Archiv für Juli 2015

Studienreise nach Nidden

Freitag, 31. Juli 2015

In Nidden...

Ein Bericht von Dr. Jörn Barfod, Kustos im Ostpreußischen Landesmuseum

Das Zauberwort Nidden wirkt auch heute noch. Kein Wunder also, dass das Pommersche Landesmuseum in Greifswald vom 12. bis 21. Juni 2015 eine Studienreise nach Nidden, Vilnius und Riga angeboten hatte als eine Begleitveranstaltung zu ihrer großen Sonderausstellung „Zwei Männer – ein Meer – Pechstein und Schmidt-Rottluff an der Ostsee“.  Dazu hatte die dortige Kulturreferentin für Pommern, Frau Dr. Magdalena Gebala, sich Unterstützung aus dem Ostpreußischen Landesmuseum geholt. Die Künstlerkolonie Nidden gehört hier seit Jahren zu den wichtigen Themenfeldern der Sammel- und Ausstellungstätigkeit, weshalb das Lüneburger Museum nicht nur über die wohl wichtigste Sammlung zur Künstlerkolonie Nidden verfügt, sondern auch über entsprechende Expertise.

Max Pechstein und Karl Schmidt-Rottluff hatten bei der die Kurische Nehrung und den Künstlerort Nidden besucht. Vor allem Pechstein hatte sich dort während seiner insgesamt sechs Aufenthalte viele Anregungen geholt und ebenso auf andere Maler durch Persönlichkeit und Stil großen Eindruck gemacht.

So verlief die Reise von der litauischen Hauptstadt Vilnius, deren Geschichte und Bauweise der Reisegruppe durch Führungen nahe gebracht wurde, über die mittelalterliche Burg Trakai und die zweitgrößte Stadt Litauens, Kaunas, zum Höhepunkt Nidden, heute ebenfalls litauisch. Hier war der Reisegruppe bewusst viel Zeit gegeben, sich die Landschaft und den Ort gehend langsam zu erschließen. Ein Tagesausflug nach Klaipeda, dem alten Memel, und eine Fahrt auf die andere Seite des Kurischen Haffs per Boot, ergänzten das Programm. Während dieser Tage kam die Unterstützung aus dem Ostpreußischen Landesmuseum durch Herrn Dr. Barfod zum Zuge.

Die Reise fand ihren Abschluss schließlich in Riga, der lettischen Hauptstadt, in deren Geschichte und Kultur durch Führungen ebenfalls Einblicke möglich waren. Da das Wetter ganz überwiegend dem Reiseeindruck günstig war und die Organisation wie Zusammenstellung des Programms geschickt gewählt und versiert durchgeführt wurden, fand die Studienfahrt bei allen 24 Teilnehmern ein sehr positives Echo. Uns hat die gelungene Kooperation mit den Greifswalder Kollegen viel Spaß gemacht. Gerne einmal wieder!

Wie lange fährt man von Deutschland nach Ostpreußen?

Mittwoch, 15. Juli 2015

Eine Lesereise mit Arno Surminski nach Jokehnen und Polninken vom 1.06. bis 10.06.2015

Ein Bericht von Patrice de Laminne aus Frankreich

Arno Surminski in Danzig

Arno Surminski

One rarely has the chance to visit the various places where the action of a autobiographical novel takes place. It’s even more exceptional to do it in company with the author himself. But we were able to do so, thanks to the OL museum which organized a journey through Ostpreussen. There we saw the places where Arno Surminski spent his first eleven years until he escaped to the West a few months after the end of the war. Herr Surminski was our guide through the world described in his book ‘Jokehnen oder wie lange fährt man von Ostpreussen nach Deutschland’.

The journey started in a hotel in Ogonken (Ogonki today) on the shore of Lake Święcajny. From this base we discovered his village Jäglack (The actual name of ‘Jokehnen’) and the exact place where his house once stood. We also saw and visited part of the nearby little castle mentioned in the book which is being entirely restored.

The once magnificent manor of the Lehndorff family, for a short while ‘haut lieu’ of German anti-Nazi resistance, was on our program too. Located ideally on Lake Mauersee (Mamry), we could visit a small part of the castle which had been left derelict for many years. Since 2009 the foundation Deutsch-Polnische Stiftung Kulturpflege und Denkmalschutz from Görlitz with a handful of courageous archeology strudents is currently restoring this beautiful place.

From Steinort, Mrs Kern had arranged our return to Ogonken through a two hour cruise on the lake. This region is really beautiful and would deserve to be known and visited by more Western Europeans. To add to the beauty of the lake, a typical Polish soup, the excellent Żurek, was served by a pretty young lady. What a treat!

We can easily imagine the emotion that Arno Surminski must have felt when revisiting all those places from his youth. In a number of them, he read a few chapters of his book in front of an audience composed of our twenty-member group and many Polish people who had read his book. Thus we learnt that his fame was not only limited to German readers, but crossed the borders and that Poles too, wanted to know what his writings were about.

In situations which could have been embarrassing, Herr Surminski always insisted on the feeling of friendship which he felt towards the Polish population which now lives in this region. Mutual understanding, reappraisal of history, acceptance of responsibility and eventually forgiveness were the key words to be found in his interviews. To a certain extent his work can be assimilated to that of an ambassador. Herr Surminski would always give a very positive answer often inflected with smiling humour.

In Angerburg (Today Wegorzewo), our visit was the occasion of the inauguration of an exhibition about the author, his life and his books. The Polish TVP television network and some important persons from the town attended the ceremony in front of a large audience that included many students that Herr Surminski invited to join instead of waiting outside. By this small gesture he expressed his concernedness with youth. Nobody should be left behind. History must be explained to our youngsters as well if we want the world to improve.

After visiting Marion Dönhoff’s Salons in Galkowen, followed by a small promenade on a little boat on the Kruttina accompanied by Pani Kristina’s patriotic and wistful singing, we finally reached Allenstein. It was the occasion to pay a visit to the Borussia foundation which is dedicated to maintain the memory of the very important Jewish cultural presence in the region.

We then travelled to Frauenburg, Elbing, the Stutthof KL and finally Danzig.

In Frauenburg/Frombork am Gedenkstein der Flucht über das zugefrorene Haff Januar 1945

Der Gedenkstein in Frauenburg/Frombork

In Danzig, we had the excellent guide Pan Florian who took us through the old part of the town with very crisp, precise and often funny descriptions.

Lesung in Danzig

Another very interesting visit was the European Solidarity Center on the site of the old Gdansk Shipyards. It is a huge museum opened in August 2014 which describes the struggle that Solidarnosc had to fight to obtain recognition from the then communist régime of general Jaruzelski. The many peaceful demonstrations which were systematically dispersed through violent action from the militia resulted in a number of deaths. When martial law was proclaimed on December 1981, the leaders of the movement were sent directly to jail, while a curfew and censorship of the mail and press were put in place.

The group we were part of was of an extremely high quality. We met many people with a very interesting background and with whom conversations were a delight.

We owe Mrs Agata Kern our deep gratitude for the excellence of her organization and for the opportunity to exchange views with an admirable author in the very much the places that his autobiographical novel describes.