The year 2019 was marked by a project involving the revitalisation of the palace in Sztynort, and now, in 2020, we will have the opportunity to admire its outcomes.
Our Foundation, headed by its President, Olga Żmijewska, was invited last year to take part in a working group at the German Embassy in Warsaw to join forces in restoring the former glory of this splendid estate that once belonged to the von Lehndorff family, lending it a new look and character.
This initiative has led to the successful start of renovation work in the palace under the watchful eye and supervision of the conservator of historic buildings and ancient monuments and, towards the end of 2019, the German Bundestag released the second tranche worth €500,000 for revitalisation purposes.
The Art of Freedom Foundation—due to its mission—is co-creating the multiannual cultural and social programme for the palace and the first activities have already been planned for the summer of 2020, also on the anniversary of the assassination attempt in the Wolf’s Lair of 20th July 1944 with the involvement of Heinrich von Lehndorff. The story of the failed assassination attempt at the Wolf’s Lair, Führer’s headquarters at the time—which is actually not far from Sztynort—is shown in the film Valkyrie starring Tom Cruise as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg. That was when Sztynort or Steinort, as it was originally called, for many became a symbolic place that advances the European idea of peace and community.
A plethora of experts, enthusiasts, and high-ranking officials have become involved in the conceptual work of the working group, like the German Consul General Cornelia Pieper and the Governor of the Varmian and Masurian Voivodship, Gustaw Marek Brzezin, former Mayor of the Commune of Ostróda.
As an organisation promoting the concept of freedom, we believe that a common history and a shared cultural heritage is a valuable repository from which we can draw, regardless of our nationality, native language, sex or age. This is the European legacy that should be cultivated and nurtured.