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Special Collections Online at UT

Crossville POW Camp Collection

Identifier: MS-2561

  • Staff Only

The Crossville P. O. W Camp Collection, 1942-1981 consists primarily of newspaper clippings about the camp in the years after the war. Several clippings discuss rationing and local opposition to the establishment of the camp. In addition to the clippings, the collection contains several photographs from the camp when it held German prisoners of war. One former guard from the camp created a memoir about the camp, which includes excerpts from a book, photographs, and a map of the camp's layout. Since the site is currently used as a 4-H summer camp, a copy of 4-H's history of the property is included.


  • 1942-1981

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.


0.5 Linear Feet


The Crossville P. O. W Camp Collection, 1942-1981 consists primarily of newspaper clippings and copies of photographs. Also included in the collection is a history of the Camp property and correspondence and a memoir compiled by a former camp guard.

Biographical/Historical Note

There were approximately three prisoner-of-war camps in Tennessee during World War II. Camp Crossville housed German prisoners of war for several years, including Gerhard Hennes, a German soldier who was captured in North Africa in 1943. Hennes later wrote an account of his time at Camp Crossville, a memoir titled The Barbed Wire: POW in the USA (a copy is included in this collection). Hennes describes how well the prisoners were treated initially, with food and pay, and how that changed after the war ended and information about the Holocaust in Europe became public knowledge. Camp Crossville was repurposed as a children's camp, now under the name Clyde York 4 4H Camp.


Collection consists of four folders.

Acquisition Note

This collection was donated to Special Collections by Ms. Crocia Roberson in November, 2001.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA