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Castle Gross Stein - Kamien Slaski

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For a short time during WWII we lived in a Castle named Gross Stein

My place of birth was Berlin Germany during the war. At this time the bombings grew more intense, and the Russians were advancing...that's when my father who was a Baron was invited by his good friend Count von Strachwitz to his family castle named Gross Stein (Large Stone) this being up North. During this time the castle was located in the German sector, after the war it belonged to the area of Poland.

Count von Strachwitz was one of the most decorated German soldiers, I believe he also was involved in a plot to kill Hitler.

Amazingly enough, I do have memories of this place, even though I was just a few years old. One of my memories was seeing Nuns and also seeing a huge statue of a man on a horse, however I’m not sure it was at the castle. I also remember when a soldier brought us little toys, this man supposedly was Hannes Stelzer, a good friend of my parents.

The photo above shows my dad, me and my sister sitting on the front steps of Gross Stein. Someone had sent me a website, and when I saw the photo of Gross Stein I immediately recognized the front steps shown in the photos... Wow I could not believe it, finally I had a website of the actual story about the Castle and the I don't have to feel like I was telling a tall one believed me, and all this information was even confirmed by my Aunts in Germany who had visited us there.

Note ~

Scraper Protection: This is a personal story with personal photos with all rights reserved Delia Pacheco (C) If you see this personal story page anywhere else on the Internet besides here...Contact me...Thank You ~ Delia Pacheco

The steps we sat on as seen in the B/W photo above

The steps we sat on as seen in the B/W photo above

The steps we sat on as seen in the B/W photo above

As Gross Stein looks now ~

A place to visit in Poland

My mother used to talk about the times at Gross Stein. However when mom died, it occurred to me that I never bothered to ask any questions. I didn't know where the Castle was and who the people where, even though I heard the stories many times you where just too used to it...

Then in 1999 I got a computer. I looked up the name Gross Stein and came across a blog website where the members talked about Castles. I put in a query, and within a day I got three responses. Coincidentally the renovated building had just opened a tourist place to stay and have conventions.

Before my 97 years old aunt passed away, I was able to learn so much more about my family.

She told me many things about my family that I never knew or just did not pay attention to...funny how you think things aren't important when you are young, but family history is what makes you...genetics is ingrained whether you realize it or not. Even though it does not change things in my life, it does complete it knowing my families past, especially the German side...I'm still working on the American/English side of my grandmother Georgianna Ives from Connecticut.

Gross Stein is quite a beautiful place, the renovations of the building outside and inside are marvelous, everything looks so grand. The castle has a fascinating History. They have conventions and accommodations there...I'm not sure if they have tours...I hope someday to be able to visit this place again.

From a time in the past ~


An item with a painting of the castle ~

My father had a cigarette case or a matchbox with a painting of the castle looking just like the photo above, it was painted in red ink...sadly it's been lost over the years

Baron Alexander von Meyer -


My father...

He spoke many languages, mostly learned from his nannies, schooling and travels. He was very artistic, and I'm sure I inherited my artistic ability from him, but having a family of art collectors it must be in my blood, my GrGr-Grandfather Johann Meyer owned one of the largest French art collection in Dresden as well as his daughter who inherited them. Dad had two Photography Studios, one in Berlin and the other in Dresden. I found this photography interest an interesting coincident of his famed photographer cousin Adolphe de Meyer Dad did not have to work for a living because he had a family trust...taking photos was his hobby business, photographing his well known friends and other people. I wish I had all those photos now, they where destroyed during the war. Some of the interesting ones left, include the one of him and the Red Baron, and some of mom in her theater time.

My father also fought in WWI, one tour was in Turkey where he received the Gallipoli Star which you can read about on one of my other pages here...during WWII he photographed for the German Government wartime battles.

My Mother met my dad when he took promotional photos of her while she was making a German Movie "die drei Codonas" (the three Codonas - famed Aerialists) mom did the stunts for the Trapeze scenes.

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In an airplane with the Red Baron (colorized by a friend)*

My father & the Red Baron (colorized by a friend)*

My father & the Red Baron (colorized by a friend)*

Dad's friend ~

This is a photo of my dad sitting in the back of the bi-plane with the Baron Manfred von Richthofen the "RED BARON" in the front seat...actually I never believed my mom that this man was really the Red Baron, but it was confirmed by someone who collected items about the Red Baron...another story for another time.

