Mykhailo Boiko, Student (Master Degree)

Oleksandr Ivanov, PhD., Associate рrof. Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv


The article examines the process of theoretical formulation and practical implementation of “denazification” program of internee German prisoners of war who were dislocated on the territory of the United States of America. On the basis of the Military Department orders, the Military Governor’s reports, memoirs of the US political figures, the memories of former German prisoners of war, diaries of staff who was responsible for the denazification program, materials of German newspapers on the territory of the American occupation zone, the authors studied the main mechanisms, directions, and issues of “denazification” carried out in camps for the prisoners of war 1943-1945.

The denazification project originated in the United States migrant communities. The ideological founder of the “recharacterisation” course, British Edward Davidson, formed the basic provisions during 1943-1945, shared to interned German prisoners of war, who took the “recharacterisation” within the framework of acquaintance with the political system, economic conditions and the cultural heritage of the United States on the territory of Fort Jetta, Corny, Weserill. Denazification helped to reveal the criminal nature of the Nazi regime, to discredit the National Socialists and to facilitate the get away tendency from Nazi ideology. Within the framework of the Special Project, more than 39,000 former Wehrmacht soldiers were ready to serve under the guidance of officers of the Military Administration across the American Occupation Zone. Edward Davison’s efforts have not been succeeded because of bureaucratic barriers in Germany, as former prisoners of war were not provided with jobs on administrative positions.

The United States intended to create a new type of citizen by integrating different instruments of political socialization such as the media, schools and civil society. Rarely, when the nation has undergone such an attempt to change political relations in a democratic direction in such a short time.

Keywords: Prisoners of War (PoW), denazification, The United States of America, national socialism, Germany

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