After World War II Germans were expelled from their homeland in the former Eastern part of Germany, the Czech Republic and Rumania.
The catholic expellees and refugees founded the St. Hedwigs Association of the Archdiocese of Paderborn, which was greatly influenced by the work of the Neißer Heimgarten (Silesia).
On the 10th March 1953 the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia passed a law on subsidies for adult education centers.
In the same year a charming antiquated restaurant called the “wild hunter” located in Oerlinghausen was bought by the St. Hedwigs Association. After intense reconstruction work the house was consecrated by Dr. Franz Hengsbach, the Bishop of Paderborn, on Easter Monday in 1955.
One year later the house was recognised by the Ministry of Education of the Federal State of North Rhine Westphalia as a residential adult education centre.
The main focus of our work from the mid-fifties to the late seventies was to support the refugees and expellees, homeland expellees and, later, ethnic Germans from diverse Eastern European countries. It was our aim to help them deal with their new situation in the newly founded democracy of Western Germany.
In the mid 80’s, after Glasnost and Perestroika, ethnic Germans were able to leave the Soviet Union. With the fall of the Iron Curtain more and more Ethnic Germans began arriving in Germany. To date there are nearly 3 million ethnic Germans and 150,000 Jews in this country.
The holy Hedwig is the name giver and protective patroness of the St. Hedwigs-Haus.
She was born in 1174 in Andechs in Ammersee in Bavaria.
She died on Oct. 15., 1243 in the monastery Trebnitz in Silesia.