR, AT FORT GETTY ESPECIALLY, USED THE LIBRARY AND ITS PUBLICATIONS. FIRST OF ALL, USAGE WAS VERY HEAVY. NO UNIVERSITY LIBRARY COULD HAVE HAD A BETTER CLIENTELE THAN WE HAD. OF COURSE THERE WAS NOT A GREAT DEAL ELSE TO DO AT THE END OF A DUTY DAY FOR THE GERMAN PRISONERS OF WAR. THEY STARTED IN THE MORNING VERY EARLY AT 6 AND ENDED WITH PHYSICAL TRAINING BETWEEN 4 AND 5 EACH AFTERNOON, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, SO WE HAD TIME OFF ON SUNDAY FOR CHURCH OR RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES. BUT OTHER THAN WE NEEDED EVERY HOUR WE COULD GET. SO THE CLASSES RAN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, AND THE ONLY RECREATION THEY REALLY HAD IN THE EVENING WERE TWO: THEY COULD LISTEN TO THE RADIO, WE HAD RADIOS IN THEIR BARRACKS SO THEY COULD LISTEN TO SOME OF THOSE (THAT WAS A LATER DEVELOPMENT, WE DIDN’T HAVE IT INITIALLY), AND THEN WE HAD THE LIBRARY. AND THE LIBRARY WAS AVAILABLE TO THEM, THEY COULD WALK TO IT FROM THEIR BARRACKS AND THEY COULD, UNDER THE CAREFUL EYE OF GEORG HAMMER, MOLOTOV, WITHDRAW A BOOK FROM THE COLLECTION. ALTHOUGH HE ENCOURAGED THEM TO READ IT ON THE SPOT SO THAT HE DIDN’T LOSE THEM. HE WAS VERY MUCH AWARE THAT WE HAD NO POSSIBILITY OF REPLENISHING ANY LOST ELEMENTS--BOOKS OR PUBLICATIONS. ANYWAY, IT WAS VERY HEAVILY USED AND THE TWO AREAS THAT WERE OF COURSE MOST CONCENTRATION BY OUR AVID GERMAN PRISONER OF WAR READERS WERE THE PERIODICALS AND THE CURRENT PRESS BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO FIND OUT WHAT WAS GOING ON. BY THIS TIME IN THE SUMMER OF 1945, THE WAR WAS OVER FOR THEM IN EUROPE, GERMANY HAD SURRENDERED, AND SO THEY WERE VERY ANXIOUS TO FIND OUT WHAT WAS GOING ON IN POST-WAR GERMANY AND IN POST WAR EUROPE, BECAUSE THEY KNEW THEY WOULD BE RETURNING IN A FEW WEEKS AND THEY WANTED TO FIND OUT WHAT THEY COULD. SO THERE WAS VERY HEAVY INTEREST IN THE PERIODICALS AND IN THE PRESS, GERMAN LANGUAGE AND AMERICAN--ENGLISH LANGUAGE.

THE SECOND THING THAT GOT A GREAT DEAL OF ATTENTION WAS WHAT I CALLED, GENERALLY, POST-WAR ITEMS. IF YOU LOOK AT A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE POW COLLECTION WHICH I HAVE DONATED, YOU WILL SEE BOOKS IN THERE BY WALTER LIPPMAN, PEOPLE OF THAT KIND, THAT WERE IN ENGLISH OF COURSE, BUT DEALT WITH U.S. AND ALLIED FOREIGN POLICY AND POST-WAR INTERESTS IN EUROPE AND ESPECIALLY IN GERMANY. AND THESE WERE OF GREAT INTEREST TO OUR HIGHLY MOTIVATED AND HIGHLY POLITICAL, THAT IS, DEMOCRATICALLY-ORIENTED, PRISONERS.

