Group Captives: The Re-Education of German Prisoners of War 1945-48
By Henry Faulk
Chatto & Windus, 1977, 233 pp.
Stalag U.S.A.: The Remarkable Story of German POW's in America
By Judith M. Gansberg
Crowell, 1977, 223 pp.
At the Potsdam Conference the Allies adopted a policy to "denazify and democratize" German POWs. These books contrast two approaches to that policy: Britain's to denazify, the U.S. to democratize. Gansberg concentrates on U.S. Army archives and the administration side; she had only limited success in learning the prisoners' side. What emerges is a picture of a well-intentioned but formalistic attempt to "teach" American history and civics in an almost wholly political program. Faulk, the principal organizer of the British re-education program, emphasizes the human side - defining the problem as not primarily political but psychological, the re-establishment of the prisoners' sense of individual worth and group identity - and has produced a first-rate sociological study of men under stress.