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Conference – “Challenge and Opportunity in Furthering British-German Understanding”
Friday 12th May 2017
Delegates from all over Britain headed to Bristol City Hall on Friday 12th May for our Twinning Conference. Marvin Rees, the Mayor of Bristol and BGA Chairman Stephen Watson gave a warm welcome to all participants. The topic of this year’s conference was the challenges twinning associations face regarding the United Kingdom’s divorce from the European Union. It soon became clear that there was great consensus on the fact that British-German understanding and cooperation are now more important than ever and that twinning organisations play a vital and crucial role in achieving that. More than 100 participants were able to learn and share ideas in seven different workshops, three held in a morning session and four in the afternoon. Workshop chairs included lecturers from high profile British universities – Professor Katrin Kohl, Jesus College Oxford, and Dr Debby Pinfold, University of Bristol – as well as the Head of the Cultural Section of the German Embassy London, Charlotte Schwarzer. In a plenary session, the Bürgermeister of Hannover, Thomas Herrmann, the Chairman of the Bristol Hannover Council, Ann Kennard, BGA Vice-Chariman John Hobley, Charlotte Schwarzer and the Chairman of the Hannover-Bristol Gesellschaft, Robert Nicholls, participated in a discussion on the topic and answered the delegates’ questions. Later that day, all participants were invited to a reception in the beautiful Sansovino Room of the Bristol Harbour Hotel. Partnership associations and local associations engaged in British-German activities were invited to join us at this special conference supported by Airbus, Boehringer Ingelheim, The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, The City of Bristol and Burges Salmon.
We should like to thank our corporate supporters for helping us stage such a great event. We would also like to extend our thanks to Ann Kennard and the Bristol Hannover Council for letting us hold the conference as part of the council’s 70th anniversary celebrations.
Reports will be send out shortly to all our delegates and will also be put online.
The BGA congratulates Peter Slade, Chairman of the Guildford-Freiburg Association on receiving Guildford’s Award for Community Service for his involvement in the twinning with Freiburg. Click here to read the latest newsletter.
Southampton Anglo-German Society
Please click here for some of Southampton Anglo-German Society‘s main events for the rest of the year
News from the Abingdon Anglo-German Club
The Abingdon Anglo-German Club would like to let you know what events they are running over the next twelve months. The program can also be accessed from their new web-site: www.abingdonagc.wordpress.com
News from the Bedford Bamberg Association
We are looking forward to visiting Bamberg in September [8th - 14th] to see old friends and visit new places, e.g. Regensburg. On October 16th we are having a social evening with a nearby village, Great Barford who are twinned with Wöllstein. They will tell us about their trip to Germany earlier this year and we will inform them about the beautiful city of Bamberg. The first Friday in December is always reserved for our St. Nikolaus party with German food, Christmas carols in German & English.
Dresden Trust has hight Profile at 70th Anniversary of the Destruction of the City
All the Board members of the Dresden Trust and their President, Dr Alan Russell, attended this year’s Commemoration of the February 1945 destruction of the city: unanimously they felt privileged to be part of the occasion finding it moving, poignant, interesting and positive. As well as Dresden Trust members, delegates from Dresden’s sister cities of Coventry, Wroclaw, Columbus, Florence, Hangzhou, Hamburg, Ostrava, Rotterdam, Salzburg, Strasbourg and St Petersburg and their friendship town, Gostyn were present. Dresden’s Mayor, Helma Orosz, her three deputies and staff worked tirelessly ensuring that all the guests had a memorable experience.