I am so very fortunate to have this photograph, a one of a kind...

This notice is for those that have inquired about the Photo (Red Baron) displayed above on this lens. It's NOT for SALE at this time. This image can not be used, saved, copied or transferred to any other individual...a copyright restriction's illegal to use this image for the purpose of reproducing, for personal use or profit and or any other purposes.

The Red Baron

Kamien Slaski (Gross Stein) Castle

Location of the Kamien Slaski (Gross Stein) Castle and estate near Opole (Oppeln) in Silesia

What you are is God's gift to you, what you do with yourself is your gift to God: Danish Proverb

Created 06/25/2007

If you liked this let me know - and if not...let me know anyway!

reasonablerobby on June 10, 2014:

What an amazing story. I hope to go to Berlin soon as my friend lives there.

CoolFool83 on May 13, 2014:

Thank you for sharing your history with us. I can tell you have a very deep bond of where you come from. Your father seemed like a fascinating person.

MarcellaCarlton on March 13, 2014:

Oh, my goodness, what a stellar story! I have found that I come from the aristocratic side also. Mostly on my paternal grandmothers side, and mostly Scottish. There is also some German--like the King of Bavaria, Philipp the German King is my 24th great grandfather, and Theodomir, The King of the Ostrogoths is my 43rd great grandfather. Charlemange is my 34th great grandfather. Whew. And that is only some on the German side. I enjoyed this lens immensely.

Rob Hemphill from Ireland on January 01, 2014:

Fascinating story!

Vicki Green from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA on December 21, 2013:

What an interesting story!

soaringsis on July 29, 2013:

Thank you for sharing such an interesting life story.

LilyBird on July 19, 2013:

Thank you for sharing your story. Family histories are amazing!

Jackie Jackson from Fort Lauderdale on July 01, 2013:

Really fascinating. What a great story/

Rosanna Grace on April 05, 2013:

I enjoyed your photos and reading about your childhood memories during such a significant time in history. Thanks for sharing. :)

TransplantedSoul on April 04, 2013:

A castle - oh my!

cmadden on February 05, 2013:

So . . . we should refer to you as Baroness d-artist? ;->

rainbowbutterfl1 on February 04, 2013:

Wow oh WOW !

I am sure , it is everyone's dream to live in a castle or given a chance to live momentarily ! You are indeed very lucky and blessed .

Anthony Altorenna from Connecticut on January 24, 2013:

Wow! You and your family enjoy a very interesting heritage, from living in a castle as a Baroness to friends like the Red Baron. I hope that you get to re-visit Gross Stein Castle someday.

BlogsWriter on January 22, 2013:

Being a baroness must be very thrilling, I would ever dream to be one and live in a castle. Wow!!!

CampingmanNW on January 20, 2013:

You were so correct in stating that as youngsters, our genetics seemed so unimportant. That is until we grow old enough to appreciate them. Sadly it usually takes the death of a loved one to bring it's importance to the forefront. What an interesting lens, thank you.

sittonbull on January 20, 2013:

History and genealogy are fascinating projects to explore. Like you, I was not that interested as a young man to listen to my Aunt's and Grandmother and they had some wonderful stories I now wish I had found a way to record. This is a great lens and I hope you have an opportunity to visit Gross Stein Baroness Von Myer Pacheco. Thanks so much for stopping by my Gird lens with your comment and blessing.

Loretta Livingstone from Chilterns, UK. on January 17, 2013:

Wow! I hope you get to see your ancestral home again. It's magnificent. And your Dad was a handsome man.

Beverly Rodriguez from Albany New York on January 15, 2013:

What an interesting family you have. I, also, regret not asking questions about my family when I was younger.

C A Chancellor from US/TN on January 13, 2013:

What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing.

Deborah Swain from Rome, Italy on January 10, 2013:

what an extraordinary family history!

Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on January 08, 2013:

You certainly have a lot of great memories... I guess you will never run out of inspiration!

bofirebear on January 08, 2013:

Very interesting lenses and photos. I especially liked the one with the Red Baron

Mary Beth Granger from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA on January 06, 2013:

How very interesting...thank you for sharing. Blessed.

BuckHawkcenter on December 03, 2012:

What a fabulous castle! It was charming to read the tale and learn a bit more about d-artist the person.

Kristen from Wisconsin on November 21, 2012:

I really enjoyed reading this story!

sageinacage lm on November 09, 2012:

Fascinating lens!

