Nazi soldier left £384k to Scottish village where he was held as PoW

Nazi soldier left £384k to Scottish village where he was held as PoW

Villagers are deciding how to spend a windfall left to them by a former Nazi storm trooper.

Waffen SS soldier Heinrich ­Steinmeyer was touched by the kindness he found at Comrie, Perthshire, when he was held as a PoW in the Second World War.

He repaid the debt by leaving £384,000 to the 2,000-strong community in his will after he died in 2013, aged 90.

Villagers will meet next week to decide how to spend the bequest, which Heinrich said should be used to help the elderly.

Heinrich was 19 when he was captured in a battle for a bridge in Caen, France, in 1944.

Nazi soldier left £384k to Scottish village where he was held as PoW

Waffen SS soldier Heinrich Steinmeyer was touched by the kindness he found at Comrie, Perthshire

Nazi soldier left £384k to Scottish village where he was held as PoW

The village must now decide how to spend the cash

He was kept with 4,000 hardline Nazis at Cultybraggan prisoner of war camp. He said: "The whole place was so beautiful. It went straight to my heart and I thought, Why have I been fighting this bloody war?

"I was young and had been brought up in Hitler's system. I was part of the Hitler Youth. When I was brought to Scotland I ­realised the Scots were no different from us.

"We should never have been fighting each other."

After the war, he returned to Comrie and made lasting friendships with locals.

He later settled in Stranraer, working on farms, only returning to Germany late in life to care for his mother. He was divorced and had no children.

A public meeting in Comrie will discuss proposals to spend ­Heinrich's cash. A committee will be elected to manage projects.

Murray Lauchlan, interim committee chairman, said: "The Steinmeyer legacy provides a great opportunity to improve the lives of Comrie older people in a variety of ways."

There were 80 Nissen huts at Cultybraggan, which was dubbed The Black Camp of the North because it was home to captured Nazi officers.

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