It's time to honor Cheyenne's Harry Evanoff. Veterans Day is one good time, but also in November is the anniversary of The Nuremberg Trials. After The Holocaust Evanoff interrogated German Waffen SS who went to those tribunals 72 years ago.

Harry Evanoff was drafted in 1941, when Adolf Hitler declared war on America. As Harry told me, "That gave Roosevelt a reason to declare war on Hitler."  In Hershey, Pennsylvania, where Harry grew up, "Pennsylvania German" is spoken, so he was assigned to the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps.

Before Germany surrendered in May 1945, Evanoff had heard of horrific deeds that gave him great "interest" in the SS. "I met with many who were in concentration camps. They told me in detail what they suffered. All of them had a number on their wrists and not one of them looked healthy."

Whether or not new generations know the evil history of the SS, Harry still says, "They truly were the bad guys."

I found Evanoff at Primrose Retirement Center in Cheyenne (age 92). He said, "My memory isn't what it used to be," but he recalled dates during World War II much more clearly than he bothered to mention his own history. I believe Harry is more interested in everyone knowing how cheap life was in countries touched by the Third Reich. I could see a younger man with an iron whit for dealing with war criminals. Otherwise Harry is a sweet old man.

According to a feature on Evanoff from Memorial Day 2017, he had said about interrogating, “I’d remind them, 'You don’t want to talk to me? I’ll send you to the Nuremburg War Crime Commission.'” At the same time, Evanoff said it was disturbing that people do not realize how important and troubling the holocaust was. He wanted to remind people to pay attention to history as not to repeat it.

When Evanoff came home from Germany, it was to Cheyenne, where he accepted a job at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, watching over a newly freed world during the Cold War.

We know he liked Cheyenne because after his military work ended, that is where Harry chose to stay.

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