50 years of town twinning Saint Omer - Detmold
40 Years German-French Society Detmold (DFG)
Experience Europe live in the middle of Detmold!
This year, the city of Detmold is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the town twinning with the French city of Saint-Omer with a varied programme. At the same time, the German-French Society celebrates its 40th anniversary. In addition to lectures, readings and concerts, the highlights of the European Weeks include the traditional European market and a Franco-German marketplace festival.
On 29 June 1969, the mayors of Saint-Omer and Detmold signed a partnership agreement with the aim of .... establishing strong ties and wisely promoting the contacts made - for the benefit of the citizens of Saint Omer and Detmold and for the benefit of Europe and its peoples, which is in the process of being built up". Only 24 years after the end of the Second World War, the founding of this town twinning had a very special European mission. At that time, it seemed hardly possible, even unrealistic, to work for understanding and for a peaceful, permanently united Europe. The understanding and reconciliation of the former enemies of war - even arch-enemies - should, however, form the basis for a Europe growing together and for the further development of the European Community at that time. The idea of a common Europe seldom appears as threatened as it did before: The Brexit makes headlines and right-wing populist parties advertise with anti-European slogans.
The city of Detmold decided in favour of Europe many years ago and cordially invites all citizens to experience "Europe live" during the European Weeks 2019 - in the middle of Detmold!
Link to the programme of the European Weeks 2019
Detmold experiences a wave of friendship and sympathy on the occasion of its 50th anniversary
Detmold. The order was for bright sunshine, rain and storm had been announced, but the rain clouds made a big bow around Detmold to the delight of all those involved in Europe: Detmold experienced a colourful coexistence of numerous nations on the weekend with dry feet. "The most important thing is the friendship between the people. It is the basis and the future in a united Europe", the mayors François Decoster (Saint-Omer) and Detmold's mayor Rainer Heller agreed. On the occasion of the 50th town twinning anniversary with the French Saint-Omer, Detmold's citizens and guests from a delegation from Saint-Omer, a French citizens' trip, pioneers from the early days, numerous young people met - pupils from school twinnings and internships, English and German footballers who played a joint tournament, guests from other twin towns such as Hasselt and Zeitz, international clubs, young and old.
At the beginning of the anniversary weekend, everyone enjoyed a colourful, appealing musical programme on the Detmold market square under the band of Franco-German friendship. The NewComer BigBand and the BigBand of the Johannes-Brahms-Musikschule under the direction of Fritz Krisse as well as the blues band "Colours of the Blues", consisting of musicians from both twin cities, provided musical accents. Young people from the Stadtgymnasium and the Felix-Fechenbach-Berufskolleg completed the evening's professional snack offer, so that the physical well-being was also taken care of.
Even on Saturday, the cool temperatures did not stop the citizens of Detmold from visiting the traditional European market in the city centre. Numerous volunteers of the international cultural associations presented culinary delicacies and information about their activities. The German-French Society was supported by the Jumelage Committee and by official representatives of the city of Saint-Omer, who had brought beer brewed there and cauliflower from their homeland. From Hasselt, the "Staadsraad Husselt" provided the atmosphere with a genever wagon and musical and dancing interludes. A delegation from Zeitz also presented their culinary delights in the form of wine and sweets from Saxony-Anhalt at the stand of the partnership association. The German-Greek Circle of Friends once again inspired with ouzo and sheep's cheese; the German-Finnish Society with reindeer salami. The Afghan Cultural Association spoiled with raisin rice pan, the community "Schöne Aussicht" with Russian specialities, the German-Italian Society with... - of course, pizza! The Europa-Union made intensive use of the opportunity to draw attention to the European elections. All around, you could experience the diversity of Europe.
Boule in the park
What is played in every park in France?! Boule ! So also in Detmold. In the castle park German and French teams met with both mayors as
Active and competed against each other. With a lot of sense of proportion, winking eyes and fun, the French finally had to admit defeat to the German players. Thanks to Gerhard Hansmeier from Diestelbruch for the organization of the small tournament.
Celebration hour in the parliamentary hall of the district house
The 50th anniversary and 41st anniversary of the German-French Society (DFG) were then celebrated in a festive ceremony. Numerous "eyewitnesses" at the time joined in the celebrations and remembered that at the end of the 1960s they felt like pioneers when the first encounters took place, and how meaningful the partnership contributed to understanding among nations and also played an important role in the future of a united Europe.
Looking to the future
In many discussions and meetings new ideas were developed and the proven ones in the European network were strengthened. Further school projects are being planned and a new Franco-German school partnership is to be supported. In the future, the exchange of interns will be further intensified, as Saint-Omer is considering offering a compulsory internship abroad in a non-French-speaking area and would like to cooperate more intensively with companies and schools in Detmold. Existing school contacts are also to be reactivated. An organist is planning a concert in the cathedral of Saint-Omer, and the school orchestra of the city high school will hopefully be able to accompany him. Young people in particular will be involved in the Franco-German exchange of experience. In addition, it was agreed that police officers from Saint-Omer would take part in a planned European IPA (International Police Association) conference in Detmold at the beginning of September.
In September, the 50th anniversary of French-German friendship is celebrated in Saint-Omer. Then, in addition to an already fully booked citizens' trip, an ADFC cycling group will make its way to Saint-Omer. “We have experienced so much beauty in Detmold this weekend that we would like to plan some surprises for the Detmold guest” Mayor François Decoster thanked before his return journey and got on the bus with the tired but satisfied guests from Saint-Omer.
Detmold prepares for the big anniversary with Saint-Omer
Detmold. Good weather is ordered. Flags are ready for hoisting. Boule balls are cleaned, drinks are cold, food is waiting for the preparation: Detmold is prepared for the big anniversary celebration with Saint-Omer, the last votes are made.
For 50 years there have been close relations to the beautiful cathedral city in the north of France. Numerous exchanges of athletes have taken place, choirs have sung together, administrations have exchanged, young people have met for encounters, and even a couple or two has emerged from the relationships. Now the anniversary is being celebrated together in Detmold. Martina Gurcke from Team Europa of the city of Detmold met to fine-tune the celebrations with schoolgirls who supported the organization and translation of the celebrations: "The young people are doing a great deal of support work, and the town twinning is intended to be of particular benefit to them. They should travel, get to know other cultures, languages and countries and broaden their horizons".
On Friday, 10 May 2019, the Detmolders are expected to join in the celebrations on the market square. Fritz Krisse will play there with his Big Band and the NewComer Big Band from 6 p.m., after which a mixed German-French blues band will heat up the audience. Drinks and snacks will be served, prepared by pupils of the city high school and the Felix-Fechenbach-Berufskolleg. "Savoir Vivre" is then conveyed on the market square, language to touch, French people to get to know. Especially the residents of the Saint-Omer-Straße may feel addressed to join in the celebration. English football juniors who come to Detmold for the international football tournament via the English twin city of Saint-Omer will also mingle with the European guests.
On Saturday, 11 May 2019, the European Market will take place in the morning on the square in front of the former Hertie building from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., which will be presented in a colourful and delicious way by the international companies and guests from the twin cities. Here everyone can see for themselves how well the coexistence of nations and the communication between each other works in Detmold - quasi Europe on the spot.
These and numerous other events planned for Detmold these days can be found in the programme booklet "Europawochen", which is available in the Tourist-Info and at the VHS.