Poland is a state in Central Eastern Europe and is home to approximately 38 million people. The country is the sixth largest member state of the European Union. The capital and biggest city of Poland is Warsaw. Poland is made up of 16 voivodships. The largest river in the country is the Vistula (Polish: Wisła).
Agata always treasured the photos of her kindergarten class. She kept in touch with some of the girls, even after they left for West Germany in 1989. Later, as a cultural advisor at the East Prussian State Museum, she would often visit
The village of Sztynort is located in the north of the Masurian Lake District on the Jez Peninsula between Jezioro Mamry, Jezioro Dargin and Jezioro Dobskie. Until 1928 the village was called Groß Steinort, then Steinort.
Antje Vollmer's double portrait, which tells of the couple’s life, the years in the eye of the storm – Steinort was only a few kilometers away from the Führer's headquarters "Wolfsschanze" "Wolfsschanze" The "Wolf's Lair" was built during the Second World War and was one of the "Führer headquarters". The facility, including bunkers and numerous buildings, was above ground but camouflaged in a wooded area near the town of Rastenburg (now Kętrzyn). Hitler stayed there mainly from 1941 to 1944. Today, the ruins of the Wolf's Lair, which was demolished by the Wehrmacht during its retreat, are a tourist attraction. and Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop took up residence in the castle itself – met with an enthusiastic response in Germany and later also in Poland. It enriched and broadened our picture of the resistance movement within the aristocracy: Heinrich von Lehndorff, who was in fact quite an apolitical man, was completely different from the conspirators we usually hear about. In the book, Vollmer pays special attention to his wife Gottliebe and the fate of the traumatized family after 1945.
This already outlines the essential elements of the project. Like the castle itself, it seemed to be patiently lying there, waiting to be discovered. One day the time had come: together with the author Ulla Lachauer, Agata Kern set to work, and the Copernico portal opened its doors.
Three chapters, three major perspectives: the fate of the aristocratic Lehndorff family and – as a counterpoint – the life stories of locals from the village, before and after 1945. In addition, portraits of activists and visionaries who are committed to the future of the village.
Antje Vollmer's research, however, provided a foundation, as did the autobiographical interview with Vera "Veruschka" von Lehndorff, in which she recounted the life experiences of her mother Gottliebe and the four Lehndorff daughters after the end of the war. The role of the family narrator is played by Gottliebe and Heinrich’s grandson Verus von Plotho. The actress Hanna Schygulla, a longtime friend of Gottliebe von Lehndorff, recalls times they shared in the artists' colony in Peterskirchen.
At the center of the socialist collective farming community stood the former Lehndorff castle, the "pałac". Among other things, it housed the local kindergarten, and its history shows how the various groups in the village have slowly grown together.
Family stories of expulsion and dictatorship are interwoven with experiences of current global events; some people have come to Stzynort via England or Syria. What is it that inspires the civil engineer, the cultural activist, the manager, the songwriter?
People come here for many different reasons – some are tired of city life, others have a passion for sailing, business ideas, or are drawn to the mystery that emanates from the castle and surrounding parkland. Some have political motivations, believing that this place should serve German-Polish friendship. The memory of the resistance plot of July 20 is another drawcard, a counterpoint to the nearby "Wolf's Lair", that memorial to right-wing radicalism with its constant flurry of tourists.
The fourth chapter of the project tells of the migration of objects – stolen, destroyed, expropriated, things that vanished and were found again. For example, the odyssey of a Rococo chest of drawers from the Lehndorff castle. Or the stories of inconspicuous everyday objects such as bricks, bowls, boxes, which changed places and owners over the years.