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Red Baron's death notice found in his Polish homeland

Ninety-one years after Baron Manfred von Richthofen died after being shot down near the River Somme the death notice was found in archives belonging to the western Polish town of Ostrow Wielkopolski.

In 1914 von Richthofen, then a cavalry officer with the 1st Lancers, was stationed in Ostrow Wielkopolski and gave it as his last official address before going to serve on the eastern front.

He was shot down behind British lines in April 1918 given a military funeral with full honours.

The discovery of the death certificate in Poland will strengthen the unusual but growing ties between the country and the German war hero.

Swidnica, the site of the Von Richthofen family seat, boasts memorials to the fighter ace and local officials now tout the town's Red Baron connection as reason to visit.

Re: Red Baron's death notice found in his Polish homeland

Polish homeland - what nonsense!
Ostrau (now Ostrow Wielkopolski) was firmly part of Germany when the Red Baron lived there. It became Polish only after the war as a result of the Versailles treaty punishment of Germany and artificial creation of Polish borders in 1918. You'll find the records for this time are all in German for this part of what is NOW Poland.

Re: Red Baron's death notice found in his Polish homeland

Tongue in cheek ...

Re: Red Baron's death notice found in his Polish homeland

Actually – Ostrow Wielkopolski wasn’t part of Poland immediately after WWI. Poland’s borders shifted westward after a successful uprising orchestrated by local Poles with Polish military assistance.
The aim of the uprising was annexing Poznan – traditionally Polish city and ancient seat of Polish Piast dynasty…

Hearing these Gerrys rant about German borders is most amusing…Poland lost more of its traditional lands in the East after WWII. Shut the f**k up and stop your incessant whining already. Accept responsibility for Third Reich’s war crimes, holocaust, and genocide.

By the way, Swidnica is a beautiful town. Poles forced out of the Kresy region settled there after the war.

It is noteworthy that Germans were so scared of the rapidly advancing Red and Polish communist armies in 1945 (Nazi hunters hung and/or shot all suspected Nazis on site back then) that they literally left everything behind.

Today, German tourists frequent the medieval town center, leaving a ton of Euros behind and making local populace rich. The way it should be

Re: Red Baron's death notice found in his Polish homeland

"God rest ye Jerry mentalmen,
Let nothing you dismay"

One of my favourite carols. I always get the words mixed up

Re: Red Baron's death notice found in his Polish homeland

"Poznan – traditionally Polish city"

In Mark's words "what nonsense"!

Re: Red Baron's death notice found in his Polish homeland

Here you go Hans…and fellow gerrys…learn some history. Then again, wise man once said ignorance is bliss… These are historical facts my friend – all quantifiable data.
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For centuries before the Christianization of Poland, Poznań was an important cultural and political centre of the Polans. Mieszko I, the first historically recorded ruler of the Polans (rex ambulans - "moving ruler"), built one of his main stable headquarters in Poznań.

Poznań's cathedral, the Archathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, is the oldest Polish cathedral, founded during the latter half of the 10th century. The first Polish king, Mieszko's son Boleslaus the Brave, was crowned there in 1025. Greater Poland was the "cradle" of the early Polish Kingdom; both Mieszko and Boleslaus are buried at Poznań's cathedral, as are their successors King Mieszko II, Duke Casimir I the Restorer, Duke Przemysł I, and King Przemysł II.

The city of Poznań received its founding charter, under Magdeburg Law, in 1253. The city was located on the left (west) bank of the Warta. The mediaeval walls marked the city's boundary until 1797.

The Lubrański Academy was established in 1519 as an institution of higher education (but without the right to award degrees). That right was enjoyed by Poznań's Jesuit College between 1611 and 1773 (when it was combined with the Academy).

Poznań was the capital of the Greater Poland region, until it came became a dependency of Prussia in 1793, when its administrative area was renamed South Prussia. In 1797 the city's boundaries were extended to include left-bank settlements outside the city walls, and in 1800 they further took in the cathedral island of Ostrów Tumski (including the separate town of Chwaliszewo) and areas on the right bank, including Śródka and the smaller towns of Ostrówek and Łacina (St. Roch).

Re: Red Baron's death notice found in his Polish homeland

Here you go Hans…and fellow gerrys…learn some history. Then again, wise man once said ignorance is bliss… These are historical facts my friend – all quantifiable data.

For centuries before the Christianization of Poland, Poznań was an important cultural and political centre of the Polans. Mieszko I, the first historically recorded ruler of the Polans (rex ambulans - "moving ruler"), built one of his main stable headquarters in Poznań.

Poznań's cathedral, the Archathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, is the oldest Polish cathedral, founded during the latter half of the 10th century. The first Polish king, Mieszko's son Boleslaus the Brave, was crowned there in 1025. Greater Poland was the "cradle" of the early Polish Kingdom; both Mieszko and Boleslaus are buried at Poznań's cathedral, as are their successors King Mieszko II, Duke Casimir I the Restorer, Duke Przemysł I, and King Przemysł II.

The city of Poznań received its founding charter, under Magdeburg Law, in 1253. The city was located on the left (west) bank of the Warta. The mediaeval walls marked the city's boundary until 1797.
The Lubrański Academy was established in 1519 as an institution of higher education (but without the right to award degrees). That right was enjoyed by Poznań's Jesuit College between 1611 and 1773 (when it was combined with the Academy).

Poznań was the capital of the Greater Poland region, until it came became a dependency of Prussia in 1793, when its administrative area was renamed South Prussia. In 1797 the city's boundaries were extended to include left-bank settlements outside the city walls, and in 1800 they further took in the cathedral island of Ostrów Tumski (including the separate town of Chwaliszewo) and areas on the right bank, including Śródka and the smaller towns of Ostrówek and Łacina (St. Roch).

Re: Red Baron's death notice found in his Polish homeland

Using a similar 'ancient history' argument large parts of France should actually be part of Great Britain!

German was certainly spoken widely during the 18th century in and around Poznan. There are several historic language usage books for the area.

And I wonder how many of the buildings of the current city is from this Polish period - 18th century and before?

Poznan, even with the post 1945 architectural monstrosities, still has a German feel and look.

Re: Red Baron's death notice found in his Polish homeland

Point taken, but I don’t think there is a nexis with Normandy. The whole thing with Poznan is that Poles consider it the cradle of their nationhood. There were always Poles in Poznan, and Germans only moved in large numbers under Bismarck and pursued aggressive policies designed to Germanize the Poles.

Ironically, Poles did the same exact thing in Ukraine and Belarus. There were many historic Polish language usage books for that area as well Hans. Look what’s left today.

No one can argue the same about Wroclaw (Breslau), Swidnica, or Szczecin, who were German throughout history. There may be some ancient links about some Polish chieftain leading a military expedition in the 9TH century (which Polish communists exploited after WWII), but historical facts are facts. Poles from Kresy moved there after WWII.

The “German feel and look” you refer to isn’t German. It’s called “Polska A” - the traditional more Western side of Poland. Remember before Poland unified with Lithuania (which probably led to the downfall of Poland in the 18th cent., forcing her to fight wars she had no business fighting) it was relatively small and commercial, and rulers emphasized commercial ties with what is now Germany (Madgerburg Law, free trade agreements, etc). Thus many of those cities may have the “look” you refer to, since they date back to 13th and 14th centuries.

I always find it amazing how history continues to shape that part of the world today.

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