Photos by Vita von Wedel.
Großgut was the largest estate of the Neuwedell outworks, hence the
rather unimaginative name, meaning "Big Estate." Above, an old
postcard from 1917.
Its last owner was Erich Rüdiger von Wedel, a wellknown flying ace
and member of the legendary fighter squadron "JaSta 11" (JaSta =
Jagdstaffel = fighter squadron) of the "Red Baron," Manfred Baron
von Richthofen, in WW I. Erich Rüdiger von Wedel was married twice
but had no children and died 1954 in West Germany.
In 1991 members of the von Wedel family visited Großgut, which was
still in a reasonable condition, at least we could look through most
of the rooms, although walking up the derelict old oak staircase was
a bit tricky.
When we revisited the house in 2005 we were stunned: almost the
whole house had dissappeared, except for some small parts.
Already young trees grew up rapidly where just a few years ago the
house still stood.
On the opposite side of the village road in 1991 there was one of
the typical "Feldscheune or field barn," built from red bricks and
colorful glacial field stones.
On the black diamond shapes in the facade we discovered the rather
artfully added initials "v" and "W" for "von Wedel." Photos by
Leberecht von Wedel.
All that had gone in 2005. The handsome old field barn had obviously
just recently been torn down, and a perhaps more practical, but
certainly not more beautiful, yellow barn with a grey roof had been
built next to it.