Rockelstad Castle

In Södermanland, about ten kilometres east of Flen, at the southern shores of Lake Båven is Rockelstad castle. The castle began to be built in the mid-1600s, but its current form dates back to the late 1800s when the castle was renovated. It is built in brick, in vasa style and is in comparison with many other castles quite small. In 1900 Count Eric von Rosen took over the castle and it is through him that the castle has its Nazi connection. On Friday, February 20, 1920, Eric von Rosen was in Stockholm and was keen to travel home, but a snowstorm caused the trains to be cancelled. Determined to still travel home, von Rosen contacted Svenska Lufttrafik AB if they had the opportunity to fly him to Rockelstad. A 27-year-old German pilot named Hermann Goering then saw a chance to earn some extra money and accepted the mission.

The plane landed at noon on Lake Båven’s ice just below the castle. The weather was about to turn into snowfall and von Rosen offered Goering to stay overnight at the castle. When von Rosen and Goering entered the castle, von Rosen presented Goering to the rest of the family, including his sister-in-law Carin von Kantzow (born Fock). Carin was four years older than Goering and married to officer Nils von Kantzow. But the feeling arose immediately between them both and they began to meet secretly in Stockholm. The relationship became when it became known in Swedish society scandalous considering that Carin was married and had children with her husband. But Carin left both husband and child to live with Goering, first in Sweden and then in Germany where they moved in 1921. Carin filed for divorce, but Carin’s husband agreed to it in December 1922, and in January 1923 Carin and Hermann were married in Stockholm. The marriage was repeated a month later in Germany, where the couple moved to settle. However, his son Thomas stayed with his father in Sweden. The couple lived in frugal conditions and Carin’s family sent money to the couple. However, Carin came to miss Sweden and her son terribly, but it was something she had to live with.

After the Nazi failed coup attempt in Munich in November 1923, the couple fled first to Austria and then to Italy. Goering had been badly injured and took among other things morphine to relieve the pain, the problem was just that Goering i.o.m. this became dependent on morphine. In 1925, the couple returned to Sweden, where Goering’s morphine addiction caused his general condition to deteriorate and was hospitalized with the help of Carin’s family. But the abuse had also led to Goering becoming mentally unstable and was therefore put in a month for weaning at Långbro’s mental hospital. Goering, however, relapsed and voluntarily signed up twice more at Långbro for weaning. Goering made his way through various jobs in Sweden and finally returned to Germany in 1927. Carin joined Goering at a later date. Over the years, her health failed and she suffered from a weak heart and died during a visit to Sweden in October 1931.

Current status: Preserved (2010).

Location: 59° 2' 22 N 16° 51'25 E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

The castle is 2010 in private ownership but it and its surrounding buildings can be rented for various events.  When Goering became the second strongest man in the Third Reich, he kept in touch with Carin’s family, who until the outbreak of the second world war often visited him in Germany. Both Eric and his brother Clarence were passionate about Nazism, and Clarence attended a Swedish delegation congratulating Hitler on his 50th birthday in 1939. When Clarence’s political (german) involvement was noted in the media in 2000, a debate arose as to whether it was appropriate that the trophy that was handed out to the Swedish champions of football wore the name von Rosen’s trophy. Clarence was the Swedish football association’s first chairman and the trophy was therefore named Clarence’s memory. The trophy was relegated to the union’s basement and a new trophy (Lennart Johansson’s trophy) has since 2001 been distributed to the Swedish champions in football.

Follow up in books: Willi, Frischauer: Goering (1950).