Mental Eastward Expansion
BONN/PALAC LEHNDORFFOW (Own Report) A German foundation plans to restore the manors of former nobles (Junker) in Poland and has requested several millions in tax funds. The German head of state is the ,,patron"of this alleged private organization whose membership consists of important members of German economic circles and the aristocracy. The planned Polish branch will also receive a noble name. The foundation bears the name of the countess Marion Graefin von Doenhoff, who had ,,special connections"to German foreign espionage. One object, chosen for restoration, was part of her family's aristocratic properties and served as the residence of National Socialist Foreign Minister Ribbentrop until 1944. The board chairman explained to this editor that the foundation recruits German ,,expellees"to participate in the restorations in Poland.
The ,,Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz"or German Foundation for Monument Protection is the organizational center for activities concerning Poland. Several state ministers, the chairman of ,,Allgemeine Rundfunkanstalten Deutschlands"(ARD) or United German broadcasting companies, as well as the rightwing conservative publicist Arnulf Baring, among others, serve on the board. The organization, which is under the supervision of the interior ministry of the state of North Rhine Westphalia, intends to submit by-laws for its subsidiary, the ,,Marion-Graefin-von-Doenhoff-Stiftung"by the middle of the month. The chairperson of the foundation told german-foreign-policy.com that its seat will be in Bonn and its ,,urgent"project goals are the restoration and ,,retention of traces of German history (in Poland)." 1)The necessary funds are to be provided by Berlin's government and members of the German economy.
Since 1991 the German state has financed the restoration of former aristocratic properties in Poland which had been considered ,,architectural monuments"and are being rededicated as historic. The existing monument, honoring the fallen in the struggle against the NS (national socialist) occupation, in Polish Leknica, had to be moved for the creation of a German scenic park. Replacing the more recent history with memories of German colonists, visitors today will find the granite monument ,,with the newly cast portrait medallion" 2)of Count Pueckler, a former owner of the park. ,,Landscaping plans compatible with parks"were applied to this project. Berlin's press notes, with some arrogance, that ,,mental barriers must be torn down" 3)and ,,vision must be liberated"because Polish architecture is ,,deeply obligated" 4)to the German one.
The connection between German ,,protection of monuments"and interest in securing of private properties in Poland is obvious. In this respect the former aristocratic owners are more shrewd than their disciples from the ,,expellee"milieu. While those hope for legal action and political reprisals, the German landed aristocracy holds its property deeds as claims on ,,architectural monuments"in readiness and lets public funds maintain them until a possible future grab. Thus, the Palac Lehndorffow, the former ,,Steinort"(place of stone) and East Prussian family property of the aristocratic Doenhoffs, is included among the properties to be restored by the ,,Marion-Graefin-von-Doenhoff-Stiftung"in Poland. The organizer of the new foundation confirms that this strategy is also open to ,,expellees"who are planning ahead. He states that he has already spoken of this ,,before the East Prussians" 5)and ,,the Pomeranians."He plans to suggest to their associations that they should ,,participate."
Political Maintenance of Monuments
The individual, after whom the developing foundation was named, as well as her family are legendary in combining private and state property policies under a cultural umbrella. Countess Doenhoff invoked the image of ,,German cultural heritage"in Poland in countless newspaper articles, but never let crude demands by ,,expellee"associations carry her away. At the same time, Mrs. Doenhoff who, officially functioned as a journalist, served as a ,,special press connection" 6)for German foreign espionage (Bundesnachrichtendienst/BND). Other members functioned as propagandists for the South African Apartheid Regime and, currently, cultivate relations with the Federal Government. In the area of ,,political maintenance of monuments" 7)and the ,,idea of eastward expansion" 8)which are demanded within the German public, they occupy the long-term operations area of Berlin's foreign policy.
1) Gottfried Kiesow, chairman of Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz
2) Irmela Spelsberg: Fuerst-Pueckler-Park. Kulturarbeit kennt keine Grenzen; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 04.08.2004
3) Irmela Spelsberg: Mentale Grenzen niederreissen. Wie Polen und Deutsche das gemeinsame Kulturerbe entdecken; Sueddeutsche Zeitung 08.01.2004
4) Sein Pflegefall: Mitteleuropa; Berliner Zeitung 04.12.2003
5) Gottfried Kiesow, chairman of Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz
6) Erich Schmidt-Eenboom: Undercover. Der BND und die deutschen Journalisten, Koeln 1998
7) Irmela Spelsberg: Fuerst-Pueckler-Park. Kulturarbeit kennt keine Grenzen; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 04.08.2004
8) Irmela Spelsberg: Mentale Grenzen niederreissen. Wie Polen und Deutsche das gemeinsame Kulturerbe entdecken; Sueddeutsche Zeitung 08.01.2004