Schilling-Courier 2002

Schilling-Courier 2002 to Download

The Schilling-Courier can be downloaded as Word-Document.

Freiburg Is Waiting For The Schillings

The cathedral in FreiburgThe preparations for our family reunion (June 7th – June 9th/12th) are running at full speed. Freiburg, the centre of our meeting is looking forward to receiving many Schillings. On Saturday 8th four guides are going to show us the most beautiful places of this picturesque town, on the edge of the Black Forest. The cathedral is 800 years old!

In the afternoon the bus will take us to Heitersheim, the seat of the Grand Priorate of the German Knights of Malta. The mayor, Juergen Ehret, is going to welcome us with a couple of trumpeters in the Castle of the German Knights of St John. The castle used to be the seat of Georg Schilling von Canstatt (1487 – 1554), Grand Prior of the German Grand Priorate. Charles V bestowed on Georg Schilling von Canstatt the title of Imperial Prince (Reichsfuerst), which was a signal recognition for merit and service in fighting the Turks in Tunisia and Algeria. So eventually Heitersheim became a princedom.


Schilling's Leaping Deer

The leaping deer in HöllentalIf you decide to go on the trip to Titisee, planned for Sunday, June 9th, you will be able to admire a piece of art, made by Ferdinand Heinrich Anton Schilling von Canstatt: The leaping deer in Hoellental (Black Forest).

In 1874 the Grand Duke`s chief hunter, Ferdinand Heinrich Anton Schilling von Canstatt (1845 – 1904) had put up the wooden statue of the deer on the rock in Hoellental. (Hell’s valley) In 1904 a thunderstorm destroyed the wooden deer, so eventually in 1907 it was replaced by a bronze statue.

Ferdinand was widely known as a real huntsman and an excellent shot. Throughout his life he shot as much as 23 472 pieces of dear.

There is a legend saying that a deer escaped the hunter by jumping over the gap between the rocks. The hunter missed the rock and fell down. In 1904 a thunderstorm destroyed the wooden deer, so eventually in 1907 it was replaced by a bronze statue.


No Young Members' Meeting

Unfortunately our young members` meeting in Dresden, scheduled for August 2001, had to be cancelled. Though our youth representative Hubertus von Schilling and cousin Ricarda Firkert had done a lot of planning and organizing, hardly anyone was interested. We are wondering, was just during the holiday-Saison the wrong time?


Successful website

At our last board meeting (January 12th, 2002) in Duesseldorf Christian Freiherr Schilling von Canstatt was highly praised for installing our website. Cousin Christian:

"When our website was installed early in 2001, it soon developed into a regular winner. Up to now the homepage has been called up 1636 times. There were at least 71000 calls within the last 90 days, whereby 576 megabytes were transmitted. The calls came from 50 different countries, with Germany leading the statistics, followed by Austria and Great Britain. The USA is seventh. Even the Vatican is included with 28 page hits. The most exotic interested party is Tonga with 13.calls. At the tail-end comes Cyprus with two calls. We registered the heaviest traffic over the Christmas holidays.

Along with positive website statistics we are pleased to have received many e-mails. Except interesting information about genealogical problems we had a couple of rather peculiar mails. One of them reads as follows: "My name is Schilling. In 1890 there was a goldsmith in our family. I wonder if we are related?" The Society for Defending the French and Foreign Nobility wanted to know whether we were able to find representatives of this group in Germany. We try to find an answer to all these questions as quickly as possible.

We plan to install those e-mails online, that might be of general interest genealogically. Eventually we want to install a guest-book, where visitors can leave comments. We are also open to new ideas or criticism from our members.

Last, not least our internet address.

For public use:,


For the area only accessible to our members either

(remember to use no capital letters, its a unix server) or via the links in the public area.

Members without an access code and a password can call these up via

Please leave your fax number, because for safety reasons transmission is possible by fax or phone only.

Through our website we acquired two supportive members: Oscar Schilling from Chile and Norbert Schilling from St Louis/USA."


What else can be reported concerning the three tribes?


Western branch

Johannes Schilling Honoured

Presentation of valuable documents in MittweidaPerhaps you remember, that in the last edition of our Schilling Courier we wrote about the house in Mittweida (Saxony), where the famous sculptor Johannes Schilling was born. On March 23rd , 2001 a memorial tablet was fixed to it.

