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Voices of Europe today Milton Mayer interviews a man who lives and works in the city in southeastern Germany very close to the Soviet Zone of his country. His work is intimately connected with the situation of the German soldiers who more than seven years after the end of the war are still held as prisoners all over the world. Dr. Schmidt This is not his real name was a Nazi and a fervent Nazi because of his knowledge of languages. He was given a high position in the Nazi occupied Ukraine in the Soviet Union and became a colonel in the dreaded should stop all the S. S.. But he lost his faith in Nazi ism as he saw it develop during the war and in effect became a traitor. So much so that when the Allies entered the Ukraine Dr Schmidt was hidden by the Ukrainians and was saved both from his fellow nazis and from the allies. He re-entered Germany secretly and after living two years under a false name he surrendered himself to the US military government after a thorough investigation of his whole career.
He was cleared of all charges and is now a free man. His real name is concealed because his present perfectly legal activity in connection with between 100000 and 200000 German soldiers still held as prisoners of war places him in a difficult situation with reference to the countries where German soldiers are still held. Here is Milton Mayer. Dr. Schmidt when and if these 100000 or 200000 German prisoners of war are ever coming back from other countries what will their state of mind be. I think they will be open to hear and to see the new situation in their homeland. Will they not still believe in national socialism which after all was the last thing they knew before they were captured.
No I don't believe by my own experiences. I know that in the capture we have that more time to have our own thoughts the Balt. Our past results on the to the old system must have had its Fort Worth was not effective. In other words it was because the war was lost because the National Socialists lost the war are that people lost faith in national socialism not in this NG of socialism. But they find that National Socialism lost the war or where it was not constructive enough. It must have had its flaws in its ideology. I think perhaps Dr. Schmidt There is a difference here between
this and who'd and that which we have about democracy. You seem to be saying that because National Socialism lost the war its followers would lose faith then. Yes. While we who advocate democracy like to believe we prefer to believe our democracy that whether we lose or win it is still the right way of life. Maybe but you see the MSM source alist. They were he was a kind of messianism and therefore the message in this movie was not in the political day and fictive. And now a double Z porn in your belly. That is what was given them as the messiah has
failed. Yes and is this their present situation. Seven years after the end of the war that they now believe in nothing they know nothing. They have thought about the past and they are ready to have a new way. Nor I think they bring with them the experiences that national thought of as much of this I'm. Lost by it's the connection with the Arab peoples with the other people of the world of the bout. Now and the very off understanding with the other people. And therefore they bring with them that in the eye of nationalism. Have these prisoner's been indoctrinated with the view of the country or the culture where they are in prison. Yes so are the detaining powers.
Try to educate the briskness in the air by and by their system. Those Eastern by the communist system and the vast democracy and then these men who come back are in part already changed in your view. Some in part believe in communism and some you find believe in democracy. I think they are open mostly in democracy but and communism they have their experiences. But I don't believe that they will be communists whiner. They are Europeans and they have had in nationality that you collective Britain zip off. There's also a construction and now I find it there in the purest of
care and this why do you think there will be more open to a democracy than to communism. They vary in the collapse collective Brezhnev ship. And they like to have their own life. And this is not a given by of communism. What is that that you think ought to be done in Germany. Are ought to have been in Germany to prepare for the building of a new life and a new German community for the men who came back and the men who will come back. I think we have to be open for the feelings. It's quite a the same situation like children who have been beaten and they come back to their partner and then their power is not open they will not
love him. But is not this the situation under the occupation. And at the present time. In Germany it was full of more than four and five years in Buddhism a ship put under a collective act after bris Masha and the bear in time. That is by being accused collectively. Yes when they came back yes it was as if they were being beaten again and then does this mean that the in your view the power to see the occupation and power see was a failure in re educating these men yes I think so why. Just
because of this collective guilt. Not only that but you have to obey them. They're living in a collective situation they were born as individuals. Therefore and thought no point in giving you hell being tried before the court. And this did not happen. They were tried by categorically yes. And I guess you lose Yes and condemn the Bayaka. Yes yes but this was the old policy of the Nazi if occasion that you are speaking of this. And that policy I take it has changed. Yes it has changed. Has the reorientation or re-education in Germany been better since that time. Yes I think Saul but no ve have to give them the boat's ability
