16 June – Here in this local area of south-west Poland, we’ve done everything we could to find traces of the ruin of the castle my great-grandfather, Felix Thode, lived in until 1884. The conclusion we’ve reached is that it is nowhere to be seen. I have with me several pictures of the castle intact and others of it in ruins. Two separate sources have said firmly that the ruins are of another castle at Rajsko, some distance away, not at the village of Ubocze, which was known as Schosdorf in German times. Our castle was in Schosdorf. A map indicates one ‘ruiny palacu’ (ruined palace) near a certain intersection in Ubocze. We’ve driven by several times and seen nothing. In fact, in a spot near the intersection, there is indeed a ruined building which could be a possible remnant of the castle, although it’s almost on top of someone’s property. An old woman sat right by this ruin. I showed her pictures, and said “Ruiny palacu?”. But she sat stony faced with lips shut. Eventually, she called out to someone who never came. I asked “Ruiny palacu?” to others in Ubocze, who gave me rough directions to another ruin supposedly in Raszeny, the next village. According to the map, there are two ruins. But only one in Ubocze. The locals don’t seem to be aware of that one. One of my pictures is actually also in a frame hanging in our hotel. The helpful receptionist has never seen any ruin of our castle. She and the tourist information office at Lwowek Slaski both maintain that my photos of a ruin are of the one at Rajsko. I’m told the ruin in Raszeny was destroyed in 1740. The one in Ubocze, 1945, which fits. Sadly, the castle at Ubocze seems almost lost to time. I could write rubbish about it, and chances are no one would ever refute it. It’s as though the historical slate has been wiped clean. I’m very sad about it.