On Thursday, in the dramatically stark interior of the Kreuzkirche, the Royal Patron of the Dresden Trust and of the BGA’s, HRH the Duke of Kent presented Mayor Helma Orosz with the Dresden Trust Medal of Honour in recognition of her understanding of Dresden’s history and her reconciliation work. Eveline Eaton, Chairman of the Dresden Trust, presented Mayor Orosz with a symbolic cheque for EUR 10,000 representing the Dresden Trust’s contribution to a new project in conjunction with the City, a green area with trees and benches in the Neumarkt. Dr Alan Russell, founder and today President of the Dresden Trust, presented HRH the Duke of Kent with a specially bound copy of his book, A Trust for our Times – The Story of The Dresden Trust. Following a formal lunch on Friday 13th February at which Helma Orosz thanked HRH the Duke of Kent and the delegates from Dresden’s sister and friendship cities for their attendance and support, all the delegates attended a moving Ceremony of Remembrance in the Frauenkirche. The service began with the procession of five peace candles, one of which was carried in by the Mayor of Coventry. Remembering the devastation and destruction in 1945, the theme of the service was the light of living reconciliation. The absolute need to work to promote reconciliation in the current European climate was poignantly expressed in the words of Jochen Bohl, Bishop of Saxony, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Mayor Helma Orosz and the Federal President of Germany, Joachim Gauck. The beautiful music of the Dresden Kreuzchor, the Saxon Vocal Ensemble, the Chamber Orchestra Virtuosi Saxoniae, the Ludwig Göttler Brass Ensemble and the organist Samuel Kummer added to the theme of living reconciliation, providing a stunning example of human cooperation. It was incredible to come out of the Frauenkirche to see thousands of Dresdeners gathered to hear and warmly appreciate their city Mayor and Federal President and to prepare for the Human Chain to be formed around the city. Since 2010 the “Menschenkette” has been a traditional 13th February commemoration: more than 10,000 encircle the city symbolically recalling the destruction of 1945 and protecting the old town against right wing extremists in a human train which crosses the bridges and surrounds the old town on both sides of the Elbe to the sound of the city’s church bells. HRH the Duke of Kent, the Federal President Joachim Gauck and Mayor Helma Orosz were all participants in the human chain. On Saturday 14th The Friends of Dresden Deutschland e.V 6th International Peace Award, the Dresden Prize, was presented to HRH the Duke of Kent who was praised by Professor Kurt Biedenkopf, former Prime Minister of Saxony, for his reconciliation and friendship work as Patron of The Dresden Trust. The ceremony in the beautifully restored Semper Opera was incredibly positive in spirit with the audience treated to the beautiful playing of the Semper Winds Dresden, a film of interviews about first hand war experiences in Dresden and London in which Dresden school pupils evinced amazing maturity, sensitivity and language skills and culminated with an entertaining speech and a rousing performance of their song Dresden by Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark which had every member of the audience, dignitaries included, on their feet. It was culturally fascinating not just to see the beautiful architecture of restored Dresden but to be treated to so much art and music. On a universal theme of the horror and destruction of war all the visitors were taken to see the panorama Yagedar Asisi has created in the Panometer, Dresden 1945 – Tragedy and Hope of a European City, a poignant recreation of destroyed Dresden, horrific but artistically admirable enough to be tolerable and intensely thought provoking, an artistic anti- war message on a stunning scale. Dresden Trust member, Monica Petzal’s more personal art exhibition The Dresden Project was moving, fascinating and beautifully displayed in the Kreuzkirche. Stuart Williams Breath of Life brought colour and life to the Cathedral. The Lukaskirche was the venue for a wonderful musical commemoration under the direction of Katharina Pfeiffer; the choirs of Hamburg’s St Nikolai church, the Lukas church choir and the Dresden Sinfonietta united to perform Mozart’s Requiem; the music was interspersed by pertinent, poignant literature beautifully read by Hans-Dirk Bierling. The final memorable event on Sunday morning was to attend Divine Service in the simply stunning Frauenkirche which The Dresden Trust can be justly proud to have helped to restore to its original glory. At this very special service the Bishop and Dean of Coventry and the Archbishop of Canterbury joined Regional Bishop, Dr Heinrich Bedford -Strohm to reinforce the message that we must all continue to work proactively for peace and tolerance. Anthony and Jane Sheridan, 17th February 2015
