Some information from a reader added today, to this post from earlier in the year.
As a teenager and young adult in the 1960’s I knew Heinz Dahne, who ran a framing shop in Queens Road, Clifton, Bristol. This was just around the corner from the pub my father ran, and Heinz would often drop in for a pint at lunch or in the early evening. I don’t know who R Dahne might have been.
He was a quiet man and as a young person I had no particular affinity with him, except one time he told me how he came to live in England. He had a pronounced German accent and I had assumed he was a recent immigrant. It turned out he was a prisoner of war in various parts of the UK during WW II, mainly in Yorkshire and other northerly places. As a prisoner he was set to helping on farms and generally got on well with the local people despite being one of the enemy. He said he was treated well which surprised him. When the war ended he was expected to return to Germany but was given the option to immigrate if he contributed to the cleanup of the wartime infrastructure which was necessary. He spent the next 5 or 6 years demolishing concrete fortifications, unstringing barbed wire and clearing minefields. He and his crew, mostly Poles, lived in old military camps under some form of supervision. After his service he was given permission to go his own way. I don’t know if this included a passport. Some time around 1970 when I was home from university I asked where Heinz was and I think I was told he had died. His shop certainly disappeared. I have often wondered what the back story was, that a person in such a situation would perform arduous and sometimes dangerous work rather than return home to his own country. Maybe he was ashamed of the atrocities which had been committed, maybe he was struck by unexpected kindness he had met while he was a prisoner. Maybe he had even met someone whom he wanted to stay with.
Steve Williams, Möriken, Switzerland.