Quentin Reynolds, a writer for Collier’s, went to Ft. Eustis, Virginia, to get a take on the experiment in democracy that was being done by the War Department. More than 20,000 hand-picked German POWs were sent there before going home to Germany at the end of WWII to help them understand how Germany had to change.
On May 25, 1946, the article about “Experiment in Democracy” appeared. While at Ft. Eustis, Reynolds not only was a guest speaker, but he talked and listened to the prisoners who were going through the six-day seminar that taught them about democracy through seminars, films, and discussion groups.
He wrote that he had met many German POWs when he was in Europe and that many of them were hostile. But what he saw at the reeducation classes were men who seemed to have hope.
“I noticed something different about these Germans at Fort Eustis,” Reynolds wrote. “Their eyes were clear–not sullen: they laughed at one another’s jokes; there was noting furtive about them. They…they…well, damn it, they were different.”
Next time: Did the Reeducation Classes Reach the Hearts and Minds of the German POWs?
Copyright, Geraldine Birch. All rights reserved.