Leader comment: We should grieve the deaths of old enemies

Seventy-five years ago, four people died on what was to them a foreign field. It was the Second World War, they were German and the Luftwaffe had sent them on a mission to bomb Leith Docks.

Oberstleutnant Fritz Förster was killed when his Luftwaffe bomber crashed in the Pentlands in 1943

However, as often happens in war, but only rarely in war films, things did not go to plan.

Unable to find their target, they dropped their bombs on farmland, but were killed when their plane crashed into a hill in the Pentlands.

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‘They say Leith got off lightly … they’re wrong’

Now it has emerged the son of Oberstleutnant Fritz Förster, one of those who died, and nine other family members attended the unveiling of a memorial at the crash site, following its rediscovery.

It is a lifetime ago that millions perished as the world ripped itself apart, but their relatives still remember and, at times, still grieve.

Many older Scots will empathise with Mr Förster’s son Klaus. Younger generations would do well to try to do likewise.

Understanding something of the suffering caused by just one such death is important in a Europe where rising right-wing nationalism has led the eminent WWI historian Margaret Macmillan to warn we are in danger of repeating the mistakes of the past.