Wilton Park, England: NP, 1946. First edition. Softcover. Collection of two German POW Camp Newspapers providing a first-hand account of the feelings and emotions of the men, as well as their day-to-day activities during their internment in Great Britain. The monthly newspapers were produced by prisoners in Berechurch Hall (Camp 186) and in Wilton Park:
- "Anruf: Zeitschrift der deutschen Kriegsgefangenen in Wilton Park, Nr. 1, Februar 1946." Folio. 25, pp. Original illustrated wrappers. "Anruf" was published in Wilton Park (Beaconsfield), a war camp set up in 1942 to hold prisoners likely to have information of high intelligence value, such as German and Italian officers, pilots and u-boat commanders. Among the occupants was Gerd von Rundstedt, the last Commander-in-Chief of German forces in the West. The White House was a three storey Palladian mansion that was turned into an officers' mess for staff and interrogators. A series of Nissen huts was built for staff of other ranks. Prisoners were housed in a compound of flat-roofed brick and concrete cells. The first high ranking prisoners began to arrive in the middle of 1943. These included Marshall Messe, Field-Marshalls von Rundstedt and Busch and Rudolph Hess. As the summer of 1945 turned into autumn, the generals and the marshals departed. By November 7, 1945, Wilton Park was ready for its new role, a re-education facility for German prisoners of war. Indeed, between January 1946 and June 1948 more than 4,000 Germans attended re-education classes at Wilton Park, where they discussed democratic processes with visiting political figures and intellectuals, including philosopher Bertrand Russell, social reformer Lord William Beveridge, and the first female Member of Parliament, Lady Astor. The first participants at Wilton Park included some of the most senior German PoWs in Britain and many became leading figures in the rebuilding of post-war Germany. Helmut Schmidt, for example, the former German Chancellor, hailed Wilton Park’s role for post-war Germany, stating that “many ideas became a political reality.” The success of these classes is epitomised in one German participant’s statement of his time at Wilton Park: “I was a Nazi; I came to Wilton Park and it changed my life.” This first issue of "Anruf" opens with a long poem by Wolfgang Weyrauch titled "Anruf." Articles by Martin Guetter; Dr. Erwin Weghorn; Gustav Radbruch; Justus Franz Wittkop; Alfred Brasch, and others. The articles deal with current problems in Europe, democracy 'as exemplified in Britain,' the Nuremberg Trial, the United Nations organization, politics, religion, etc.. and above all a strongly anti-Nazi stance. Includes two in-text b/w drawings of the camp. Contemporary stamp on inside of front cover: "Wilton Park Training Centre. Authorised to be retained by P. W. Georg Kunz - 312 495 (prisoner's name and matricule are handwritten). Typed text in German. Wrappers and interior in overall very good condition.
- "Querschnitt: Monatszeitschrift des Camp 186." Folio. 20pp. Original illustrated stappled wrappers. "Querschnitt" was published in Berechurch Hall (Essex), a camp which served as one of the country’s largest transit centres for German prisoners captured during the final stages of the Second World War. It was the first 1,500 men to arrive on September 19, 1944, who helped the camp take shape in those early days. Transported in by lorry at night, they were ordered to pitch their own bell-tents on a field encircled by a few strands of barbed wire. Work on improvised kitchen and toilets did not start until the next day, and hot food was not available until that night. But as Camp 186 grew to cope with more than 6,000 prisoners at a time, new facilities, including Nissen huts for housing and a 120-bed medical center, were added. There were also orchestras, a newspaper ("Querschnitt"), two theatre groups - one of which performed the works of Dante, Schiller and Shakespeare in large marquees - and even a 300-student Catholic seminary. This issue contains articles by Heinz C. Woelfle (of the Geheimefeldpolizei, who served in the Channel Islands at a base called "Silvertide," Havre-de-Pas, Jersey); Dr. F. Glasau; Herbert Hellmann, and others. Illustrated with two woodcuts (front and back covers), and 6 inside. The content features various items such as news reports (Nuremberg Trial), gardening, alimentation, entertainment programs, and above all, the usual anti-Nazi editorial stance. Minor and faint creasing mark throughout. Typed text in German. Wrappers and interior in overall very good condition. vg. Item #38959