to get their own point by and their little thinking. Not by the authorities which are given them as a new messianism they themselves have to find what is the best. If I understand you then Dr Schmidt you would prefer that there would be no propaganda. Of any kind for a new way of life and a new thinking and a new ideology you would like to have these people free. The German people free to find their own way. Yes but is not this just exactly what happened prior to the First World War and again prior to the Second World War when the German people were relatively free and first there was
developed what we in America would call Prussianism a tremendous military system. And then in the second haze came the development of the free development of national socialism. Or am I wrong. Our concern in America is can the German people be trusted to find their own way. Or is their background such that they cannot be trusted to do so. I think you have to believe that this is the same going to ration which was the first war which was the second war and if it is not the liar or the man I have to learn out of by the history and this generation has learned their part of this doomed denying the new upcoming
nationalism in other European by us they vill give design off the rights of others of identity to a higher to a higher national construction they are more Europeans than the others. I think so. And if you would Dr. Schmidt were able as no one man is a poll to determine the policy in Germany of re-education really are you and whatever you may call it what would that policy be. Do give them the idea of an individual life with their families with their natural. Are birds in which they are born.
DO need them to give up of their right to a higher construction of political. Humane to the United Nations to the United Nations or to European nations. Find a new platform for those who live for labor live for or what they sought in former times to get in a small national basis. This is a sickness off them for security in the family and so on. And now we have to find new is that there is a most acuity and where these Germans formerly sought this
security and national socialism. You are convinced that they will not freely turn to this kind of order again. Only when they are needed in their reactive form what do you mean by that. Dr Schmidt then by the collective then it's occasioned by others by the experiences of. Upcoming new nationalism in other European lands. They were needed to collect themselves. This is a problem for much in the reaction and therefore we have a vague that this reaction not be necessary. That is if I understand you Germans will again turn to a strong and dangerous German nationalism. Only if they are under pressure. Yes and if the pressure is removed
from the US you are convinced from your experience with the returning German prisoners of war the returning German soldiers that these men are prepared to find if they are only relieved from pressure they are prepared to find a new and better way. Yes and one which is not dangerous to the world community. Yes yes and I think it best. Help war you were being fired. Is that for more than five years for nine years of their voyage us and they have to experience is the cruelty of wars. They were prison us and normal people like to have a peaceful life. The nectar of that sophists. Thank you very much Dr. Schmidt. In the half destroyed city of Hama over Germany the city which gave England a family
of Kings Milton Mayer visits the home of Ralph and Hilda pops a young couple married two and a half years ago. They live in two rooms of a nine room apartment in Hanover an apartment which houses four other families. The Pops were just old enough to have belonged to the generation which got in on the second world war. Ralph Hobbs was conscripted into the German army and in the course of his five years of service. Presumably because he was not an ardent National Socialist but rather a social democrat. He rose from the rank of private to that of corporal. Today Rauf pops to his political columnist for the largest newspaper in Hanover Hill the Pops who has never visited England or America speaks better English than her husband and as befits the modern woman. She speaks for both of these young German liberals. Here is Milton Mayer from Pops. What is worrying the Germans of your
generation if you now. At first I must say that I cannot speak for all of my generation but I think I can speak for a large part of them. What worries us most Now besides ending our daily bread is the question of war. After the war the German youth came home. This is unusual. From all that I deal they hoped that there would be build up a democratic and peaceful Germany. Then that militarism was
found something very bad. And that the best would be would be to be a passive first to demonstrate that an American paper wrote in 1945 that your leader. He had been appointed in Kara's to who had been put into a concentration camp by the Nazis because of his past and that he especially he would be a good example of what the John Yoo a man who brother had himself punished for his passive first dick. I deal with that taking the weapons
against other countries. Now seven years later. Young is too old almost the contrary. But certainly not exactly the comparable contrary. They aren't told that militarism is something good or so but they are told that they will have to cooperate to defend their country against an aggression from the east and do the German young people of your generation in so far as you can speak for them believe that this danger is real.
