An Abstract of
ASHCAN: Nazis, Generals and Bureaucrats as Guests at the Palace Hotel, Mondorf les Bains, Luxembourg, May- August 1945
Steven David Schrag
Submitted to the Graduate Faculty as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
Doctor of Philosophy Degree in
The University of Toledo
In the closing days of World War II the Allied Armies overran Germany. German government officials and local leaders, all Nazi Party members, left the people remaining in their cities and villages to deal with their new occupiers. The Allies needed to restore services, such as power, and make sure the people could be fed and sheltered. They also needed to round up German prisoners of war and suspected war criminals. Securing prisoners of war did not represent much of a problem, other than the sheer numbers of prisoners. Often, however, the war criminals proved difficult to locate. By the time the war ended on May 8 1945, many suspected war criminals had been captured by the Allies. The Allies started setting up special camps to house these men.
One of these camps, named ASHCAN, first began in Spa, Belgium and later changed locations to the Palace Hotel in Mondorf les Bains, Luxembourg. This prison, known officially as Central Continental Prisoner of War Enclosure 32, held high value Nazis officials, government leaders and general staff officers. At this camp the interrogation team collected biographical information as well as information regarding how the Nazi government functioned. After about two months the Shuster Commission, a scholarly panel of men attempting to construct a history of the Third Reich, arrived at the camp, also gathered information. Neither the local interrogators nor the Shuster Commission attempted to gather information implicating any of these men in war crimes, instead focusing more on learning background information about what they did during the war. While a tremendous opportunity presented itself at ASHCAN, the International Military Tribunal did not question these men. Once the International Military Tribunal looked over the interrogations conducted at the camp, they declared the information as useless.
In this dissertation, the author investigates ASHCAN to determine the failings of the camp. It describes who the Americans incarcerated at ASCHAN, how they lived, the treatment they received, and the interrogations they received. Further, this dissertation explains why the IMT did not participate more in the camp, and why the camp is, in general, viewed as a failure.