In Krzyżowa, formerly Kreisau, on the estate of Freya and Helmuth James von Moltke, a civilian resistance group planned for a peaceful and democratic Europe without borders in 1942-43. They had been inspired by the creative and inclusive teachings of the educational reformer and philanthropist Eugenie Schwarzwald and her Vienna circle. Germany and Poland recognised the historical significance of Krzyżowa by choosing to celebrate their Mass of Reconciliation here in November 1989.
Since the Revolutions of 1989, Poles and Germans have jointly operated a European youth meeting centre in Krzyżowa. The combination of Krzyżowa's history and its present role make this place particularly well-suited to host a chamber music workshop that aims to include many different countries.

The Vienna educational reformer and philanthropist Eugenie Schwarzwald developed a model for a creative Europe in the first half of the 20th century. In her independent schools, philanthropic projects and international circles of artists, professors, and political opinion leaders, she made freethinking and interdisciplinary work possible.

Eugenie Schwarzwald (1872-1940) played a major role in the appreciation of literature and music as well as in the education of young women. She envisioned the idea that the younger generation could live in a Europe without any borders. Helmuth James and Freya von Moltke were drawn into her circle in 1929, along with many others, such as Elias Canetti, Egon Friedell, Oskar Kokoschka, Karl Kraus, Sinclair Lewis, Adolph Loos, Karin Michaelis, Robert Musil, Arnold Schönberg, Dorothy Thompson, Egon Wellesz and Alice and Carl Zuckmayer.

Along with his wife Freya, whom he had met through Eugenie Schwarzwald, Helmuth James von Moltke hosted several meetings at their Lower-Silesian estate in Krzyżowa for a group of committed opponents of National Socialism. In this period of strident nationalism, the composition of this group was unique: landowners, liberals, trade unionists, lawyers, social democrats, professors and theologians all worked together for the future of integrated Europe.

The so-called Kreisau Circle stood for civil society, reconciliation between neighbouring European Nations and for creation of a European federation.

Through the Schwarzwald Circle the Moltkes were part of an international network, as was Rudolf Serkin. He took his first musical steps as a 10 year-old thanks to the support of Eugenie Schwarzwald. When Hitler came to power, he, like Eugenie Schwarzwald and many others from the Circle, was forced to go into exile.

Nevertheless, the once acquired passion for music remained. He founded Marlboro Music, along with the violinist Adolf Busch and other exiled European musicians in Marlboro, Vermont, to cherish the heritage of chamber music. For the past 63 years, musicians from different backgrounds, generations and nations, spend the summer together in order to capture "the full score of life" through chamber music.

It is in Marlboro where the spirit of the Schwarzwald Circle lives on - through cross-generational exchange and life-changing experiences for the participating musicians. The idea of bringing together great masters of chamber music to make music with exceptionally gifted young musicians was born in Marlboro. The open collaboration that Viviane Hagner and many other artists cherished there will now also become a reality in Krzyżowa.

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