AND THEN A THIRD ITEM THAT WAS ESPECIALLY INTEREST WAS WHAT YOU MIGHT CALL RECENT GERMAN HISTORY. A NUMBER OF AMERICAN ACADEMICS, SCHUSTER, STEINBERG, AND OTHERS HAD WRITTEN BOOKS IN THE MID- TO LATE FORTIES, MID-FORTIES, SOMETIMES A BIT EARLIER, DEALING WITH GERMAN HISTORY IN SUMMARY FORM BUT WERE AT LEAST NOT CLOUDED WITH THE NAZI OR DIRECTED INFLUENCES OF THE GERMAN WARTIME PROPAGANDA MACHINE. SO, THOSE BOOKS WERE OF A GREAT INTEREST TO THEM. THERE WAS LESS INTEREST IN THE OLDER PUBLICATIONS WHICH MANY OF OUR PRISONERS WERE ALREADY FAMILIAR WITH BECAUSE THESE PRISONERS WERE NOT, ON THE WHOLE, YOUNG PEOPLE. THEY WERE NOT IN THEIR TEENS OR EARLY 20'S AS MANY SOLDIERS ON BOTH SIDES WERE DURING THE WAR. THEY TENDED TO BE A BIT OLDER AND QUITE A NUMBER OF THEM WERE IN THEIR 30'S AND EVEN IN THEIR 40'S. SO THEY HAD INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF GERMAN HISTORY AS IT ORIGINALLY HAD BEEN AVAILABLE TO THEM WHEN THEY WERE SCHOOLBOYS IN THE 20'S OR EARLIER. AND SO THERE WAS LESS NEED FOR THEM TO READ THOSE AND THEY WERE GENERALLY FAMILIAR WITH THE HISTORY OF GERMANY . BUT THERE WAS SOME SUBSTANTIAL INTEREST IN THOSE INTERPRETATIONS OF GERMAN HISTORY WHICH EMPHASIZED DEMOCRACY. FOR EXAMPLE, A BOOK THAT WAS WRITTEN BY A FELLOW BY THE NAME OF CLARK, A VERY FAMOUS AMERICAN WRITER, CALLED THE FALL OF THE GERMAN REPUBLIC. IT WAS A POLITICAL STUDY WHICH WAS PUBLISHED IN LONDON IN 1935 (I THINK CLARK WAS AN AMERICAN, MAYBE HE WAS BRITISH). ANYWAY THIS WAS ONE OF THE BOOKS THAT EXPLAINED WHAT HAD HAPPENED AND HOW HITLER HAD COME TO POWER AND THEY, OF COURSE, HAD SOME SUBSTANTIAL INTEREST IN THAT. THERE WAS ALSO CONSIDERABLE INTEREST IN A BOOK CALLED BREAD AND DEMOCRACY IN GERMANY. IT WAS PRINTED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS AND THE AUTHOR WAS A MAN BY THE NAME OF ALEXANDER GERSCHENKRON (sp?), AND IT HAD TO DEAL WITH THE SUBJECTS OF WORK, EMPLOYMENT, BASIC ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS, THAT WOULD BE SIGNIFICANT FOR THE REBUILDING OF GERMANY AFTER THE WAR, DRAWING ON THE HISTORICAL PRECEDENTS.

I’D LIKE TO ADD A FEW COMMENTS, NOW, ON A RATHER UNUSUAL ELEMENT AND ONE, AT THE TIME, WHICH WAS NOT WELL KNOWN EITHER OUTSIDE OF THE FORT GETTY AND WETHERAL ENVIRONMENT AND ONLY PERHAPS JUST A FEW OFFICERS IN THE SPECIAL PROJECTS DIVISION BECAUSE IT WAS SO CONTRARY TO WHAT HAD BEEN STANDARD PRACTICE AND MILITARY DOCTRINE IN TREATING PRISONERS OF WAR, EITHER BY THE UNITED STATES AND CERTAINLY OTHER COUNTRIES. AND THAT WAS THAT WE ALLOWED GERMAN STUDENTS, PRISONERS, AT FORT GETTY TO BUY U.S. PUBLICATIONS, TO PURCHASE CURRENT U.S. PUBLICATIONS, AND SOMETIMES OTHERS PUBLISHED MATERIAL, THROUGH THE LIBRARY. THE GERMANS HAD SMALL AMOUNTS OF WHAT WERE CALLED CANTEEN FUNDS. CANTEEN FUNDS WERE SCRIPT, SPECIALLY PRINTED CURRENCY NOT VALID FOR PURCHASE OF ANYTHING OUTSIDE THE CANTEEN OR SNACK BAR AT PRISONER OF WAR CAMPS IN THE UNITED STATES. FOR EXAMPLE, IF A GERMAN PRISONER WORKED IN A CORNFIELD IN WISCONSIN HE WAS PAID A VERY MINIMAL AMOUNT BY THE PERSON WHO USED HIS SERVICES, THE AMERICAN, AND THE MONEY WAS GIVEN TO THE U.S. OFFICER IN CHARGE OF THE PRISONER OF WAR CAMP AND THE OFFICER THEN, IN TURN, WOULD ISSUE WHAT WAS CALLED CANTEEN SCRIPT TO THE GERMAN PRISONER AND HE COULD USE THAT MONEY AT THE CANTEEN TO PURCHASE CIGARETTES ,CANDY, SNACKS OR MAYBE A COCA COLA, SOMETHING OF THAT NATURE. AND SOME OF THE PRISONERS WHO HAD BEEN IN THE UNITED STATES FOR A CONSIDERABLE PERIOD OF TIME, SOME OF THEM TWO YEARS, BY THE TIME THEY CAME TO OUR PROJECT HAD SMALL AMOUNTS OF TEN, FIFTEEN, SOME A LITTLE BIT MORE...25 DOLLARS WORTH OF SCRIPT. AND I ALLOWED THEM, WITH OF COURSE THE APPROVAL OF OUR COMMANDING OFFICER, TO USE THAT SCRIPT TO PURCHASE PUBLICATIONS. NO REQUEST COULD BE MADE DIRECTLY. IT HAD TO GO THROUGH THE LIBRARY, TO THE LIBRARY OFFICER, AND WE BOUGHT FOR THEM COPIES OF NEWSPAPERS, COPIES OF MAGAZINES THAT THEY THEMSELVES HAD READ ABOUT IN THE NEW YORK TIMES, HERALD TRIBUNE, TIME, LIFE OR ONE OF THE OTHERS THAT THEY THOUGHT THEY MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN OR THEY WOULD LIKE TO HAVE COPIES OF THEMSELVES. ALL OF THE TIME THAT I WAS IN CHARGE OF THE LIBRARY, WHICH WAS FROM BEGINNING TO END, THERE WERE NO REQUESTS FOR ANY MAGAZINES THAT WERE REFUSED. I HAD THE RIGHT TO, OF COURSE, SAY NO TO ANYTHING BUT WITH THE HELP OF OUR GOOD LIBRARIAN GEORG HOMMER, I DID INFORMALLY RULE OUT GIRLY MAGAZINES, AS NONE OF THAT STUFF WAS NEEDED, EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS SOME MARKET FOR IT. BUT HE DISCOURAGED THEM AND SO NOBODY EVER REQUESTED ANYTHING THE EQUIVALENT OF, IN THOSE DAYS, ESQUIRE MAGAZINE, CENTERFOLDS, ETC. OTHER THAN THAT THERE WAS NO RESTRICTION THAT I PLACED ON THEM. I APPROVED EACH ITEM AND I HAD SOLE DISCRETION TO DO THAT. BUT I DIDN’T HAVE TO TURN ANYONE DOWN BECAUSE ALL OF THE REQUESTS WERE WELL WITHIN THE GUIDELINES THAT I HAD RECEIVED. THIS KIND OF PRIVILEGE FOR PRISONERS OF WAR IN ANY COUNTRY WAS MOST UNUSUAL, BUT IT WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL FROM OUR POINT OF VIEW. OUR PROJECT WAS TO TRAIN THESE PEOPLE IN THE ADVANTAGES OF DEMOCRACY AND FREE PRESS , OPENNESS, ELECTIONS, ACCESS TO INFORMATION, AND THIS WAS A VERY GOOD EXAMPLE OF HOW THAT WORKED IN THIS COUNTRY EVEN FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAD BEEN CAPTURED IN WAR AND WERE UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. IT WAS VERY MUCH APPRECIATED BY THE GERMANS AND IT WAS USED BY A LARGE NUMBER OF THEM, ALTHOUGH NOT ALL OF THEM HAD ENOUGH MONEY TO DO VERY MUCH.