The local newspaper wrote: "It was a memorable moment, when Mayor Bruno Kny and the chairman of the Schilling association, Helmuth Baron von Schilling pulled the string in order to uncover the tablet. Ina Schilling-Nickel, the sculptor`s great granddaughter from Dresden was present too."

The photograph shows the presentation of valuable documents from the family archives. From left to right: Mayor Bruno Kny, Heiko. Weber, director of the museum, Ina Schilling-Nickel and Helmuth Baron von Schilling.

Many people in Mittweida wanted a permanent Schilling museum. In 1914 this plan almost came true, but World War I stopped it altogether. The museum of "Old Parsonages", excellently restored, has dedicated a couple of rooms to the life and work of Johannes Schilling.

Mayor Kny concluded his speech by thanking the representatives of the Schilling association for the permanent loan of various articles from the artist`s estate. Among them there are paintings, and the certificate of the freedom of the city of Mittweida. The mayor appreciated the present of 1000 DM. The money is supposed to be spent on the restoration of broken sculptures.

He also thanked Ina Schilling-Nickel and her husband, who are going to restore the plaster sculpture of "Natalie". Natalie, neé Neubert, was Schilling`s second wife. The museum is worth seeing actually.

The address: Museum "Alte Pfarrhaeuser",

Kirchberg 3, 09648 Mittweida.


Southern branch (Canstatt)

Care of a grave in Finland

Grave of Freiherr Rudolf K. W. von Schilling, Finland

By the end of last year we had a letter from Finland. Harro G. Thiel, who wrote from Piispanriste near Helsinki, seemed rather worried. In 1919 his grandmother, Eva Olsen von Schantz, had been asked by Ruediger Graf von der Goltz, a friend of the family, to look after Rudolf Freiherr Schilling von Canstatt`s grave. He had been killed in the war on July 7th , 1919. Thiele had no idea, who this person was, so eventually he wanted to know if there were any relatives known to us.

Our answer:

Rudolf Schilling von Canstatt was born in Karlsruhe in 1899. His father was married to Bertha Mussmann from Kopenhagen/Denmark. They had three children, two sons, one of them Rudolf, and a daughter, Emma, all of them died unmarried, the daughter in Bonn/Germany, in 1973. So this branch of the family is extinguished.

Rudolf Schilling von Canstatt had joined the German Auxiliary Corps under General von der Goltz, fighting Finland`s war of liberation against the Soviet Union. Von der Goltz` regiment also helped the Baltic army fight against the Bolshevists. The German-Baltic people had formed the Baltic Regiment. Schilling was probably killed in the Estonian war and was buried in Finland later.

The photograph shows the grave in Finland. Inscription: Freiherr Rudolf K. W. von Schilling, born 1. IV. 1899., killed in the Baltic Regiment 7. VII. 1919.


Two Abbesses in Pfullingen

Relics of the church in PfullingenFrom March 15th to November 24th, 2002 in Pfullingen near Stuttgart the convent of the order of St Clare is going to celebrate its 750th anniversary. So eventually the town is inviting to a great festival including an exhibition, a medieval show (June 15th and 16th) and lectures. The area of the former convent is rather unknown to tourists, though it is extremely beautiful, definitely a piece of art.


The photograph shows relics of the church in Pfullingen.


The convent has a very eventful history, which was partly influenced by two female members of our southern branch. From 1454 to 1464 Anna Schilling von Canstatt was abbess of the nunnery, she was succeeded by Ursula Schilling von Canstatt, who died in 1471. Both ladies took great care in following the rules of the order by leading an ascetic and withdrawn life. (Further information: Stadt Pfullingen, Kulturamt, Marktplatz 5,

72733 Pfullingen, phone number: 07121-207 or 208).


Meeting in Richmond

On June 30th , 2001 young members of the American family association met in Richmond/Virginia. They had a picnic in one of the parks of the area. Many young families came, some of them even from Washington DC. They seem to have had a very nice day, though, because of the sunny weather, many people took advantage of the long weekend, going to the beach. The traffic was so heavy, that one of the young families got stuck in a traffic jam and missed the meeting altogether. They certainly will have another chance, since they are going to have another meeting soon.


