Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

School News

November 12, 2012

German World War II veteran to lecture at Roane State’s Oak Ridge, Roane County campuses

CROSSVILLE — A German veteran of World War II will speak on Thursday, Nov. 15, at Roane State Community College’s Oak Ridge campus and at the main campus in Harriman.

Gerhard Hennes will speak in the City Room at the Oak Ridge campus at 12:30 p.m. He will lecture at 4:30 p.m. at the Roane County campus in room O-202 in the O’Brien Humanities Building. Each event is free and open to the public.

The lectures are presented by the Roane State-Bethel University 2+2 education program.

Hennes served as an officer in the German signal corps and fought in the Polish invasion, the Battle of France, and in the North Africa campaign.

In North Africa, Hennes was stationed at the Army headquarters of Erwin Rommel and worked with the famed Panzer leader personally.

Hennes surrendered with the Afrika Korps in 1943 and then spent the rest of the war in 16 POW camps, including more than a year in Crossville.

After the war, he was deported to Germany in 1945, but immigrated back to the U.S. in 1953 and became a citizen in 1958. At 90 years old, he resides in Fredericksburg, Va., and has written four books, including two on his wartime experiences.

For more information, contact Roane State history professor Casey Cobb at cobbcc@roanestate.edu or (865) 481-2000, ext. 2205.

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