I WOULD LIKE TO ADD JUST ONE MORE COMMENT ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL OF THESE SOURCES OF INFORMATION WHEN THE GERMANS WERE REPATRIATED TO THEIR HOME COUNTRY. THE PROBLEM WAS THAT MANY OF THEM WANTED TO TAKE BACK MORE THINGS THAN THEY WERE ENTITLED TO, EITHER UNDER THE GENEVA RULES OR UNDER U.S. GOVERNMENT ARMY REGULATIONS. EACH PRISONER WAS UNDER BOTH OF THOSE AGREEMENTS AND REQUIREMENTS PERMITTED TO TAKE ONE BARRACKS BAG, WHICH IS A LARGE SORT OF CONTAINER FOR ALL OF THEIR CLOTHES AND SHOES AND PERSONAL POSSESSIONS. THEY WERE ALLOWED JUST ONE OF THOSE. BUT THE SPECIAL PROJECTS DIVISION IN WASHINGTON, VERY MUCH WITH OUR ENCOURAGEMENT FROM FORT GETTY, GOT A SPECIAL DISPENSATION. SO ALL PRISONERS FROM FORTS GETTY, WETHERAL AND EUSTIS WERE PERMITTED TO TAKE BACK TWO BARRACKS BAGS . IN OTHER WORDS THEY HAD TWICE AS MUCH THEY COULD TAKE BACK WITH THEM FROM THE UNITED STATES THAN ANY OTHER PRISONER IN THE UNITED STATES AND MOST ALL OTHER COUNTRIES. MOST COUNTRIES THE PRISONERS DIDN’T HAVE ANYTHING TO TAKE BACK. BUT IN OUR INSTANCE, THEY DID. AND VERY OFTEN THAT SECOND BARRACKS BAG CONSISTED OF ITEMS THAT THEY HAD EITHER PURCHASED OR OBTAINED WHILE THEY WERE IN THE UNITED STATES. THE DIFFICULTY WAS THAT IN ORDER TO PASS THROUGH THE CONTROL POINTS
OF THE U.S. MILITARY GOVERNMENT IN EUROPE, AND CERTAIN ALLIED POINTS, DEPENDING ON WHERE THEY WERE, THESE PUBLISHED ITEMS ALL HAD TO BE APPROVED IN ADVANCE. AND SO I HAD ENLISTED THE HELP OF A COUPLE OF OTHER OFFICERS. WE HAD A BIG RUBBER STAMP CALLED “CENSORED”, AND SO WE WOULD GO THROUGH ALL OF THE BOOKS, PUBLICATIONS, MAGAZINES, A LOT OF THE ITEMS THAT MIGHT BE CONSIDERED UNUSUAL, AND STAMP THEM “CENSORED” AND INITIAL THEM. SHOULD ANY OF OUR PRISONERS BE DETAINED OR QUESTIONED ABOUT THESE THINGS THEY COULD IMMEDIATELY ESTABLISH THAT THEY HELD THESE THINGS LEGITIMATELY WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE U.S. AUTHORITIES. THAT PROVED TO BE EXTREMELY USEFUL ESPECIALLY WHEN THE PRISONERS RETURNED TO THEIR HOMES NEAR OR AT ONE OF THE OTHER OCCUPIED ZONES IN GERMANY, FRENCH AND BRITISH BOTH. THEY WERE INCLINED TO RELIEVE THE PRISONERS OF ANYTHING THAT WASN’T A PAIR OF SHOES , SOCKS AND MAYBE A RAZOR AT THE MOST. BUT OUR PRISONERS OF COURSE HAD AN ESCORT OFFICER AND WITH THE HELP OF THE CENSORED STAMP ALREADY IN PLACE, THEY GOT THROUGH. BUT IT WAS A TREMENDOUS JOB. WHEN ONE GROUP OF PRISONERS WAS REPATRIATED, WE STARTED IN ONE EVENING AND WORKED ALL NIGHT TO COMPLETE THE OPERATION WITH THREE OR FOUR OFFICERS AND THEIR CENSOR STAMPS WORKING STEADILY.