Takkhis on November 09, 2012:

You are a good writer. I know your lens quality, very wonderful. You create good quality of lens, this lens is the example of it. Thanks for sharing. Your father is a real HERO i must say. I am respecting him right now.

Mamabyrd from West Texas on November 04, 2012:

d-artist your stories are fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing.

Rosaquid on September 21, 2012:

What a rich and fascinating legacy you have inherited. This is a beautiful story. Thanks!

anonymous on September 16, 2012:


Delia (author) on September 14, 2012:

@anonymous: Thanks! well without wealth the Baroness title means nothing in this country so I don't use it....but at least I can say I was born one ;-)

anonymous on September 14, 2012:

Wow, what a great story! And you're a Baroness? Double wow. :-)

RichLeighHD on September 14, 2012:

Interesting lens you've got there. Always nice to learn about people's family history.

srsddn lm on September 06, 2012:

Connecting the history is interesting. Must be a unique experience for you. I am reminded of the radio programme that I used to listen to during my childhood. It was called 'Aawaz De Kahan Hai', which literally means 'Call me, Where are you?'. During partition of India and Pakistan may people were stranded on both sides and could not meet each other for years. Their whereabouts were not known and they used to communicate through this programme. Wars and divisions of countries have created many problems and it is interesting to see people exploring their pasts. Great Lens!

Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on July 07, 2012:

You're so right, when we're younger these things seem so unimportant. It's nice to see that you've been able to dig into your family history and I've enjoyed reading these lenses with yours!

dahlia369 on July 06, 2012:

I very much enjoyed your story and photos! :)

Spiderlily321 on June 15, 2012:

Wow this is such an interesting lens! Thanks for creating this to share. I love it.

Bellezza-Decor from Canada on May 08, 2012:

Yes I wish I had asked more about my family history. Your family history is very interesting.

flicker lm on April 25, 2012:

Isn't it wonderful to learn about your family history! And thanks for sharing it with us.

Rankography on April 21, 2012:

Really cool lens. Great history.

Teri Villars from Phoenix, Arizona on April 20, 2012:

Living through War is very difficult, I am glad you survived to bless us with your stories! Squid Angel blessed!

biminibahamas on April 12, 2012:

I really enjoyed your lens. interesting how peoples background differ so much!

anonymous on April 10, 2012:

Loved your account of your roots, my great grandmother was Baroness Maria von Gross-Zauche (daughter of the German Consul to South West Africa known as Namibia) I seem to think she is linked somehow into the family, perhaps you can assist me if you any info. Kind regards, Sharon Lloyd Cross

AJ from Australia on April 03, 2012:

I now fully appreciate your interest in geneology. What a fascinating and rich family history you have. I have visited Berlin many decades after the war and marveled at it's beauty and the ever present reminders of war so long afterwards. Blessings.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on April 03, 2012:

Your life totally and completely fascinates me. The daughter of a Baron, and one that was actually close to the real Red Baron, wow. I simply love your historic tales and what a wonderful method you have found to document them eternally.

SophiaStar LM on March 30, 2012:

What a wonderful and fascinating story thank you for sharing!

anonymous on March 12, 2012:

You have a fascinating story. I hope you do get to visit Gross Stein again some day. The picture of your father flying with the Red Baron is remarkable!

Senditondown from US on March 08, 2012:

Thank you for sharing a bit of your story. Very unique photos too.

Scriber1 LM on March 05, 2012:

I very much enjoy reading your lenses! You have such a fascinating family history, thanks for sharing yourself through your lenses. Brilliant job!

Chazz from New York on February 02, 2012:

What an incredible life! Have you written a book about it yet? I am slowly working my way through all of your lenses - they are fascinating to read and your artwork is also a big draw (no pun intended.)

anonymous on January 17, 2012:

How wonderfully you have put this amazing part of your family history together....born a Baroness, lived in a castle...amazing parents for an amazing lady....blessed. I was captivated by the picture of your Dad with the Red Baron, you are indeed fortunate to have it.

Chuck Nelson from California on January 17, 2012:

Another amazing true story...thanks for sharing.

jeremykim2011 on January 16, 2012:

That is why I love Squidoo! I get to meet interesting people and read all about their equally interesting lives. You are one of them!

