Binder containing forty mimeographed typed documents from the Control Commission School (Air), Regent's Park, London, a top secret wartime organisation to prepare Allied officers for the occupation of Germany. With an autograph paper by a student.

Air Vice-Marshall D. M. T. MacDonald (1909-1988), Officer Commanding, Control Commission School (Air), Regent's Park [F/o A. H. Reeve]
Publication details: 
[Control Commission School (Air), Viceroy Court, Prince Albert Road, Regent's Park, London.] February and March 1945.
SKU: 11862

A significant collection of documents relating to the secret effort, at the end of the Second World War, to prepare officers of the British and allied armed forces for the coming occupation of Germany. Excessively scarce: the only other holdings appear to be in the British National Archives, and the Maurice M. Goodner papers (OAC), the latter relating to a later Parisian branch of the school. In the very first document in the binder (described below) the top-secret nature of the organisation is emphasized, with the directives: 'The title of the School is not, [underlined] repeat not [underlined] to be used in unofficial correspondence.' and 'No mention is to be made anywhere outside the School of its activities.' (A good description of those activities, by Paul Weindling, features at the end of this entry.) 40 documents, totalling around 130pp., folio, with around a dozen pages in smaller formats. In good condition, on aged paper; in worn brown 'Perry "Instantaneous" Binder'. Around half the documents carry one of the following nine sets of initials: D. M. T. M. [Air Vice-Marshall D. M. T. MacDonald, Officer Commanding]; P. J. A.; G. A. B.; R. M. C.; C. H. J.; T. B. J.; A. H. K.; S. J. P.; R. L. Dated documents are from 28 February and 14, 15 and 20 March 1945. The first document in the binder (2pp., folio) gives provides a clear overview of the set-up of the School. Its first page is divided into nine sections, with headings 'Postal Address' ('The Control Commission School (Air) is situated in Blocks C, D and B, Viceroy Court, Prince Albert Road, Regents Park, LONDON, N.W.8.'), 'Accommodation', 'Instructional Organisation', 'Security', 'A.R.P.' ('Note that the first and second floors have been blastproofed.') and 'Brooches'. On the reverse is a map. The second document, 'Notes on the Syllabus' (1p., folio), in addition to discussing the involvement in the course of 'Naval and United States Officers', 'Army (Flak) Officers' and NCOs, describes the four sections into which the course will fall: First, 'European Background'; Second, 'G[erman]. A[ir]. F[orce]. Organisation'; Third, 'Disarmament and Control Organisation'; and Fourth, 'Miscellaneous'. The documents falling into the third category are perhaps the most significant, and their headings include: 'Disarmament and Control Accounting Procedure'; 'Disarmament and Control. Evasions: Lessons of other Commissions'; 'The German Character' (with a page of 'Do's and Don't's', e.g. 'Do display cold, correct and dignified curtness and aloofness.' and 'Don't show hatred; hatred will be interpreted as a sign of fear, the Germans will be flattered and their inferiority complex will disappear.'); The German Meteorological Service'; Military Government of Germany. Functions of Legal Division'; 'Some Points on German Re-armament after the First World War'; 'Some Practical Points in the Handling of German Personnel on Visits to German Stations'. The material relating to the German Air Force is also of great interest, with topics including: Administrative Units; Basic Organisation; Classification and Identification of Equipment; Flak Organisation; Operational Units; Recognition of German Ranks (with two coloured charts of insignia); Signals Organisation; Supply and Repair Organisation. Subjects in the 'European Background' section include: Austria; Geography; German Civil Administration; German Industrial Organisation; German Language; German Police and Gestapo; Historical Background of Modern Germany; Nazi Party and Affiliated Organisations; Probable German Propaganda during the Occupation. Also present are a manuscript (6pp., 4to) signed by 'F/o A. H. Reeve' (presumably the compiler of the volume) and dated 19 March 1945, titled 'The rise of National Socialism in Germany', with six-line manuscript marking by tutor; and an original typescript (2pp., folio) of an article entitled 'A Study of the German Mind', subtitled 'The Working Classes'. In his 2010 biography of the psychiatrist John West Thompson, Paul Weindling gives an excellent outline of the nature of the course, which Thompson attended as one of a party of 38 Royal Canadian Air Force officers between 14 and 27 March 1945. 'The course covered the military organization of Germany: the character and psychology of the German and Austrian peoples, and a history of the Nazi Party and the German police. Basic Handbooks outlined German geography, economy, and culture, and delineated the authoritarian German character. The syllabus then focused on the German military, intelligence, and paramilitary organizations, and Allied plans for control of Germany. The course concluded with an agenda for action concerning disarmament and the destruction of Luftwaffe equipment, and Allied research interests.' Thompson graduated with an above average rating, and joined the Air Disarmament Control Commission section at SHAEF.