It was obvious to the War Department that at the end of WWII there would be a great need for reliable, English-Speaking Germans as administrators and policemen under the new Military Government. It was then that the Special Projects Division was instructed to consider the possibility of using men who were considered “acceptable” prisoners of war.

Approximately 17,000 men who were most promising and cooperative anti-Nazis were selected for the Police School and the Administration School. The Administration School was held Fort Getty, Rhode Island, while the Police School was at Fort Wetherill, Rhode Island. Together, they were the United States Army School Center.

The schools were based on a foundation of English language, American and German history and the structure of civil and military government. The POWs were taught English for three hours every day–colloquial English. They were also schooled in democracy. The 60-day training cycle had the men ready to be shipped back to Germany by the fall of 1945.

Next time: The big SNAFU

Copyright, Geraldine Birch. All rights reserved.

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