Family | Kurt Veit von Witzleben

Kurt-Veit von Witzleben
Kurt Veit von Witzleben was born on June 7, 1645, in Liebenstein, Thuringia as a son of the Swedish and Saxon High Chamberlain, Georg Melchior.  

He received his education at the court of Duke Eberhard III von Württemberg. In 1671, on the recommendation of the Duke, he joined the service of the Danish King Christian V. He would prove to demonstrate his abilities so well, that the king appointed him on March 10, 1676 to the position of Jägermeister and forester for the counties of Oldenburg and Drosten upon Delmenhorst.  

He inhabited the Hude hunting lodge (former Amtshaus, and today a mansion), and prevented the further demolition of the Cistercian monastery.  
Manor House
In 1681, he traveled with the Danish King to Oldenburg and visited the estate at Hude. Kurt Veit von Witzleben presented himself as an excellent host and entertained the king excellently. He organized an exceptional and rich hunting experience for the king, and used the advantage of this good mood, to ask the Danish King to complete the transfer of the Barbican and the corn mill to Hude. His request was granted and he was rewarded with a title and an annual pension of 150 Thaler (silver coins) in Hude, as well as an annual pension of 250 Thaler by the Estate of Delmenhorst for his benefit to the livestock and milling industry.  

In 1685, Kurt Veit von Witzleben married Marie Eleonore von Knuth (*1658 - †1707) of the House Leizen (Mecklenburg). Eleonore Marie von Knuth was the daughter of the Swedish Lieutenant Colonel Jakob Ernst von Knuth and his wife Elisabeth von Maira, and sister of the Danish upper Chamber Lieutenant and Privy Councilor, Adam Levin von Knuth.  

Kurt Veit and Eleonore had three sons and a daughter: Christian Friedrich (*1686 - †1717), a Danish lieutenant, buried in Ganderkesee, Christoph Burckhard (*1687 - †1732), who married Theresa Ursula von Dorgelo (born 1750), Adam Levin (1688 - 1745), who married Eleonore Marie von Lüttichau (*1669 - †1746), buried in Ganderkesee, and Charlotte Amalie (born 1692), who married Eberhard Hermann Jobst von Dincklage, hereditary Lord von Schulenburg, canon in Minden (died 1755).  
Monastery Hude
On February 15, 1687, Kurt Veit von Witzleben, (finally) received an apportionment letter from Copenhagen bestowing him the title of Lord of Hude for his contribution to the industrial economy of the region.  

He extended the estate of the Delmenhorst Mannor with several land purchases. In addition, he acquired the Delmenhorster Garden for a sum of 30 Thaler in 1691. On December 9, 1692, he managed to buy the noble, free feud of Elmeloh in Delmenhorst for 17,000 Thaler, a sum he raised with his brothers, to whom he had sold his shares of his father’s inheritance in Thuringia. With this addition, he became the Lord of Hude and Elmeloh and thus the Hude branch of the Family von Witzleben became well-established.  

When Frederick IV ascended to the throne in 1699, Kurt Veit von Witzleben asked the new king to confirm his hereditary title and contracts, but he received instead a resolution on the 4th of June, 1701, announcing that he could only receive such a confirmation if he would increase his tithe of 471 Thaler to the Martini in the chamber of Oldenburg to a much higher 1600.  

The Lord von Witzleben would not consent to the agreement per se, and was left with some challenging choices, especially with the settlement and of his new home. In the end, he retired in July 1713 after a 37-year tenure as Game Master and Master Forester. As Game Master, he was succeeded by his third son, Adam Levin. Adam Levin von Witzleben was also his successor to the estates of Hude and Elmeloh, and in his will, left his heir the ownership of all his possessions. On June 22, 1719, Kurt Veit von Witzleben died at the age of 74 on his Elmeloh estate. He was buried in the family cemetery at the church in Ganderkesee next to his wife.  

The records of Kurt Veit von Witzleben as Jägermeister and forester (from 1676 - 1713), have been obtained in particular by a protocol prepared in 1676 in which he led a tour of forest inventory for the Count of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst-Chaten. This timber inspection would have been supplied to him by the Court, and it documented the condition of the forest. This inventory was performed together with the forester Meyer, at places of harvest. They started on April 25th, and ended on the 17th of May, 1676. The protocol comprised of 40 pages and described the location, ownership, grazing privileges, native species and the condition of the forest. The protocol was named "Forest of the Family von Witzleben’’ and is one of the oldest and most important sources of Oldenburg forest history.

Text: M.Sc. Greta von Witzleben