http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2585063.stmDr Curt-Jurgen Heinemann-Gruder, a former soldier who fought for Hitler during the war, moved to Huchenfeld, near Pforzheim, in the 1980s.
He soon discovered that a mob had murdered five British RAF prisoners of war (POWs) in the village churchyard shortly before the end of the war.
The RAF men had been forced to bale out of their badly-damaged plane near Pforzheim just weeks after an British bombing raid on the town.
They were murdered in retaliation for the air raid in which 17,000 people - more than a quarter of the town's population - perished.
Yet, Dr Heinemann-Gruder was determined that the village should overcome its bitterness towards the British and publicly atone for the murders.
He told Radio 4's A Rocking Horse called Hope: "It was an act of decency for me as a former German officer. These British officers and their sergeant were killed as prisoners against the law of war.
"I had to honour the Allied soldiers as the liberators of Germany from our own tyranny. We did not have the strength to get rid of Hitler ourselves.
But not everyone in Huchenfeld agreed with Dr Heinemann-Gruder then, and some still do not.
Dr Heinemann-Gruder asked that the village put up a commemorative plaque for the RAF victims.
Resistance was so strong that his request prompted demonstrations and was refused by the local authorities.
After continued lobbying, the plaque was eventually placed on the wall of Huchenfeld church.
A special church service was held to mark the unveiling of the plaque in 1992.
Not only did the ceremony openly acknowledge the RAF men were murdered, it led to an extraordinary reconciliation between the relatives of both British and German victims.
The pilot of the damaged plane, who survived by flying the burning plane back to England, was traced by the villagers.
Initially angry at the fate of his crew, John Wynne later established a school exchange between his Welsh village and Huchenfeld and gave a rocking horse, called Hope, to the local kindergarten.
The inscription on John Wynne's rocking horse reads: "To the children of Huchenfeld from the mothers of 214 Royal Air Force Squadron".