FINALLY I WOULD LIKE TO MENTION A--THE ONLY THAT I KNOW OF--
THE ONLY SOURCE, PUBLIC SOURCE ABOUT THE PRISONERS OF WAR IN THE UNITED STATES AND THESE PROJECTS. THE AUTHOR IS A LADY BY THE NAME OF JUDITH M. GANSBERG. SHE, ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO, IN THE EARLY 80'S WROTE A BOOK CALLED STALAG (THE GERMAN WORD FOR CAMP); STALAG USA: THE REMARKABLE STORY OF GERMAN POW’S IN AMERICA. THIS BOOK IS LONG OUT OF PRINT, AND I WOULD LOVE TO GET MY HANDS ON A COPY. I HAVE READ IT SEVERAL TIMES BUT IT IS A VERY GOOD SUMMARY OF THE PROJECT AND TELLS ABOUT OTHER AMERICAN EFFORTS WITH GERMAN PRISONERS IN THE UNITED STATES. BUT ESPECIALLY THE PROJECTS AT CARNEY, AND THE NEWS PAPER DER RUF, THE PROJECTS AT FORT GETTY, FORT WETHERAL, AND FORT EUSTIS ARE ALL COVERED IN HER BOOK, AND SHE HAD WROTE IT AT A TIME WHEN THERE WERE STILL QUITE A NUMBER OF THE PARTICIPANTS IN OUR PROJECT BOTH AT THE HEADQUARTERS LEVEL AND IN THE FIELD LEVEL WHERE WE WERE, AND SHE THEREFORE HAS COMPILED A VERY USEFUL VOLUME. I WOULD RECOMMEND ANYONE DOING FURTHER RESEARCH TO BEGIN THAT RESEARCH ON PRISONERS OF WAR IN THE UNITED STATES BY READING STALAG USA , JUDITH GANSBERG’S FIRST CLASS BOOK.

WHILE THE REMARKS ON THE PRECEDING PARTS OF THIS TAPE CONCLUDE THE DIRECT COMMENTS I WISH TO MAKE IN RELATION TO THE JAMES R. RUCHTI POW COLLECTION AT THE INDIANA UNIVERSITY SOUTH BEND SCHURZ LIBRARY, I THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE OF SOME PASSING INTEREST TO ADD A FOOTNOTE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO THESE GERMAN PRISONERS AFTER THEY HAD RETURNED TO GERMANY, AND MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCES WITH SOME OF THEM AFTERWARD.

A QUICK BIOGRAPHIC NOTE WILL HELP EXPLAIN MY CONTRIBUTION IN THAT RESPECT AT THE END OF THE WAR I RETURNED TO CIVILIAN LIFE
FOR A BRIEF PERIOD AND THEN IN 1947 I JOINED THE STATE DEPARTMENT AS A FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER AND SUBSEQUENTLY IN 1950 I WAS ASSIGNED TO GERMANY AS A MEMBER OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT FOREIGN SERVICES OFFICER GROUP IN BERLIN. THEREFORE I HAD A CHANCE TO LOOK UP SOME OF THE PRISONERS WHO HAD BEEN IN THE PROJECT AND TO HEAR WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO THEM ON A FIRST HAND BASIS, AS WELL AS TO SEE FIRST HAND AS A PROFESSIONAL FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER, SOME OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE EFFORTS WE HAD MADE AT FORT GETTY ESPECIALLY, AND TO A LESSER EXTENT AT FORT WETHERAL AND FORT EUSTIS. I SAY A LESSER EXTENT BECAUSE THE CONCENTRATION OF OUR EFFORT WAS REALLY AT FORT GETTY.

