Unexamined Lives

The story of the 20th century as lived by residents in the Derbyshire village of Borrowash


Friendship Across The Years – Walter Greiner and the Day Family

This is the remarkable continuation into the 21st century of the friendship between the family of Walter Greiner, the German POW in the Alvaston camp and the Day family. It began when the Day family invited Walter, who died last year, to Christmas dinner in 1946 as a gesture of reconciliation. Walter’s daughter Birgit has written to Brian and Maureen Day to say proud he was of the stories we have posted on the website and in the Derby Telegraph “Bygones” section about their friendship.

Greetings from the Greiner family

Dear Brian and Maureen,

I am Walter’s and Anita’s daughter Birgit. I am writing to you, because unfortunately my father Walter passed away on 30th January of this year.

My mother Anita, my brother Jürgen, family and friends, we are all very sad of having lost him. He was truly an extraordinary man!

Walter celebrated his 90th birthday on 16th November 2015 with family and friends in the historic Adlon Hotel, which is located right across from the Brandenburg Gate. It was a beautiful party in a perfectly fitting environment for this great occasion. I believe that he was very happy. It was almost as if he had lived for his birthday, because his health rapidly deteriorated thereafter. He stayed at home as long as possible in the loving care of my mother until he had to go to hospital. I was fortunate that I could take time off from work and be with them for a couple of weeks in January.

My father often talked about you and your family and your long friendship with great appreciation and passion. He was very proud of the recent newspaper articles that described your extraordinary story. Of course, I read them all and shared the excitement with him.

I hope that our families can keep in contact beyond his death. My family thought that I should make the initial contact with you after Walter’s death, as I have been living in Ireland for the last 15 years and had good opportunity to practice my English.

With kind wishes from Berlin and West Cork.

Birgit Greiner

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