Duke of Kent to receive International Peace Prize of Dresden
On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the British and American bombing raids on Dresden, HRH The Duke of Kent is being awarded the “Dresden Prize” by the Friends of Dresden Deutschland at Dresden’s Semper Opera House on 14th February 2015. The Royal Patron of Britain’s Dresden Trust and The British-German Association is being honoured with the international peace prize twenty-two years after the Trust answered a ‘Call for help’ to rebuild Dresden’s ruined historical centre. In responding to the invitation to receive the Prize, the Duke described it as a tribute to all supporters of the Dresden Trust, who raised over £1 million to restore the city’s famous baroque Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady): “The award recognises their achievements and indeed the achievements of all people of good will in the United Kingdom and Germany, who have worked over the last sixty years to bring reconciliation between our two countries. Their success is an example to the rest of the world of what can be achieved through building trust and friendship,” the Duke said. Dr Günter Blobel, Vice-Chairman of the Friends of Dresden Deutschland and President of the Friends of Dresden in New York, said the Prize recognises the prevention of conflict and violence: “Reconciling countries previously at war with each other can be a strong, effective means of contributing to the timely de-escalation of conflicts or avoiding them entirely.” Previous recipients of the award included Mikhail Gorbachev and Daniel Barenboim. Dresden Trust Medal for Mayor of Dresden Helma Orosz On 12th February at the Kreuzkirche (Church of the Holy Cross), the Royal Patron of the Trust, HRH The Duke of Kent, will honour the Mayor of Dresden, Frau Helma Orosz, with the Dresden Trust Medal for her furthering of reconciliation and understanding of the city’s history. At the same event, Eveline Eaton, Chairman of the Dresden Trust, will present the Mayor with a “symbolic cheque” as a down-payment for the Trust’s new project together with the City for the creation of a green area with trees and benches in 2016. This event will coincide with the opening of the Dresden Project art-exhibition by Monica Petzal, a Dresden Trust Board Member, whose show will later in 2015 go to Coventry Cathedral and the Herbert Museum for the 75th commemorations of the German bombing. About the Dresden Trust: The Dresden Trust is dedicated to healing the wounds of war and furthering harmonious relations between the people of Britain and Germany. In response to an appeal from Dresden, the Trust commissioned the manufacture in the UK of the Golden Orb and Cross on top of the cupola of the Frauenkirche. One of the craftsmen involved was the son of a pilot who took part in the bombing. The Trust today seeks to fulfil its mission of reconciliation through educational and cultural initiatives, memorials and visits. Under the Trust’s Dresden Scholars Scheme, about 300 boys and girls from Dresden have received scholarships to attend independent schools in Britain since 2000. To mark the 70th anniversary, The Dresden Trust published a new book, A Trust For Our Times: The Story Of The Dresden Trust, by Alan Russell, its Founder and Honorary President. See also: www.dresdentrust.org Press Contacts: Eveline Eaton (Chairman) Phone: 07717 762465 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Marcus Ferrar (Vice-Chairman) Phone: 07584 199488 E-mail: email@example.com
German Embassy’s Political Counsellor visits Bristol
February 3rd 2015. By Gerard Owen Bristol Anglo-German Society, one of the BGA’s Bristol based affiliates, was privileged to welcome Silvana Reimann, the German Embassy’s Political Counsellor to Bristol on February 3rd 2015.
During her visit, Ms Reimann met with Bristol’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor Geoff Gollop, and joined Bristol Anglo-German Society for a delicious evening meal at the Bristol Commonwealth Society. To a packed venue, Ms Reimann delivered a lecture entitled ‘Insights from the German Embassy’. With the British General election imminent and Syriza storming to power in Greece, 2015 is sure to be another year in which political observers will follow European developments with interest. Ms Reimann provided the German perspective on Europe, the world and Anglo-German relations before taking questions from members. A thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all.
BGA Nework Germany Conference 2012