The Barbed-Wire College: Reeducating German POWs in the United States During World War II

Ron Robin, Author, Ron Robins, Author
Ron Robin, Author, Ron Robins, Author Princeton University Press $55 (224p) ISBN 978-0-691-03700-4
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Hardcover - 230 pages - 978-1-4008-1314-8
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 224 pages - 978-1-4008-2162-4
Open Ebook - 217 pages - 978-1-282-75218-4
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Robin's well-researched academic study is about the indoctrination program initiated by the Pentagon for German POWs incarcerated in the U.S. during WWII. Known as the Special Projects Division (SPD), the program of ``reeducation'' was unsuited to the soldiers of the Third Reich, given the unreconcilable differences between democracy and National Socialism. Robin lays bare the ineffectuality of the college-style curriculum, which by war's end was more concerned with countering communism's appeal than with eradicating Nazism. Noting the absence of social scientists and other behaviorists on the SPD staff, Robin uncovered ulterior motives and a hidden agenda. He argues convincingly that the architects of the SPD took advantage of the program to validate the humanistic canon, as opposed to that of their academic rivals, the behavioral scientists, with an eye to assuring postwar parity of liberal arts in the academic community. Robin teaches history at the University of Haifa, Israel. Illustrations. (June)
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