At the end of WWII, the War Department realized the United States Zone in Germany needed reliable, English-speaking Germans as administrators and policemen under the new Military Government.

As a result, the Police School and Administration School were set up as the United States Army School Center in Rhode Island and 3,700 men among 370,000 German POWs were picked for the specialized training, based upon the most promising and cooperative anti-Nazis in the nearly 500 prison camps on American soil.

It was a 60-day training course that empasized a foundation of the English language, German and American history and the structure of civil and military government. After a graduation ceremony, the 1,166 graduates were repatriated directly to Germany. Upon arrival, in a major snafu, the trained POWs were immediately put into barbed wire enclosures because the US Army did not know what to do with them.

The Provost Marshal General’s Office eventually got the men out and they were put to work, but as it turned out few were used as hoped.

Next time: What Happened to these Trained German POWs?

Copyright, Geraldine Birch. All rights reserved.

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