Since as long ago as 1968, Hünfeld has had a very active partnership with the Breton town of Landerneau not far from the Atlantic coast. School classes, clubs and societies, but also many befriended families, meet every year. This civic partnership has already been honoured by the European Council several times with prestigious awards. A partnership with Proskau in Upper Silesia, in today’s Poland, has been developing with similar success since 1997, so Hünfeld has become a bridge between East and West at the heart of Europe.
Also with Proskau there is meanwhile a regular student exchange programme, befriended clubs visit one another and nurture friendship and cultural exchange. The German-German partnership with Steinberg im Erzgebirge has special priority. In Rothenkirchen, today the core community of Steinberg, stood the cradle of the later global company Wella, which was re-established in Hünfeld after the Second World War. A special partnership evolved out of these contacts, which today is carried by many personal contacts of the people of Hünfeld and Steinberg, by clubs and cultural institutions. Founded after the reunification, the German-German partnership with the neighbouring town of Geisa in Thüringia has rapidly developed to become a friendly co-existence between neighbouring towns.
For many years, Hünfeld was also the godfather town for the 58th Engineers Company of the 11th Cavalry Regiment of the US Army, which operated to secure the peace at the inner-German border. This partnership created many friendships, which lasted beyond the withdrawal of the American forces at the beginning of the 1990s. Since 1955, Hünfeld has also been a partner town for the former inhabitants of the town of Neustadt an der Tafelfichte, who were driven out of their homes in 1946. Even today, the national meetings of the “Neustädter” and gatherings of the “Heimatkreises Friedland” take place in Hünfeld.
A particular friendship, which created a furore above all in France, also unites the town of Hünfeld with former French prisoners of war at the prison camp in Hünfeld. Today, this friendship is mainly still being borne by the descendants of these former French prisoners of war, who still meet every year at other places in France and on special occasions also in Hünfeld.
A special contact has developed since a gathering in 1998 of the former Jewish inhabitants of Hünfeld, who had survived the terrors of Nazi tyranny. There followed numerous visits, the publication of a book about the life story of the Jewish family Strauss and in 2010 the opening of a department in the Konrad-Zuse Museum with its history of the town and district and the project “Stolpersteine” which remembers victims of the Nazi dictatorship.
These outstanding international activities have been honoured with the European Flag, the Europa Plaque and, in 2011, finally with the highest distinction that the European Council has to award, the Europa Prize.
Partnerschaftsverein Hünfeld e. V.
in the internet: www.pv-huenfeld.de
Mayor Stefan Schwenk
Am Anger 2
Telephone: +49 (0) 6652 180 140
Fax: +49 (0) 6652 180 149