Hennig XVIII = War Stories

christian thompson cthompson at SEL.BARC.USDA.GOV
Thu May 13 11:43:50 CDT 1999

As John Grehan asked about Hennig in Italy during WWII:

Late in the war Hennig like many other professionals was swept up by the =
military, etc. But the Americans got him quickly. So, he spent a lot of =
time in an American POW camp in northern Italy. During this time when he =
had little or no access to books (and defintely not to his beloved =
Diptera), he wrote up the first complete draft of his 1950 book. In the =
late 40s after he returned to Berlin, he finished up the book, adding =
references, etc.  The Rosa =3D Hennig connection has always interested =
people (see Nelson in Systematic Zoology), but I believe it is safe to say =
that the US Army did not provide Hennig access to Rosa's work while he was =
in Italy!

Another war footnote. Hennig worked for the Deutsches Entomologisches =
Institute which was in Berlin in what became the American Zone. The story =
that I heard was the bulding which DEI was in was largely untouched by the =
Russian shelling of Berlin. So the US Army took over the building for =
their use and DEI was forced to move out of Berlin and into what became =
East Germany. Hennig however lived in the American zone even though he =
continued to work for DEI for a few more years, etc. This lead to some =
British anti-cladists to later identify Hennig as a communist!

Oh, well ...

F. Christian Thompson
Systematic Entomology Lab., USDA
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D. C. 20560
(202) 382-1800 voice
(202) 786-9422 FAX
cthompso at sel.barc.usda.gov

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