WHEN I ARRIVED IN GERMANY IN 1950 AND WAS ASSIGNED AS A POLITICAL OFFICER TO THE US HEADQUARTERS IN BERLIN WHICH WAS OF COURSE STILL UNDER AND REMAINED UNDER U.S. MILITARY GOVERNMENT CONTROL UNTIL THE VERY END OF US PRESENCE AS AN OCCUPYING POWER IN 1990 (??). I HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO SEE QUITE A NUMBER OF THE PRISONERS WHO ORIGINALLY CAME FROM THE AREA AROUND BERLIN AND WHO WERE INCLUDED IN OUR PROJECT, BECAUSE OF COURSE WE WERE ONE OF THE FOUR OCCUPYING POWERS IN BERLIN. THE MOST INTERESTING OF THESE PEOPLE HAD NOT ONLY BEEN AN INSTRUCTOR AT FORT WETHERAL BUT ALSO HAD BEEN A PRISONER OF WAR OF THE RUSSIANS IN WWI AND THEN LATER A PRISONER OF WAR OF THE UNITED STATES. HE IS NOW DECEASED. HIS NAME IS RUDOLPH MICHEAL AND HE HAD A PROMINENT POSITION IN THE BERLIN GOVERNMENT. HE WAS A CITY COUNSELOR AND FOR MANY YEARS WAS THE DIRECTOR OF THE LABOR OFFICE CALLED ARBIZOFT (sp?) IN GERMAN WHICH IS THE EMPLOYMENT OFFICE FOR GERMAN PEOPLE SEEKING JOBS. WORK IN GERMANY AFTER THE WAR--UNEMPLOYMENT OF COURSE WAS VERY HEAVY, WORK WAS VERY DIFFICULT TO GET, AND HAVING A MAN LIKE RUDOLPH MICHEAL TRAINED IN OUR PROJECT AND VERY SYMPATHETIC TO THE DEMOCRATIC POINT OF VIEW AS WELL AS TO THE UNITED STATES, BEING AT THAT VERY CRITICAL POSITION WAS A PRETTY GOOD INDICATOR OF HOW WELL WE HAD SELECTED AND HOW WELL OUR PRISONERS OF WAR HAD PERFORMED IN THE TIMES WHEN THEY RETURNED TO THEIR OWN COUNTRY. THERE WERE A NUMBER OF OTHERS. I WON’T MENTION ALL OF THEM BY NAME. THEY ARE MY FRIENDS NOW DESPITE THE FACT THAT THEY AND I WERE ACQUAINTED WITH EACH OTHER AS AN OFFICER AND THEY AS PRISONERS. NEVERTHELESS OVER THE YEARS WE BECAME FRIENDS AND A NUMBER OF THEM ARE MY FRIENDS; I WOULD CERTAINLY SAY ALL OF THOSE IN BERLIN AND A FEW ELSEWHERE HAD BEEN MY FRIENDS FOR MANY, MANY YEARS, 35-40 YEARS, AND REMAIN IN CONTACT WITH ME TO THIS DAY. I AM VERY PLEASED WITH THAT ON A PERSONAL BASIS AND IN KNOWING WHAT THEY HAVE DONE.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE GOOD WORK WE HAD ACCOMPLISHED SHOWED UP WHEN I WAS ASSIGNED TO THE AMERICAN EMBASSY IN BONN. I WAS A POLITICAL OFFICER AT THE AMERICAN EMBASSY IN BONN AND ONE OF THE INTERESTING FORMER PRISONERS, WALDER HOUFSTEIN, (sp?) WHO WAS SUBSEQUENTLY FOREIGN MINISTER OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY AND LATER PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COMMON MARKET. HOUFSTEIN HAD BEEN A MEMBER OF THE GERMAN ARMY AS A YOUNG LIEUTENANT IN A NON-COMBATIVE POSITION AND WAS ONE OF THE FIRST OF THE GERMAN PRISONERS IN THE PROJECT AT FORT GETTY.

A THIRD EXAMPLE OF OUR PRISONERS AFTER THEY RETURNED WOULD BE A GENTLEMEN BY THE NAME OF HERBERT TULOTTS (sp?). TULOTTS WAS A SPOKESMAN FOR THE GERMAN PRISONERS AT FORT GETTY AND LATER A PARTICIPANT AND INSTRUCTOR IN THE FORT GETTY PROGRAM AND THEREFORE WAS ONE OF THE LAST OF THE GERMAN PRISONERS TO BE REPATRIATED BACK TO GERMANY FROM RHODE ISLAND. AFTER HIS RETURN TO GERMANY HE STARTED A NEWSPAPER AND SUBSEQUENTLY BECAME A DIRECTOR OF A SCHOOL FOR THE GERMAN TRADE UNION ASSOCIATION, THE DEUTCHE GER VERSCHOFF BONT (sp?), DGB. AND HE WAS THE DIRECTOR OF THEIR TRAINING SCHOOL AT A PLACE CALLED OBERTWERSOL (sp?), WHICH IS IN THE TOWNES(sp?) MOUNTAINS NEAR FRANKFURT. THIS WAS A VERY SIGNIFICANT PLACE BECAUSE TULOTTS’ JOB WAS TO TRAIN UNION FUNCTIONARIES WHO THEN WERE SENT TO THE VARIOUS UNIONS AROUND THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY TO TRAIN AND RECRUIT PEOPLE IN THE TRADE UNION MOVEMENT IN GERMANY AFTER THE WAR, WHICH WAS A VERY SUBSTANTIAL ORGANIZATION, THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF UNIONISTS IN GERMANY. THE EQUIVALENT OF OUR AFL-CIO . ON TOP OF THAT, THESE EFFORTS WERE SO SUCCESSFUL AND TULLOTTS DID SUCH A GOOD JOB IN THIS VERY IMPORTANT POSITION THAT HE SUBSEQUENTLY WAS PROMOTED BY THE DEUTSCHEN GERVERCHEN VON BONT (sp?) AND WAS NAMED AS THEIR REPRESENTATIVE ON THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION IN BRUSSELS, WHERE HE WAS A SENIOR LABOR ADVISOR TO THE EUROPEAN COMMON MARKET. THE INTERESTING THING ABOUT THESE THREE INDIVIDUALS, MICHAEL IN BERLIN, HERBERT TULLOTTS IN OBERTVERSON NEAR FRANKFURT, AND HOUFSTEIN IN BONN, IS THAT THEY REPRESENTED THE PRINCIPLE POLITICAL PARTIES IN GERMANY AS WELL. MICHAEL AND TULLOTTS WERE LEADING MEMBERS OF THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY THE ESPAYDAY (sp?), AND HOFFSTEIN WAS A LEADING MEMBER OF THE CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC UNION , THE CHRISTIAN PARTY, THE PARTY OF KONRAD ADENAUER, (sp?) WHO WAS HOFFSTEIN’S SUPERIOR AS THE MINISTER PRESIDENT AND LATER THE BUNDESTCOUNSELOR (sp?) OR CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY.

THE REMARKS ABOVE ON NOW ONE AND APPROXIMATELY 1/3 SIDES OF THE TAPES THAT I HAVE CUT. I CONCLUDE MY EFFORTS FOR THIS PART OF THE COLLECTION THAT I AM DONATING TO AND HAVE DONATED TO THE INDIANA UNIVERSITY SOUTH BEND SCHURZ LIBRARY. THIS IS JAMES RUCHTI AND THAT IS THE END OF THE TAPE.

THIS IS A FOOT NOTE TO THE TAPE THAT HAS JUST BEEN CONCLUDED, AND I AM ADDING IT BECAUSE I HAVE FOUND IN THE MEANTIME, IT’S NOW FEBRUARY 4, 1997, A FEW DAYS AFTER I MADE THE TAPE . I FOUND A COPY OF JUDITH GANSBERG’S BOOK STALAG USA IN THE LOCAL MISHAWAKA CITY LIBRARY.
THEY HAVE A COPY THERE AND IT IS IN GOOD CONDITION, LISTED UNDER 940.542--G19. AND THEY THEREFORE HAVE READILY AT HAND A VERY VALUABLE REFERENCE FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO LOOK INTO THE PRISONER OF WAR CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE UNITED STATES, AND CERTAINLY WHO HAS AN INTEREST IN MY COLLECTION OF BOOKS WOULD BE AMONG THOSE. THE IMPORTANT THING ABOUT THE GANSBERG BOOK, AS I HAVE LOOKED IT OVER AGAIN, IS THAT THERE ARE SOME VARIATIONS BETWEEN THE FACTS AND FIGURES WHICH I HAVE CITED IN MY TAPE, BASED ON MY RECOLLECTIONS OF 50 YEARS AGO, AND THESE CITATIONS THAT SHE HAS IN HER BOOK. HER BOOK INCIDENTALLY WAS WRITTEN IN 1976; THAT IS, THE INTRODUCTION WAS NOVEMBER 1976 AND IT WAS PUBLISHED IN 1977. SO THAT’S QUITE A WHILE AGO. BUT STILL SHE HAD ACCESS TO NOT ONLY PEOPLE, AS I HAD MENTIONED IN THE TAPE ABOVE, BUT SHE HAD ACCESS TO THE RECORDS OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT WHICH ARE INCLUDED IN THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES IN WASHINGTON, AND TO WAR DEPARTMENT RECORDS BY THE CHIEF HISTORIAN OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY. THESE SOURCES ARE DOCUMENTARY SOURCES AND THEREFORE THERE WILL BE SOME DISCREPANCY BETWEEN THE FIGURES THAT I HAVE CITED AND THOSE THAT SHE HAS OBTAINED FROM THESE DOCUMENTARY SOURCES. FOR EXAMPLE, THE FIGURE THAT SHE GIVES FOR THE TOTAL NUMBER OF GERMAN PRISONERS OF WAR IN THE UNITED STATES IS 372,000. THAT’S MORE THAN I RECALL FROM MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE PRISONERS. IT’S ENTIRELY POSSIBLE THAT SOME HAD BEEN REPATRIATED BY THE TIME I JOINED THE PROJECT IN JULY OF 1945. NEVERTHELESS THE OFFICIAL FIGURES FOR GERMAN PRISONERS IN THE UNITED STATES IS PROBABLY MORE ACCURATELY SHOWN IN HER BOOK, 372,000. ANOTHER FIGURE THAT IS SOMEWHAT AT VARIANCE WITH MY RECOLLECTIONS IS THE NUMBER OF PRISONERS WHO COMPLETED THE REORIENTATION PROGRAM AT FORT EUSTIS. THE LAST PART OF THE PROJECTS THAT THE SPECIAL PROJECTS DIVISION OF THE OFFICE OF PROVOST MARSHALL GENERAL HAD INAUGURATED FOR PRISONERS IN THIS COUNTRY. THE NUMBERS WHO COMPLETED THE FORT EUSTIS REORIENTATION ACCORDING TO GANSBERG’S RECOLLECTION OF THE DOCUMENTS, WELL, HER NOTES ACTUALLY, FROM THE DOCUMENTS SHE EXAMINED, WAS ABOUT 25,000. THAT’S A FEW LESS THAN I RECALL. I THOUGHT THE NUMBERS WERE SLIGHTLY HIGHER THAN THAT, BUT STILL, 25,000 IS STILL A SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER AND THAT DOESN’T FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGE THE POINT THAT I WISH TO MAKE, NOR THE USE THAT WAS MADE OF THE LIBRARY FACILITY. I AM ALSO HAPPY TO SAY THAT IN EXAMINING HER BOOK MORE CLOSELY AGAIN AND REFRESHING MY MEMORY OF HER BOOK, I AM GLAD I HAVE MADE THIS TAPE AND MADE THIS DONATION BECAUSE REFERENCES TO LIBRARY MATERIALS IN HER BOOK ARE RATHER LIMITED, SO PERHAPS I HAVE ELABORATED ON A PART OF THE RESEARCH SHE DID IN A WAY THAT WOULD BE HELPFUL TO STUDENTS IN THE FUTURE.

