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That Old Class Of Mine

July 2024
1min read

Referring to the photograph (October/November 1983) of the foreign officers who were classmates of mine at the German War College from 1936 to 1938, there were in each class at that military school approximately one hundred and fifty German officers of junior rank (captain and major), and they were organized into ten groups of fifteen officers with one or two foreigners assigned to each group. The group remained intact for the entire two years of the course of instruction, and obviously one became well acquainted with the Germans and the foreign officer who was assigned to a Hörsalle (“study group”). The Italian, Captain Fasano, was with nie, and after graduation I bade him good-bye with reluctance, for he had proved to be a very fine companion—a brilliant mind and a great admirer of our country, America. Captain Fasano was a colonel in World War II and was killed in combat. I know the nationality of each of the foreign officers appearing in your picture (pages 36-37), but I do not know the names of all of them. From left to right, they represent: Japan, Italy, Argentina, Turkey, Bulgaria, Germany, Argentina, China, Argentina, China, U.S.A., and Argentina. You will note that there are no French or British officers as guest students. There were four Argentines, as Hitler at that period was successfully playing up to that country.

Not only did the group of Germans and one or two foreign officers remain together during the entire two years, but also one carefully selected competent German officer remained with the group throughout the period. I was fortunate in having Maj. Ferdinand Jodl as my Hörsalle leiter (“group leader”). He was of Bavarian background and well trained as a tactician and strategist with broad knowledge of history and economics. His older brother was Alfred Jodl, the close personal friend and adviser to Adolf Hitler. A senior general of the Supreme Headquarters, he was hanged as one of the Nuremberg criminals.

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