Veteran’s Day: Remembering WWII Battles in North Africa

Afrika Korps soldiers

Afrika Korps soldiers

Phil Jensen

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For Veterans’ Day, the Black Hills Veterans Writing Group will remember the World War II Campaign in North Africa at its meeting on Saturday, November 10th, 9-11 am, at Western Dakota Technical Institute.   The main speaker will be Andreas Gronemann of Rapid City who grew up in Berlin.  He will tell the story of his grandfather who served in the Afrika Korps.  Besides compiling his grandfather’s story through family-member interviews and photographs, Gronemann also enjoys restoring WWII jeeps as a hobby.

During the war, the Black Hills received hundreds of POWs from the Afrika Korps at Fort Meade in Sturgis.  The museum there has built a permanent display based upon memorabilia from these German soldiers, who also worked on ranches in the area.  Grove Rathbun of Rapid City remembers the Afrika Korps soldiers who came to his family farm each day in nearby Nebraska.

Sturgis resident Ernst Gerlich served in the German army of  7.5 years, much of it in the Afrika Korps before being captured and spending 3 years in England as a POW.  He currently lives on the same street in Sturgis as his daughter Diana.

Rick Kriebel 2016

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Speaker contact:  Andreas Gronemann at [email protected]

Photo: Afrika Korps soldiers enjoy respite at Benghazi movie theater

More information:  Call Brad Morgan at (605) 787-6653 or Verne Sheppard at (605) 342-5512

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Woodrow Wilcox

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