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German History in Documents and Images
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The Sister Cities Bonn and Oxford (Sign in front of the Koblenz Gate, Bonn) (1987)
After the Second World War, sister-city initiatives were frequently undertaken in cooperation with the relatives of occupation troops. Such was the case with the partnership between Bonn and Oxford, one of the first cooperative efforts of this kind in the postwar era. The partnership was sealed in October 1947 through an exchange of letters between Bonn mayor Eduard Spoelgen and Colonel Edward Brown, the British city commander. At first, contact took place on an official level between the Bonn and Oxford town councils. Soon, however, contact was established between schools and universities. Over the course of a decades-long partnership, private visits eventually took place as well. An initiative to invigorate contact between German and French cities led to the first German-French partnership: in 1950, Ludwigsburg and Montbéliard became sister-cities. City partnerships were motivated by the desire to increase understanding between peoples and to encourage forgiveness between former wartime enemies. Photo by Ludwig Wegmann.