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Town partnership - Strangers become friends
Hagerstown (USA), Felixstowe (Great Britain), Salzwedel (Saxony-Anhalt) und Ketrzyn (Poland), are up to now four cities connected by friendship with the town of Wesel, some of them for decades already.
The oldest partnership connects us with the American Hagerstown since 1952. In the beginning the basic idea was "Reconciliation and Communication" destined to help by mutual visits and intensive discoveries to build up a peaceful togetherness of peoples after the experiences made in the war.
Whereas - due to world political reasons - the first initiatives focussed westwards (in 1974 a partnership with Felixtowe was signed) the middle of Europe was opened for west German towns as a result of the political changes in the former Warsaw Pact at the end of the 80-ies.
The partnership with Salzwedel is the result of the German Reunion. In the beginning this partnership was impressed by Wesel's efforts to help building up new administration structures in Salzwedel. But also practical help was necessary in the first few years. Medicaments and bandaging material were delivered to the hospital and the fire brigade got necessary equipment. In times when telephone connections were not up to the actual standard yet it was the mobile helping to connect people.
A further step towards the East was made by Wesel symbolising the new point of view which had developed in the twinning of German towns with foreign ones.The latest twinning with the Polish town of Ketrzyn is a good example for "European Integration". Nevertheless the consequences of the Second World War were of great importance regarding that friendship. Ketrzyn is the former East Prussian Rastenburg for whose expellees the town of Wesel has overtaken god parenthood in the 1950-ies already. In the beginning some former citizens of Rastenburg together with the Andreas-Vesalius-Grammar School got into contact with their old home town. This led to an official twinning in 2002.