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

Overview

From Stalag 17 to The Manchurian Candidate, the American media have long been fascinated with stories of American prisoners of war. But few Americans are aware that enemy prisoners of war were incarcerated on our own soil during World War II. In The Barbed-Wire College Ron Robin tells the extraordinary story of the 380,000 German prisoners who filled camps from Rhode Island to Wisconsin, Missouri to New Jersey. Using personal narratives, camp newspapers, and military records, Robin re-creates in arresting detail ...

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

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - Course Book)
$16.49
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$29.95 List Price

Overview

From Stalag 17 to The Manchurian Candidate, the American media have long been fascinated with stories of American prisoners of war. But few Americans are aware that enemy prisoners of war were incarcerated on our own soil during World War II. In The Barbed-Wire College Ron Robin tells the extraordinary story of the 380,000 German prisoners who filled camps from Rhode Island to Wisconsin, Missouri to New Jersey. Using personal narratives, camp newspapers, and military records, Robin re-creates in arresting detail the attempts of prison officials to mold the daily lives and minds of their prisoners.

From 1943 onward, and in spite of the Geneva Convention, prisoners were subjected to an ambitious reeducation program designed to turn them into American-style democrats. Under the direction of the Pentagon, liberal arts professors entered over 500 camps nationwide. Deaf to the advice of their professional rivals, the behavioral scientists, these instructors pushed through a program of arts and humanities that stressed only the positive aspects of American society. Aided by German POW collaborators, American educators censored popular books and films in order to promote democratic humanism and downplay class and race issues, materialism, and wartime heroics. Red-baiting Pentagon officials added their contribution to the program, as well; by the war's end, the curriculum was more concerned with combating the appeals of communism than with eradicating the evils of National Socialism.

The reeducation officials neglected to account for one factor: an entrenched German military subculture in the camps, complete with a rigid chain of command and a propensity for murdering "traitors." The result of their neglect was utter failure for the reeducation program. By telling the story of the program's rocky existence, however, Ron Robin shows how this intriguing chapter of military history was tied to two crucial episodes of twentieth- century American history: the battle over the future of American education and the McCarthy-era hysterics that awaited postwar America.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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)
From the Publisher
"A compelling saga of well-meaning incompetence and inefficient oversight from above. Why [Robin] asks more in wonder than in criticism, did those in charge of re-education address the problem in such a limited manner? And how could these professors in uniform have later claimed resounding success for an operation that was clearly a fiasco?"—John Toland, Washington Times

"[A] ground-breaking study.... Robin's excellent book illuminates this unknown wartime chapter in American history."—American Historical Review

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400821624
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 4/3/1995
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 224
  • File size: 916 KB

Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsPreface and AcknowledgmentsAbbreviationsIntroduction3Ch. 1The Genesis of Reeducation17Ch. 2The POW Camp and the Total Institution30Ch. 3Professors into Propagandists43Ch. 4The Idea Factory and Its Intellectual Laborers59Ch. 5Der Ruf: Inner Emigration, Collective Guilt, and the POW75Ch. 6Literature: The Battle of the Books91Ch. 7Film: Mass Culture and Reeducation107Ch. 8Politics and Scholarship: The Reeducation College127Ch. 9The Democracy Seminars: Preparation for "One World"145Ch. 10Variations on the Theme of Reeducation162Ch. 11Reeducation and the Decline of the American Dons180Notes189Note on the Sources209Index213
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)