KimGiancaterino on January 05, 2012:

You've had such an interesting life. Last week my husband and I were shopping at Costco and there was a huge display of Sunmaid raisin boxes. I kept telling him, "that's Delia!" How nice that the Internet has helped you reconstruct memories from your childhood. Gross Stein is a magical place ... more beautiful than ever.

Delia (author) on January 05, 2012:

@tarpius: Your Highness, it was dark! ;-)

tarpius on January 05, 2012:

How is it like living in a castle? your majesty.

oxfordian on December 14, 2011:

What an amazing life you have had so far -- and I imagine so much more is yet to come. I love reading your stories. Thank you so much for sharing them.

goo2eyes lm on December 13, 2011:

i hope you did not forget your german language. here is the link in german-have you read this already?

dellgirl on December 07, 2011:

What a beautiful tribute to your father! Love this tribute and the lens, thanks for sharing such a wonderful and touching story/history.

Great lens you have here, Congratulations on making the latest 'MonsterBoard: Level 62!

Fay Favored from USA on December 02, 2011:

What a lovely lens. I enjoyed your photos and story. I hope you can go back like you want to some day..All in God's timing. With God, all things are possible.

Delia (author) on December 01, 2011:

@anonymous: Linda, Thank You for the nice comment! I realize you were talking about the paintings on my "Garmisch" lens..this lens here is about another subject (castle) and you must have just come from the Garmisch page/lens. I find it fascinating that your painting could be an Oskar Schultz the father of my friend...I emailed him and told him, about the possibility the painting could be his fathers...I would love to see the painting. If you come back here to this lens maybe you can contact me at artbydelia 'at'

anonymous on December 01, 2011:

Thankyou! I feel like I just vacationed here from your photo's and I just wish I could breath the air and taste the Bavarian breakfast you described! I was looking up the name Oskar Schultz because I have a pastel of Edelweis Flowers I bought from an estate sale in Milwaukee years ago. When I saw the pictures his son posted I couldn't believe what luck.

I don't know the name of the pretty blue flowers in the picture but the backround is like mine. I think a movie should be made of your life. I am very happy I was able to read your story.

Thank You! I will try to find a dealer in Garmisch on the net that would be interested in my picture as I would like to think the Edelweiss went home to rest back in this beautiful town.

Linda Hensley

WeirdStuff on November 29, 2011:

Fascinating life story!

Stacy Fordham on November 22, 2011:

What a colorful history and background you have. The house I live in now seems like a castle compared to some of the single-wide mobile homes I've lived in during my life. :)

WriterJanis2 on November 09, 2011:

Oh I love this lense! What a wonderful tribute.

anonymous on November 03, 2011:

see my latest pics from another beautiful castle in Niedzica:

SaintFrantic on November 02, 2011:

You are just amazing with all this stories and history.Thank you.

Jim Sterling from Franklin, Tennessee on October 22, 2011:

Fascinating history, thank you for this lens, I'd love to visit one day.

WaynesWorld LM on October 09, 2011:

What an interesting background.

Mishael A Witty on August 28, 2011:

How fascinating your life is! German baroness and SunMaid raisin girl. Kind of puts the rest of us to shame! Thank you for sharing your stories.

mivvy on July 06, 2011:

fascinating reading and great photos

Delia (author) on July 04, 2011:

@anonymous: What a pleasant surprise! what a small world...I live in Wisconsin at this time.

anonymous on July 04, 2011:

Hi, I am a granddaughter of Count von Strachwitz.. My daughter found this online and forwarded the link to me. I am curious where you live. There seems to be a lot new interest around my grandfather, so I am learning more and more.

Norbert Isles from Philippines on June 18, 2011:

I'm really fascinated by all that you related here. I can feel the pride you have for your parents and lineage/heritage. Wonderful lens.

sushilkin lm on June 05, 2011:

Nice Story. Thanks for sharing.

flycatcherrr on June 03, 2011:

What a fascinating story - and great photographs! It's very exotic to us North Americans, you know! I had an elderly friend, a war bride from Scotland - she married a Canadian serviceman and came to Canada after WW2 - who grew up in a castle, as it happens. Well, not *in* the castle, exactly. Her father had been the head groundskeeper for the estate. I used to love hearing her stories. In the war time, they had to dig up all the lovely formal gardens to plant vegetables because of the rationing. Love the stories of times gone by, and especially when the stories are so personal. Thanks for sharing yours!

anonymous on May 27, 2011:

Fascinating read. Truly awesome. Thanks for sharing and good day! :)

moonlitta on May 17, 2011:

Beautiful pictures and wonderful story.

