The family crib was so important to his father that he took it with him when he emigrated to the USA. The report of a donor reveals what happened between its production in Waldenburg and the return to Europe, which made its donation to Haus Schlesien in Königswinter possible.
"Kastenkrippen" (cabinet nativities) are nativity sets in which the scene of Christ's birth is arranged in a glass box, where each figure has been assigned a fixed, unchangeable place by the artist. This special form of nativity scene was produced not only in the Alpine region, but also in the 
deu. Schlesien, ces. Slezsko, pol. Śląsk

Silesia (Polish: Śląsk, Czech: Slezsko) is a historical landscape, which today is mainly located in the extreme southwest of Poland, but in parts also on the territory of Germany and the Czech Republic. By far the most significant river is the Oder. To the south, Silesia is bordered mainly by the Sudeten and Beskid mountain ranges. Today, almost 8 million people live in Silesia. The largest cities in the region are Wrocław, Opole and Katowice. Before 1945, most of the region was part of Prussia for two hundred years, and before the Silesian Wars (from 1740) it was part of the Habsburg Empire for almost as many years. Silesia is classified into Upper and Lower Silesia.

 mountain regions, for example in the
County of Kladsko
pol. Hrabstwo Kłodzkie, ces. Hrabství kladské, deu. Grafschaft Glatz

The territory of the County of Glatz roughly coincides with the present-day Polish powiat of Kłodzki, also called ziemia kłodzka (Glatzer Land). Part of the Bohemian dominion since 1348, the County of Glatz fell to Prussia in 1742 during the First Silesian War and was subordinated to the Province of Silesia in 1818.

, and in the regions of

Králíky (German: Grulich) is a town in the Czech region Pardubický kraj (German: Pardubice region) in the middle of the country, about 200 km east of Prague. Králíky has just about 4,100 inhabitants.

and the
Waldenburg Mountains
deu. Waldenburger Bergland, pol. Góry Wałbrzyskie

The Waldenburg Mountains are located in the Central Sudetes in southwestern Poland, west and southwest of the city of Waldenburg (Polish: Wałbrzych) in Lower Silesia. Some southern parts of the Waldenburg Highlands are also located in the Czech Republic.

. This model, dating from the first half of the 19th century is an outstanding example of this very special type of nativity scene made in the mountainous regions of Silesia due to its richness of detail and the high level of craftsmanship.
However, the Waldenburg nativity scene is interesting not only because of its region-specific character, but above all because of its very exciting and, fortunately, well-documented fate. The piece has an extraordinary migration history, during which it traveled twice across the "big pond" and, after almost 80 years, returned to Germany. "According to my information," wrote the owner, who ended up living in the USA, when he donated the nativity set to HAUS SCHLESIEN, "it originally came from Waldenburg, a small town located in the hilly countryside 80 km southwest of 
deu. Breslau, lat. Wratislavia, lat. Vratislavia, ces. Vratislav

Wrocław is the capital of the Lower Silesia Voivodeship (Polish: dolnośląskie), which is located in western Poland. It is inhabited by nearly 640,000 people and is the fourth largest city in Poland. Wroclaw is located on the Odra River.

. The farmers and forest workers in this area needed extra income during the winter months, and some of the skilled woodcarvers specialized in making nativity sets. [...] Among the fondest memories of my childhood were the Christmas celebrations. The whole family would come together on our estate, which was located near the Zobtenberg, the holy mountain of the Silesians. The center of this tradition was always our Waldenburg nativity set, which had pride of place at the foot of a large Christmas tree. For the rest of the year, it was kept, carefully packed, in a large storeroom next to my parents' bedroom. […]" 
The donor's family emigrated to the USA in 1935, when the first "clouds of smoke on the horizon signalling war" began to appear. The nativity set was so important to the family that it traveled with them in their luggage to Chicago, from where it later made its way to Los Angeles:
While many valuable items were left behind, my father decided that the nativity set had to come with us to Chicago. After his death and our move to Los Angeles, my wife and I reserved a corner on the second floor of our home for a chapel, where the nativity set was the focal point. During my 25 years as Grand Prior of the Order of St. John in the United States, cardinals, patriarchs and other high-ranking dignitaries came to our home to celebrate mass, and many admired this special nativity scene. Now, however, the time has come in my own life to say farewell to this precious Waldenburg nativity set and to send it home. Its new home will be HAUS SCHLESIEN in Königswinter.
And so, in 2012, the nativity set was shipped across the Atlantic from the USA and, after overcoming the rather complicated customs formalities, arrived at HAUS SCHLESIEN, where it has since enriched the collection and been an attractive eye-catcher in the annual nativity scene exhibition. Four years ago, it even returned to its "hometown" of Wroclaw for a few weeks, where it was on display in a special exhibition of the City Museum.

Siehe auch