Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Engestofte Manor, Lolland

Engestofte manor

The Gothic altar piece

A Memory table in Engestofte church.

Engestofte manor with church belonged to the Crown since the 1200s, but king Hans sold it in 1496 to Jørgen Baad. After several changes of ownership Engestofte was sold to the wealthy merchant in Nykøbing Falster, Bertel Wichmand. The son was in 1777 ennobled under the name Wichfeld, and the family owned Engestofte for 250 years until 1967.

The yellow-washed classistic main building with the black tiled roof is built by Henning Wichfeld in 1805-07 after demolishing the old three-winged plan. Close to the manor is the simple Gothic church with a ridge turret instead of a tower and with the Wichfeld-family's grave place between the manor and the church. In the church is a wonderful magnificent Gothic altar piece and a memory table for Monica Wichfeld who was a member of the resistance during WWII and died in German imprisonment 27. February 1945 after having rejected an offer of a milder prison Denmark.

Monica Wichfeld was born in England in 1894 and was married to Jørgen Wichfeld of Engestofte. She participated already in 1941 in the Danish resistance and finansed the printing and distribution of the illegal magazine "Frit Danmark" at Lolland. From 1943 Engestofte was a connecting link to SOE (Special Operations Executive) in England, to which her daughter Varinka Wichfeld also was attached. She married Flemming B. Muus.

On 13. January 1944 Engestofte was encircled by German soldiers, who arrested the whole family. Monicas husband and son were released later, while she was brought to Dagmarhus in Copenhagen. On a court-martial in May 1944 she was sentenced to death, but was reprieved with life in prison. In the beginning of June 1944 she was brought to the prison Cottbus in Germany. She died of pneumonia after a three days long march without any food to another prison in Waldheim. She had rejected an offer about a milder imprisonment in Denmark.

photo 2007: grethe bachmann

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