The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Baroness Anna von Waldenfels (née Klopp) – Part XVI

14

‘Castle’ Lagowitz in Ruins

In a chaotic flight with lightning speed from Posen (Poznan), passing through his beloved Lagowitz, Georg von Waldenfels reached his wife’s home turf, the Münster province in the northwest of Germany and became a POW of the British Army. Ilse von Waldenfels, when approached for an interview by my cousin Eberhard Klopp, the author of the Klopp Family Chronicles, was very reluctant to share any information on her husband’s past. In her eyes, more than 40 years later in 1996, Georg was ‘an insignificant subaltern officer, who did not play any special role in the SS. After the war, he paid his tribute. We never talked about those bad years anymore.” She like many other Germans of her generation had buried and suppressed deep within her guilt-ridden psyche a considerable number of events of the Nazi era.

In the night from 28 to 29 January 1945, a certain SS general was passing through Panwitz and demanded the immediate evacuation. His urgent warning revealed that the Red Army would be at their doorsteps within just a few hours. Perhaps it was only the SS-Obersturmbannführer by the name of Georg von Waldenfels, who in his flight from Posen in the direction of Berlin had quickly warned his parents. As early as 1980 the author of this book in translation had received the following information in Trier from a reliable source: “Our all-rounded super-provisioner in France, a man from the nobility, Sepp Dietrich’s staff officer, succeeded before the arrival of the Russians in burning down Castle Lagowitz.”

Should von Waldenfels have really destroyed his very own NS-Headquarters and Castle Lagowitz with all its incriminating documents and evidence turning them into a heap of rubble and ashes? Eyewitnesses can no longer be found. But the action in a time of perilous urgency fits perfectly within the overall frame of his mentality. Treacherous documents and correspondence of all sorts in the hands of the Russian or Polish authorities would have heralded a dangerous new beginning for Georg. If all these collected facts agree, the parents Anna and Ludwig von Waldenfels on the morning of their own flight from Panwitz may have seen Castle Lagowitz for the last time as a smoking and smouldering pile of ruins. Georg von Waldenfels has taken this particular piece of history with him into his grave.

14 thoughts on “Baroness Anna von Waldenfels (née Klopp) – Part XVI

  1. Amy

    This story reminded me of what we learned when we visited Auschwitz—how the Nazis tried to destroy the camp before the Alliied forces arrived to prevent them from learning about what happened there. It was somewhat ironic, given that until they saw that they were losing the war, the Nazis were preserving every record of their genocidal conduct, proud to be able to someday prove what they had done. Fortunately they did not destroy all of Auschwitz or all of those records so that today we do know about their evil.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      The thorough bureaucracy with its meticulous record keeping the Nazis inherited from previous German government. Without these incriminating records many Nazi big shots may have escaped their just punishments after the war.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. kopfundgestalt

        But as far as I know Speer could rely on, that not everything was known at the trials. He claimed that he had known nothing about Auschwitz, but he did design for a similar camp. At some point he was even number 2 in the ranking.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Peter Klopp Post author

        I read his memoirs in English translation:Inside the Third Reich. It seemed to me that he made an attempt in his book to justify his actions. Being an inside person he must have known about Auschwitz.

        Liked by 1 person

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