Yes I think that most of them I have prayed. Oh and aggression and that they think that the only way Russia will begin a war but for our past if most young Germans of your age and your husband regard the danger as real. I don't see how you can complain against the policy of re militarizing Germany. We're out of the question. If so it would be better to.
But for the purpose of peace. TO JOHN me. That would work better better not to we are at all and a form that you too are some sort of neutral. Can't we have the ideas of for instance the moon and high man powers are. That question camp now or as far as I suppose. I don't think the current policy are. But the militarization can be continued. You know other words remilitarization using your if you actually required by the present danger.
Yes I think so. And do you feel what shall we say most Germans of your generation in the 30s say. I agree with you on this point. Well there is certainly no enthusiasm about becoming a soldier again. But I think that there is a job readiness to defend the country to defend the West. Western Europe Western Germany and the ideas of the West the West turned democracy against communism. If that were necessary and even if this means defending western Germany against an attack
through eastern Germany. Oh well what I don't know how far how in how far I. Can speak for the I that are there for you in this special case but I personally think that it the next train case it will be nice for you then if I understand you for our jobs are of the opinion that most German young people. I'm enthusiastic we accept the power say our remilitarization but they do accept it. Yes and how how how well
Germany even are void. We revive our militarism. One or the other. Perhaps the greatest problem that we'll have to face here because if the new John army or something like that is built up. It will be necessary to have officers and we will have to take the At first the overt officers of the Nazi army. And if you have to take violent Earth only. Those officers will be ready to serve in the army who didn't succeed during the past seven years in finding suitable profession. In
other words those who serve who are nothing but upper so that all who are the represented tear off. So-called Prussian militarism. What plan for our pops can you do in Germany. What can we do in Germany to prevent the revival of this dreaded Prussian militarism. If Germany must be really militarized and the professional soldiers will come back into power. Well at first. I think it would be necessary to make strong laws so that every officer who is mistreated as a soldier can be punished.
As hard as he deserves perhaps in connection with the law there must be a. Story of how a man to control the army and after training in the army so that members of the parliament could visit training camps and so on. Oh and that there is the possibility for the simple soldiers to complain of these officers who mistreat him. Without her being in danger are mistreated being mistreated. Still more. You think then that these safeguards well prevent the revival of militarism in Germany.
Not only that it would be naturally necessary that the spirit of the US own after hours of. Who could be changed. I don't know if that is possible but perhaps we could try it at exchanging ourselves between the different. European armies or by signing up for service to the United States to see how soldiers are trained in other countries and that it can be handled there than in the old John and finally crowd
pops. In your opinion in your opinion the people of your generation in Germany are prepared now if necessary to go to war again. Well frankly I. Think it. Is in the moment. You know people are like I don't like the thought of war to war they don't think of war they think of the friends they think well perhaps they hope if that is a strong West defense war can be avoided. Thank you very much for our jobs.
Voices of Europe
Dr. Schmidt and Hilda Pabst
Producing Organization
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Interviews with "Dr. Schmidt" about German prisoners of war and Hilda Pabst about young people's attitudes on Germany and remilitarization.
Other Description
Interviews with noted Europeans on a variety of subjects, conducted by Milton Mayer, American author and broadcaster, lecturer and professor in the Institute of Social Research at Frankfurt University.
Broadcast Date
Global Affairs
Remilitarization--Germany--History--20th century.
Media type
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Interviewee: Pabst, Hilda
Interviewer: Mayer, Milton, 1908-1986
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 52-37-31 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:28
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Chicago: “Voices of Europe; Dr. Schmidt and Hilda Pabst,” 1953-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 9, 2022,
MLA: “Voices of Europe; Dr. Schmidt and Hilda Pabst.” 1953-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 9, 2022. <>.
APA: Voices of Europe; Dr. Schmidt and Hilda Pabst. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from