Eastern branch

Successful rescue in Riga

Jürgen Baron von Schilling MD in Front of his SOS children’s houseOn July 22nd , 2001 the chairman of the association had the opportunity to enjoy a very special day. Juergen von Schilling MD, 92 years old, had donated a house to one of the SOS children`s villages in Latvia. On this special day he officially handed over his present. The "Westdeutsche Zeitung" (newspaper of Duesseldorf) wrote the following article:

"Mr. von Schilling MD from Wilhelmshaven, standing in front of one of the houses of the SOS children`s village in Islice near Bauske/Latvia, is carefully gluing the back of a brass tablet. Seven children, between six and ten years old, living in this house, are carefully watching him. While gluing the tablet to the wall next to the front door Baron von Schilling says: ‛This house will carry his name forever.‛ The tablet has the following inscription: Fricis Graudinsch (Grauding). In 1918/19 his readiness to help and his courage saved Hermann Baron von Schilling from being shot in the prison of Riga."

The photograph shows Jürgen Baron von Schilling MD in Front of his SOS children’s house.

On his 90th birthday the retired Practical Physician had donated this house (worth 100000 DM) to the children`s village in gratitude to his father`s rescue. He still remembers the day, when 83 years ago soldiers of the Red Army forced their way into the house in Riga, where he was living with his family. The soldiers kicked in the front door, aiming their guns at them, yelling:"Hands up!" The nine-years-old boy`s father was arrested and imprisoned.

During the piercingly cold winter of the years 1918/19 deadly terror was reigning the Baltic countries. When after the defeat of World War I and the armistice on November 11th, 1918 the German army had to leave the provinces on the Baltic, communists, controlled by Moscow, took over power in Latvia until May 1919. During these five months more than 5000 people were shot in Riga, almost 9000 died from starving, 8000 innocent men and women were imprisoned in Riga and 10000 in concentration camps on the barren Duena-Isles. The terror was especially aimed at the Germans in the Baltic States, who had been forming the upper class for 700 years.

After his father`s imprisonment, his mother and her four children were quite desperate. Suddenly and quite unexpected the Latvian gardener and caretaker of the apartment houses, Fricis Graudinsch - the Germans called him Grauding – came to their rescue. He was like a grandfather to the children.

He was so furious about the imprisonment, that he went in search for the prison straight away, in order to find Hermann von Schilling. In the evening he had found him at last. Afterwards he told the family, that he had started talking to the drunken Tsheka guard (Bolshevist police) right away. Graudinsch: "Do you have a prisoner called Schilling?" The Tsheka guards: "A Burjui (bourgeois). Those who are marked with a red cross will be shot tomorrow. There was no time today." Graudinsch: "He is poor as a church mouse (which was the truth, since he had lost the money, that came from selling one of his manor houses in a Russian-American bank that did not exist any longer since Lenin had taken over). He cares for poor people in our area. He is a socialist like we all are."

The Tshek guard was amazed and hesitated for a moment, then he tore a bit off his newspaper and wrote: Let Schilling go! He slammed the paper to Graudinsch`s breast shouting: "There you are, take your Schilling and beat it!" And Schilling`s son adds: "When the guard led my father out of the crowded prison cell, Grauding offered his arm, saying: ‛Herr Baron, let`s go home‛." During the celebration following the ceremony of "baptising" "Graudinsch house" Dr. von Schilling said: " I`ve had this plan for a memorial to Graudinsch for quite a long time now. Watching these happy children, I`m sure to have done the right thing." Obviously there are no relatives of the Graudinsch family left. After 1940, when the Russian army invaded Latvia, we lost all trace of his wife and his son.

50 years ago the Austrian Hermann Gmeiner founded the social institution SOS Children`s Village. It was meant to protect and raise orphans. Meanwhile there are 423 villages all over the world. The Principal of the house in Islice/Latvia, Juris Valmier, told us, that there is a second village in Latvia and that Estonia has two villages as well. The foundation-stone of the village in Islice was laid in 1996, it consists of ten houses, two more are being built. Each house is set up for seven children, looked after by a foster-mother. When she has her day off, an "aunt" takes over. Except the Principal, ten foster-mothers, seven "aunts", a social worker, two teachers, two psychologists and a secretary work in Islice. The children go to the local nursery school or to the local school.