FINALLY, THERE ARE OF COURSE SOME DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HER INFORMATION AS OBTAINED IN PERSONAL INTERVIEWS AND IN LETTERS FROM THOSE PARTICIPANTS IN THE PROJECTS AT CARNEY, GETTY, WETHERAL AND EUSTIS, THAT I MYSELF SEE FROM A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW. THE SENIOR OFFICERS THAT SHE EXAMINED AND MANY OF THEM IN THE HEADQUARTERS IN THE THEN-WAR DEPARTMENT WHO WERE THE POLICY OFFICERS FOR THE PROJECT, THEIR RECOLLECTIONS ARE GOING TO DIFFER CONSIDERABLY FROM THOSE OF US WHO WERE IN THE FIELD. AND SOME OF THEM OF COURSE SERVED AT BOTH HEADQUARTERS AND IN THE FIELD AND I AM SURE THERE WERE VARIATIONS IN THEIR INTERPRETATIONS AS WELL.

MY RECOLLECTIONS ARE BASED OF COURSE ON EVENTS AS I SAW THEM AS A YOUNG LT. I WAS A 2ND. LT. AND I WAS AT THE OPERATIONAL LEVEL
IN THE FIELD. WE WERE ACTUALLY CARRYING OUT THE PROGRAM THAT THE HEADQUARTERS PEOPLE HAD DECIDED WE WOULD IMPLEMENT FOR THESE SPECIAL PROJECTS. AND I SAW THEM AS AN OPERATOR . AT THE TIME I WAS ABOUT 24 YEARS OF AGE, AND I DID NOT HAVE THE EXPERIENCE IN MANY OF THESE THINGS THAT MANY OF THE OTHER MORE SENIOR PEOPLE DID , I MEAN IN THE SENSE OF INSTRUCTION. ON THE OTHER HAND, A HANDFUL OF US, AS I MENTIONED IN THE TAPE, HAD A GREAT DEAL MORE MILITARY EXPERIENCE THAN MANY OF THE FACULTY MEMBERS FOR THE PROJECTS AT THE FOUR KEY INSTALLATIONS. I BELIEVE THE PRINCIPLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GANSBERG’S BOOK AND MY OWN RECOLLECTIONS ARE REALLY VERY FEW EXCEPT IN ONE IMPORTANT RESPECT. AND THAT IS I SAW THE FORT EUSTIS PROJECT, THE REORIENTATION PROGRAM FOR LARGE NUMBERS OF GERMAN PRISONERS IN A VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, WHICH YOU MAY RECALL F ROM PORTIONS OF THE TAPE ABOVE, WE HAD THEM ONLY FOR ABOUT A WEEK, SOME OF THEM IN A HOLDING PATTERN FOR A FEW DAYS LONGER. BUT MY RECOLLECTION OF THE EUSTIS PROJECT WAS THAT IT WAS CONSIDERABLY LESS SIGNIFICANT IN TERMS OF THE IMPACT WE MADE ON THE PRISONERS AND IN TERMS OF THE QUALITY OF THE PRISONERS THAT WE TURNED OUT FROM THE PROGRAMS, CONSIDERABLY DIFFERENT FROM GETTY AND WETHERAL. THOSE PROJECTS WERE MUCH MORE INTENSE, MUCH MORE SERIOUSLY CONDUCTED, MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE IN GIVING US A LOOK BOTH AT THE PRISONERS AND AT THE WORK THEY WOULD DO LATER ON WHEN THEY WERE REPATRIATED TO GERMANY. THEY WERE THE KERNEL, THAT IS, THE KEY PEOPLE. THEREFORE, I LOOK UPON THE EUSTIS PROJECT AS BEING CONSIDERABLY LESS SIGNIFICANT THAN IT IS PORTRAYED IN THE GANSBERG BOOK. THIS DOES NOT MEAN IT IS INSIGNIFICANT, IT SIMPLY MEANS THAT SEEING IT AS A GETTY MAN, I LOOK AT THE EUSTIS PROJECT AS BEING CONSIDERABLY LESS VIGOROUS, CONSIDERABLY LESS INTENSIVE AND CONSIDERABLY LESS EFFECTIVE.

