Childhood and the “Lady of the Manor” in Trieglaff
After attending a boarding school in western Switzerland in order to learn French, Elisabeth attended the Viktoria School for Girls in Baden-Baden from 1905 to 1907. She had to return home from the Reifenstein School in Maidburg, West Prussia in 1910 in order to assume her mother’s duties and responsibilities. Another pregnancy after the birth of her siblings Reinold, Marie-Agnes, Helene and Ehrengard had cost her mother her life in 1909.
The years after her mother’s death in which Elisabeth von Thadden headed the manor’s household with seventy people furnished her many and diverse opportunities for activity. She took advantage of this setting to pursue her social and societal interests through her everyday work as well as the extensive exchange of ideas offered by the social gatherings on the estate. There, Elisabeth developed concepts that were in keeping with the later principle of “Volksgemeinschaft”, as a force overcoming class differences. These ideas would dictate her thought and actions for a long time.
The three Trieglaff Conferences in 1918, 1919 and 1920 were attended by members of the Reichstag, academics, women’s rights activists and such prominent figures as the Berlin Pastor Friedrich Siegmund-Schultze, whose pacifistic and social commitment would be of central importance to her. She had already written him in 1916 that, “should I no longer have any obligations to my father in the future, then I would like to do social work as you understand it.
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- © Private archive of Rudolf von Thadden, Göttingen