Heinrich Steinmeyer was only 14 when World War II broke out, and only 19 when, as an SS trooper, he was captured in France and sent to Scotland as a POW.
While there he was amazed by the local's kindness with some of the local schoolgirls sneaking him out of the camp to bring him to the cinema for the first time ever.
19 year old Heinrich Steinmeyer in SS uniform
He was held at Cultybraggan PoW camp near Comrie, and was kept there until June 1945 before being moved to another unit and eventually released in 1948.
But he never forgot Comrie or its people and was a regular visitor after the war. He made life-long friendships in the area, and when he died aged 90 in 2014, his ashes were scattered in the Comrie hills.
Steinmeyer aged 90 with his beloved Scottish flag
Now, two years later, his will has been executed and £384,000 has been left to the village.
Local newspaper The Courier quoted an except of Steinmeyer’s will
“I would like to express my gratitude to the people of Scotland for the kindness and generosity that I have experienced in Scotland during my imprisonment of war and hereafter.”
He fell in love with the beauty of Comrie
One of Steinmeyer's oldest friends George Carson died only 2 weeks before Heinrich.
His son, also George said that he met Steinmeyer a couple of times and he was “wonderful man … He had meetings with the Comrie Development Trust in 2008 and asked them to manage his estate on his death. He was quite specific in his will that the money should only be used on the elderly in the village.”
It is heartwarming to know that an act of kindness can change a life for ever.
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