The Lower Silesian village of Krzyżowa was called Kreisau until 1945. It was here, on the estate of Helmuth and Freya von Moltke, that the anti-Nazi opposition group known as the Kreisau Circle used to meet during World War II. Count Helmuth James von Moltke and seven of his friends belonging to the group were sentenced to death by a Nazi court and murdered. When the war ended, the German inhabitants of Krzyżowa had to leave their houses and farms. To take their place, new settlers were brought equally forcibly to the village that was unfamiliar to them. In socialist Poland, the von Moltke family estate was taken over by the State Agricultural Farm. As a result of the traumatic experience of war and of German occupation, as well as flight and expulsion during the war and after its end, contacts between Poles and Germans froze for several decades. Silence fell. On both sides, very few individuals, although some very early on, dared to attempt dialogue, to restore broken ties, and to seek partners. Their efforts cannot be overestimated. They were pioneers of Polish-German reconciliation. I would like to present the work done by the friends from the Krzyżowa Circle in the post-war years for the sake of closer relations with Poland, looking at the former Kreisau, today’s Krzyżowa.
Annemarie Franke "Thinking about Europe acting in German-Polish cooperation Origins of the Krzyowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe"
*The text was published in the volume "(Nie)symboliczne pojednanie. Rozważania o relacjach polsko-niemieckich po 1945 roku", edited by T. Skonieczny, Wrocław 2019.