Historischer Rundweg - Board 2
The park is named after the very eminent local politician Dr. Felix Baron von Viitinghoff-Schell
In the 19th century a cemetery was located here for the catholic parish of Sankt Cyriakus Weeze. After the Second World War it was decided to move the cemetery to a different location. The Municipality of Weeze designed the park in the 1980's as an alternative recreational area. Since the 1970's the annual opening ceremony for the 'Kirmes' (annual fair) along with the ceremonial handing-over of the chains of office is held here.
Dr. Felix Baron von Vittinghoff-Schell
On October 3rd, 2010 the former cemetery park grounds (Alter Friedhof) were officially renamed Vittinghoff-Schell-Park. By renaming it the Municipality recognised the achievements of the eminent local and national politician.
Baron von Vittinghoff-Schell was born on October 3rd, 1910 in Kalbeck Manor near Weeze. After A-levels, which he passed in 1928 while attending the 'Collegium Augustinanium' in Gaesdonck, he went on to study law and modern languages in Munich, Fribourg and Cologne. Shortly after receiving his degree in law at the end of 1933 he joined the administrational office of the family-owned estate.
The Second World War had a profound effect upon his life. His two brothers were killed on the eastern front and his mother succumbed to wounds inflicted upon her by bombs dropped on Kalbeck a week prior in May 1945. This aerial attack almost completely destroyed Kalbeck Manor.
After the war Felix Vittinghoff-Schell's attention was focused on rebuilding Kalbeck Manor and the estate-administered farms, and from the very onset the Baron had an open ear for the worries of his neighbours and citizens. At first as a go-between and translator for the German inhabitants and the occupying forces, and later as a councillor for Weeze (since 1946) and as Mayor (since 1947) for his native town.
In the 1950's Vittinghoff-Schell took over more responsibility in the regional council of the the Lower Rhine Region (1953 - 1961) and on the chair-committee of the (River) Niers-Organisation (1957 - 1982).
His abilities, prowess for languages and his international contacts, as well as his democratic understanding and accommodating character also allowed him to come into the picture across regions. As a result, he belonged to the German Parliament, elected as a direct candidate for the CDU (Christian Democrats), from 1961 to 1969 and was also a member, with an advisory role, in the assembly of the European Council, as well as the assembly of the of the West-European Union (1965 - 1969).
As the President of the German Association of Municipalities (1966 - 1972) he played a deciding role on the law for municipal finances. He served as President of the Rhenish-Westfalian Devotion of the Knights of Malta (1971 - 1976), was the Royal Dutch Honorary Consul for Cleves (1972 - 1982) and in 1969 became a member of the National Curatorium for an Undivided Germany.
Also worth mentioning are his involvement as chairman of the Xanten Cathedral Building Association (1976 - 1986), his founding-membership of the Rotary Club of Cleves (1956 - 1992) and his support of the Rhine-Meuse Brotherhood for the Sick and Poorly, which since 1973 organises pilgrimages from Cleves to Lourdes (France).
Baron von Vittinghoff-Schell died on November 13th, 1992.
Park 'Alter Friedhof' (old cemetery), view from the north in the direction of the railway station, around 1960
Park 'Alter Friedhof' (old cemetery), view from the south south-west in the direction of the hospital, around 1960