THIS WAS BORN OUT IN AN INDIRECT WAY BY OWN EXPERIENCES IN GERMANY AS A FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER LONG AFTER THE WAR HAD ENDED. I FOUND
VERY FEW OF THE EUSTIS MEN IN COMPARISON TO THE GETTY AND WETHERAL MEN. I FOUND THAT THEIR POSITIONS, THOSE THAT I HAD IDENTIFIED, WERE CONSIDERABLY LESS. NOW THERE WERE ONE OR TWO VERY IMPORTANT EXCEPTIONS TO THAT AND SOME OF THEM ARE STILL ALIVE BECAUSE THEY TENDED TO BE YOUNGER MEN THAN THOSE AT THE PROJECTS IN RHODE ISLAND, AND THEREFORE I’M NOT GOING TO GIVE ANY NAMES AT THIS STAGE OF THE GAME WITHOUT, OF COURSE, HAVING PERMISSION FROM THEM TO DO SO, WHICH I DON’T HAVE. WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE AND HAVING LOOKED OVER THE DOCUMENTS AND LOOKED AT IT AGAIN FROM MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE I CAN SAY WITHOUT RESERVATION HOWEVER THAT THE GANSBERG BOOK IS A SPLENDID PIECE OF SCHOLARSHIP. A VERY HELPFUL AND USEFUL SUMMARY, AN EXCELLENT OVERVIEW AND I WOULD IN NO WAY WISH TO DISPARAGE THE EFFORTS THAT SHE HAS MADE IN THE VERY USEFUL VOLUME. I DO HOPE THAT ONE DAY THIS WILL BE PART OF ANOTHER REEXAMINATION OF THE WHOLE SUBJECT OF THE WAY THE U.S. MILITARY FORCES DEAL WITH PRISONERS OF WAR. I THINK THAT WE COULD LEARN SOMETHING FROM THESE PROJECTS WHICH IS NOW MISSING FROM OUR MILITARY EXPERIENCE AT THE CURRENT TIME. THAT IS, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE CAPTURED PRISONERS WHETHER AIR, LAND, OR SEA IN THE FUTURE. THE WAY THAT WE AND OUR ARMED FORCES COPE WITH THEM WILL VERY MUCH DEPEND UPON HOW EXPERIENCED WE ARE IN ANALYZING THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES AND WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH IN WHATEVER STRUGGLE WE HAPPEN TO BE ENGAGED IN. IF THOSE STRUGGLES ARE TO BE WON ULTIMATELY WE MUST NOT ONLY WIN THE BATTLES ON THE FIELD, THE SHOTS AND THE ATTACKS AND THE CAPTURING, WE MUST WIN THE BATTLE AFTER THE CONFLICTS ARE OVER. AND THOSE CONFLICTS, AND THOSE EFFORTS, WILL BE OF VERY LITTLE VALUE IF WE DO NOT WIN THE BIGGER AND LONGER RANGED SECOND HALF OF THE STRUGGLES. NAMELY, WHAT DO WE DO WITH THESE PRISONERS, HOW DO WE TREAT THEM, WHAT WILL THEY DO WHEN THEY GET BACK AND HOW CAN THEY BE USED TO FULL ADVANTAGE, NOT ONLY FOR THE UNITED STATES AND ITS INTEREST IN THEIR COUNTRY OR REGION, BUT ALSO, OF COURSE, FOR THE BENEFIT OF THOSE PRINCIPLES THAT MOST OF THE DEMOCRATIC AND FREE LIVING PEOPLES OF THE WORLD STAND FOR. I BELIEVE THAT A GREAT DEAL CAN BE LEARNED FROM THE GETTY, WETHERAL, CARNEY AND EUSTIS PROJECTS. NOT ONLY BECAUSE OF THE RANGE OF THE EFFORTS THAT WERE MADE BUT BECAUSE THE TECHNIQUES THAT WERE EMPLOYED WERE UNIQUE IN THE ANNALS OF MILITARY HISTORY AND THEREFORE SHOULD SERVE AS AN EXCELLENT SOUNDING BOARD FOR ANYONE THAT WANTS TO LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE: HOW WILL THE U.S. MILITARY FORCES CONDUCT THEMSELVES AND HOW WILL THEY UTILIZE CAPTURED PRISONERS FOR POLITICAL ENDS AS WELL AS ECONOMIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE PURPOSES WHEN THEY RETURN TO THEIR HOME COUNTRIES.

I WILL NOW SIGN OFF, THIS IS THE END OF THE TAPE, AND I GREATLY APPRECIATE THE CHANCE TO HAVE MADE THESE COMMENTS FOR THE INDIANA UNIVERSITY SOUTH BEND SCHURZ LIBRARY.

THANK YOU.



Last Reviewed: 03/2014