Katrina Kraukle, foster-mother in Graudinsch house, is living on the first floor together with her foster-children. She is 37 years old. One of the conditions of her job is that she stays unmarried. Actually the other countries are not as strict as this. Most children are babies, when they come into the village, they can stay until their education is finished. All the houses in the Latvian village were donations. Part of the 100000 DM, that Juergen contributed came from his students` society Corps Borussia Tuebingen (11000 DM) and from the inhabitants of the isle of Langeoog, who had given the offertory of the chapel of their dune cemetery and had collected money specially for this purpose.

Why Langeoog? Baron Schilling died in 1946, 27 years after his rescue by Graudinsch, in a Baltic old people`s home on the isle, where he had lived since he had to leave Latvia and since his escape from Western Prussia. In 1959 his son had an excellent idea. He wanted to plant trees on the barren ground of the dune cemetery. Schilling: "The local councillors almost died with laughter."

But meanwhile the stubborn man, who is still working on the cemetery in spite of his age, has succeeded in transforming the barren ground into a fertile gem. On the cemetery you can not only find the graves of about 300 people from the Baltic Old People`s Home, but also the mass grave of 113 Russian prisoners, who had died of typhus and exhaustion during the war. In the past this cemetery was mainly used for dead bodies washed ashore by the sea, because nobody wanted to be buried there. Meanwhile it has become a protected historical monument. Baron Schilling was given the freedom of the isle. The islanders are extremely grateful to him and eventually to Graudinsch too.


Estonia's new embassy

The former Estonian President Meri with his wife and Helmuth Baron von Schilling.One of Lennart Meri`s, last official actions as President of Estonia was the opening of the renovated embassy of his country in Berlin. On September 27th , 2001 the chairman of our association was invited to the celebration together with Helene Baronesse von Schilling, who has been our secretary for many years. Meri remembered very well, that he had received our family in Tallinn in 1999. Meri: "I almost feel like a member of the Schilling family." His presidency was over at the beginning of October after two periods of government. He was succeeded by Arnold Rüütel.

The photograph shows the former Estonian President Meri with his wife and Helmuth Baron von Schilling.

Estonia is one of the few countries, that have renovated their embassy in Berlin. 72-year-old Meri had special reasons for opening up the embassy himself. Before World War II his father was ambassador of this embassy, so eventually the former President has spent his childhood in this building in Berlin Tiergarten. "I used to play on the same diplomatic parquet on which I am standing now."

The same old parquet is decorating the floors of the embassy, which is a magnificent building still. In 1883 Joseph Robrecht, purveyor to the court, bought the site off the chocolate merchant and pastry cook Theodor Hildebrand, who had the small building considerably extended. After World War I Hildebrand`s daughter sold the house to the Estonian Consul Voldemar Puhk, who gave the building to his country. Estonia had just become independent, but was without the necessary financial means to put up their embassy, so this building came in handy. After the Soviet Army had annexed Estonia, the building was given to Moscow in 1940. When in 1941 German troops invaded Russia, the German Foreign Office took over the whole estate. Nevertheless Estonia was still the legal owner of the building, even after 1945. More and more the building fell into disrepair. When in 1991 the Baltic States became independent again and after the German government had moved to Berlin, the restoration of the building began.

When the reopening of the Estonian embassy was celebrated, they sang the Estonian, the German, and the American national hymns . Meri: "In memory to September 11th , 2001 we want to show solidarity with the American people. During the Russian government the fifth part of our population has been killed, we know terror.


Order in honour to Helene

Cousin Helene was specially honoured by the Estonian government. On February 27th , 2002 she received the Order of the Estonian Red Cross, fifth class. Congratulations!

Cousin Helene showing the orderHelene has done a lot for the German-Estonian friendship. Since the independence of her native country in 1991, she has visited the country 12 times. She has initiated a partnership between the parish of St Toenis, the place where she is living, and Jaerva Jaani in Estonia. Our ancestor Karl Gebhard was buried on the cemetery next to the church, he was the owner of Orgena, one of the manor houses of the family. Helene collected money for the renovation of the parsonage and sent many parcels.

By the way, the head of the fire brigade of St Johannis, Tuve Kaerner, received the same order. If you were at the family meeting in Estonia, you will remember him. The members of the fire brigade had welcomed us cordially. Thanks to Kaerner a museum was established in the manor house. The restoration is progressing.