Tayside and Central Scotland

German PoW leaves £384,000 to Perthshire village

Heinrich Steinmeyer Image copyright Comrie Development Trust
Image caption Heinrich Steinmeyer returned to the site of the PoW camp in 2009

A former German soldier has left £384,000 in his will to the Perthshire village where he was held as a prisoner of war during World War Two.

Heinrich Steinmeyer was 19 when he was captured in France and held in the PoW camp at Cultybraggan by Comrie.

Mr Steinmeyer, who died in 2013 aged 90, bequeathed the money in return for the kindness he was shown there.

He said in his will he wanted the money to benefit the village's "elderly people".

Part of his will reads: "Herewith, 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."

Comrie Development Trust, who Mr Steinmeyer asked to manage his legacy, has launched a consultation on how the money should be used.

Image copyright SNAIK/GEOGRAPH
Image caption Mr Steinmeyer was held at Cultybraggan with about 4,000 other prisoners

Trust secretary Andrew Reid said: "Throughout his captivity, Heinrich Steinmeyer was very struck by the kindness shown to him Scottish people, which he had not expected.

"After the war, he visited Comrie and made lasting friendships in the village.

"He vowed to leave everything he owned for the benefit of older people in the place he wanted to thank."

Mr Reid said overseeing the will and the sale of Mr Steinmeyer's property had involved a "complex and very lengthy process" in Germany.

Mr Steinmeyer was held at Cultybraggan along with about 4,000 other prisoners.

Hitler's deputy Rudolph Hess also spent a night there after parachuting into Scotland in 1941.

After the end of the war, Mr Steinmeyer worked on a farm before returning to Germany.

Mr Steinmeyer died two weeks after Comrie resident George Carson, who became a close friend of the former soldier.

Mr Carson said of Mr Steinmeyer: "He was a dyed in the wool Nazi and once thought that Hitler was the finest thing ever to happen to Germany.

"He was captured and taken to Comrie and eventually was allowed to work and was treated with great kindness by people."

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