Monday, March 25, 2013

Geographical renaming: from Kreisau to Krzyzowa

Kreisau was the seat of a branch of the Moltke noble family from 1867 until 1945. It was purchased by Helmuth Carl Bernhard von Moltke (1800-1891), known as the Prussian field marshal Helmuth von Moltke the Elder. In 1866, he received a considerable amount of money (200,000 Taler) for his strategic planning that resulted in a short and successful military operation during the Austro-Prussian War (Seven Week's War). In the following year, he used the money to purchase a manor in the Kreisau area in Prussian Silesia. Kreisau became known outside Germany when Helmuth von Moltke's great-grandnephew Helmuth James Graf von Moltke hosted an anti-Nazi resistance group at his estate. He was executed in Berlin-Plötzensee in January 1945 [1].

Like Breslau (→ Wrocław), Klein-Bresa (→ Brzezica)  and other places east of the Oder-Neisse line, Kreisau was renamed after 1945: it now is Krzyżowa, belonging to the Polish province (voivodeship) of Lower Silesia.

The former Kreisau estate is today owned by the Kreisau Foundation for European Understanding (Fundacja Krzyżowa dla Porozumienia Eurepejskiego, Stiftung Kreisau für Europäische Verständigung) [2]. An international youth community center has been launched there. It is sponsored on the basis of diplomatic notes between the Polish and German foreign ministries. Since 1990, annual summer work camps are taking place at Kreisau's  Berghaus.

Keywords: History, geography, languages, translation, public relation, diplomacy.

References and more to explore
[1] Jochen Thies: Die Moltkes. Biografie einer Familie. Piper Verlag GmbH, München, Ungekürzte Taschenbuchausgabe Oktober 2012; pages 77 and 316-320.
[2] Kreisau-Initiave: The Kreisau Foundation [].

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