KonaGirl from New York on April 29, 2011:

Very interesting story. Did your father escape from the Nazi army to come to America? Angel Blessed

ltraider on April 18, 2011:

What an amazing story!

Confetta Ras on April 12, 2011:

FASCINATING! Thanks for sharing this story - I am enjoying reading through all of your lenses!


Harshitha LM on April 03, 2011:

This is really interesting... Raisin girl interested me a lot. Now this lens about you and Gross Stein is also so beautiful, especially the picture of your father, you and your twin sister.

MagpieNest on March 21, 2011:

I love bits of personal history like this that are being recorded for the future.

AngryBaker on March 17, 2011:

love your lens... it made me think about my parents and what they went through. My father's father was the caretaker for the castle in Buldern after the war. The family still lives close to it.

VarietyWriter2 on March 16, 2011:

Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

Ronald Tucker from Louisville, Kentucky on March 10, 2011:

Great lens with all the historical significance of an era that had such a profound impact on our current lives(World War II was the war supposely to end all wars).

The photo gallery on this lens and on Flickr are a splendid example of the immaculate restoration of the castle. Kamien Slaski, Poland looks so beautiful and tranquil...I especially like the landscaping(beautiful red flowers that accents the castles cream colored exterior...the interior photos of what I will call the "Great Room" with its gold leaf trim and Chandelier indicates the skill and love of the artisans who did such a magnificent job of restoring the castle to its beautiful pre-war days. The family crest has a date of 1779, so this is a significant historical date that makes one appreciate your association so very interesting.

Delia (author) on March 08, 2011:

@anonymous: Rafal how lucky you are to be able to visit such beautiful old castles...the U.S. doesn't have that far back in time buildings and places to visit (except maybe Native American Items) Thanks for your visit!

anonymous on March 08, 2011:

I was spent vacation in this castle of Krasiczyn:

anonymous on March 08, 2011:

Thanks for your nice comment in Flickr. Gross Stein is now beautiful place with a lot of flowers and old trees. This castle/palce is now so beautiful ... specialy in spring or autumn.

Ruthi on February 20, 2011:

A wonderful lens, telling more about you and your family. How awesome it would be if you could re-visit your castle.

Malu Couttolenc on February 16, 2011:

Wow fanstastic memories and story. It is great that even when you were so young you still keep memories from back then.

happynutritionist on January 27, 2011:

I stumbled on a year old comment you made to one of my lenses, and had to come visit again, it has been a while, the last lens I remember is the raisin girl lens, now this! What a life you have lived, and we share many things in common from your bio...the important things of Life<>

Moe Wood from Eastern Ontario on January 26, 2011:

How wonderful would it be to visit again! You would have to make a point of having another photo of you taken on those stairs. Wonderful story.

hunksparrow on January 22, 2011:

Another wonderful story. You sure have been living an amazing life. Thank you for sharing it on your lenses.

littlelu lm on November 13, 2010:

You sure have a very interesting and exciting life! I have enjoyed reading about your different adventures.

Thank you for visiting my Aluminum Christmas Tree lens and for the lensroll. I checked out your christmas tree page and lensrolled you as well. Thanks again!

Delia (author) on November 10, 2010:

@almawad: Yes I have many stories like that as well...Oh I do hope you get to write your story about your dad, it can be cathartic.

almawad on November 10, 2010:

So many families lost much things during the war . I am trying to write down my dad's story - the 6 year old boy nearly freezing to death during carpet bombings in Hungary -but all of it is still so painful so traumatic - that it is very difficult to share it ....

My Grandpa was an excellent musician - and thus he had a job at a Hungarian palace , before WWII as a private organist - so my aunties also lived some years in a Palace :)

Dianne Loomos on October 14, 2010:

You have a very interesting family history! So cool that you still have some of your family photos.

thesuccess2 on October 13, 2010:

We lived for six years in Germany in the 1990's we were there when the wall fell and have many wonderful memories. You have actually "touched" history, and you know nobody questioned their parents enough about the past before it was too late.

elizajane202 lm on October 07, 2010:

Wonderful story, what a life you have led and you have such great history in it. I can only imagine how much you admire or love history at this point. I look forward to reading more.

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