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