Count Michel Lichnowsky visits Poland and Czech Republic
Since the Lichnowsky family was forced to leave their many possessions in Poland and the Czech Republic after World War II, none of the members of the family had ever returned to those countries.
In 2008, 64 years after his father Felix had to run away in a tractor with his father Wilhelm (1905 - 1975), his mother Etelka and sisters Christiane and Lucy, finally Michel was able to come back to his home land.
In a brief visit to Hradec nad Moravici and Chuchelna in the Czech Republic and Krzyzanowice in Poland, Michel Graf Lichnowsky and his wife Chikako Hashimoto Gräfin Lichnowsky, saw for the first time the place where our family of 15 genarations used to call home.
They received a warm welcome from the local authorities and people in the mentioned cities and visited some of the castles owned by us and that were arbitrarily taken from the family after the war.
Michel and Chikako arrived in november in Warsaw were they were kindly welcomed by Count Jerzy Potocki who took them for sightseeing and lunch.
Later they met with Professor Yoshiho Umeda who organized their trip to the Silesian region. On their arrival in Hradec nad Moravici, where the Castle of Gratz is located, they were received by the vice mayor of the 5.000 inhabitants city, Mr Karel Hanak, who, very kindly opened the now White Museum (Gratz) and showed it patiently for them.
Michel and Chikako stayed for the night at the Zameka Hotel, a 19th century building (castle), that was constructed by the Lichnowsky family in a pseudo gotic style and was used by the family as a coach garage and stable for the horses.
In Chuchelna they received a toast from the local Mayor Mr Josef Kubny, who in his speach thanked the family for the many developments and constructions our ancestors did in the beautiful region.
There he visited the graves of two of the most important characters of our family Prince Carl Max Lichnowsky (1860 - 1928), who was among many other things, the German Ambassador in London in 1912 and his father Prince Carl Lichnowsky (1819 - 1901) the person who made the family become so wealthy and prosperous.
After the meeting with reporters and authorites in the Mayors office they visited the Chuchelna Chateau, wich was bought by the family in 1608 and was taken from the family first by the Nazis who used it as a war hospital during WWII and later by the Czech President Mr Bennes, who with his infamous decree, expelled a native Czech family from its country in 1945, together with almost 3 million sudeten germans.
From Chuchelna the couple was taken by the Mayor of Krzyzanowice, Mr Leonard Fulneczek to Poland, where they visited the Lichnowsky Palace, another of our possessions, which was sold by my grandfather in 1930 to the Franciscan sisters, who are doing a very beautiful work, taking care of more than sixty children with very serious mental diseases.
In Krzyzanowice, Michel met with the warm hospitality of the Polish people and was introduced to Mrs Justina Bindacz an author that has been studying the history of Krzyzanowice and the Lichnowskys, who as a gift to Michel, gave him an authographed edition of her latest book.
After a session of photos and interviews, the mayor took them to visit some cities and areas where the family had influence and possessions.
We will be posting more images from this trip, and also Michel's own feelings about it soon, keep posted...
Eduardo Graf Lichnowsky
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