English translation of Obituary from Alfred Grislawski's comrade Herbert Scharna with Maria and family:
My friend and comrade of the Paratrooper Veterans' Organization Wanne-Eickel
Hauptmann and fighter pilot
Holder of the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross
was carried to his funeral by his nearest kin on 24 September 2003.
As his best friend for many years--from school time in 1926--I would like to recall the path of his life, since despite the wishes of his family, nothing personal about him was mentioned during the funeral ceremony.
As a child of a socialist miner family he went through a childhood and youth that was full of hardships, so that he even found the compulsory working service and military service as recreational. Following this, Alfred decided to enlist. The Luftwaffe trained him to an aviator and a fighter pilot shortly before the outbreak of World War II. During the following years, Alfred distinguished himself as a fighter pilot at several fronts in the war. This time formed his continued life and his character. During the war we both enjoyed home leave at the same time, so together with our class teacher-who always, from the start of school to exam, was a fatherly friend-I could salute the new Feldwebel and Knight's Cross Holder in Wanne-Eickel in the pub "Fürst Bismarck".
As the war went on, he was promoted to Hauptmann, and, due to his brilliant successes as a fighter pilot, was awarded with the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross. He was not even 25 years old when he on 25 September 1944, for the eighth and last time, was shot down and badly injured at Haltern. He said that it was a miracle that he survived, and he used to say that both of us probably had the same guardian angel. By then, he had already learned what life is really about. Material things were of no importance to him. Friendship, sincerity, honesty, modesty, responsibility, and sympathy were the most important values to him, and nothing made him more upset than haughtiness and arrogance. This attitude also characterized his pure, friendly and humorous character.
After the end of the war, Alfred wound up in captivity, which nevertheless came to an end after only three weeks, when the POW camp commander found evidence to confirm that he never had been in the Hitlerjugend, nor in the NSDAP. As a highly awarded officer, he was honoured, and with best wishes for the future, released and made it back to his wife Ilse in Leuna. In 1946 our two families were re-united in Wanne-Eickel. Since then, we spent every New Year, birthday, other anniversaries, and even vacations together. Shortly after the foundation of the Paratrooper Veterans' Organization Wanne-Eickel in 1958, we both became members.
On 19 September 2003 a long and complete life came to an end. Everyone who knew him, are grateful to have had him among us for so long.
Our condolences go to you, Ilse. We will never forget Alfred.
Herbert Scharna with Maria and family
Return to the Graf & Grislawski Website