Biography of Heino Erichsen
Heino Erichsen, MA, Human Development
Heino was born in Kiel, Germany, in 1924, and grew up during the Nazi’s reign of terror. He survived war in North Africa and eleven prison camps. Heino returns annually to the first in the U.S., Camp Hearne Museum www.camphearne.com where he shares his experiences. Three videos on Youtube.com bring the camp to life. POW Camp, Hearne, TX; Texas A&M Professor Discusses POW Camp Hearne; and Camp Hearne Museum.
Heino was transferred from Hearne to Fort Knox, KY, and then to Scotland. Four and a half years after Germany’s surrender, Heino was repatriated. Five years later, he returned to the U.S. as an immigrant and was granted citizenship in 1953.
In 2009, Heino delivered the keynote speech, Pathways to Peace, for the closing ceremony of the General Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor in Fort Knox. Since then, colleges and universities have wanted to hear him. Heino’s most recent appearance was at the annual meeting of The East Texas Historical Association, where he was granted life-time membership. www.easttexashistorical.org.
Since publication of his biography, The Reluctant Warrior: Former German POW Finds Peace in Texas, professional reporters and history students have interviewed Heino for documentaries, magazines, newspapers, and research papers. Heino can be heard on NPR, Mine Enemy: The Story of German POWs in America https://www.prx.org/pieces/118746 and seen on the Military History Channel and the History Channel Undercover, Nazi POWs in America, and History Detectives, Episode 2. 2005: Texas POW Camp, Hearne, Texas, www.pbs.org/historydetectives.
He can also be seen on Postcards from Texas, and read about in Lone Star Stalag, by Michael R. Waters, and, FromGerman Prisoner of War to American Citizenby Barbara Schmitter Heisler.
Although Heino was a reluctant teen-age participant in a destructive army in North Africa, he was an eager Hague Convention delegate for the international protection of children as an adult, and present for the final reading at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Holland. He is honored as a highly ethical international adoption pioneer who initiated child-saving expeditions to war-torn, poverty-stricken countries. He visited their government welfare systems and orphanages and assisted in organizing adoption programs. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Univision, and WorldNet have interviewed him regarding his humanitarian work.
Heino earned a baccalaureate at Metropolitan State University and a master’s degree from St. Mary’s University. He was the executive director of Los Niños International Adoption Center.
Heino driving WWII jeep
Heino at book-signing at Ft. Knox, KY
18-year-old Heino in his
German army uniform