Björn Grunert

* 1948

  • "This is something I also contemplate from time to time. If he did really know what he was getting into at the time. I tried to figure out if he was aware of what the consequences of all this could have been, at the time. I also often wondered how I would have acted in that situation myself. It takes a lot of courage, it has to be said. He was in his productive age, he was in his mid-thirties, that certainly goes with it, because the older one gets, the more one thinks of certain consequences. But I, all things considered, I'm proud that my family behaved like that."

  • "What impressed me deeply, was that when my mother was in the hospital, he came. He came to say goodbye. That means something. And when I was in the hospital, I had a major heart operation in Cottbus, he phoned the hospital. The nurses were surprised that I got a call from California. That's something that left a strong impression on me. And he doesn't live around the corner! But he felt it as his need to come and say goodbye to my mother."

  • "It was so that we were also living in the house that my grandfather built. And when my dad wanted to go home from the tailor shop, there was this little door in the back. And next to it was a ditch full of cops. That's where my dad had to report himself to be allowed to walk the few yards to the other house. And I also remember well that across the street, where it's overgrown with bushes and trees today, there was still farming going on back then. And that autumn, they were harvesting potatoes there and people were throwing them on piles. And the police turned every pile over, searched it through. These are the things which I remember."

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Waldow - exteriér, 18.10.2021

    délka: 04:34
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of the 20th Century TV
  • 2

    Waldow-Brand, Německo, 18.10.2021

    délka: 01:44:51
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of the 20th Century TV
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

Joe Mašín is a fine guy. I am glad my father helped him

Bjoern Grunert, Waldow, 2021
Bjoern Grunert, Waldow, 2021
zdroj: Post Bellum recording

Björn Grunert was born on 28 July 1948 in the village of Waldow, in the eastern part of post-war Germany, where he still lives today. There used to be a barn in the place where he is living now. Just where a bedroom is situated today, a hayloft stood. In there the Mašín brothers and Milan Paumer spent several days in 1953 on their adventurous journey through the German Democratic Republic heading towards the West. Four-year-old Björn was there, although his memories of that time are only vague. His parents helped the refugees, did not report them to the soldiers present in the surrounding area, provided them with food and showed them further way. For forty years, however, they kept almost completely silent about the event, and Björn only learned bits of the story when he was almost adult. He lived a quiet life, finished an apprenticeship, worked as a drill foreman, railwayman and crane operator. In 1994, with the help of filmmakers, Josef Mašín sought him and his mother out and they became friends. Mašín has visited the Grunert house repeatedly since then, always sleeping in a bedroom on the spot of the former hayloft, right where the Grunert family once helped save him.