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Langjährige Freundschaften

VON JOHANNA MUSCHALIK - zuletzt aktualisiert: 25.05.2009

Duisburg (RP) Insgesamt acht Städtepartnerschaften pflegt Duisburg. Die beiden längsten Freundschaften bestehen zu dem französischen Calais und dem englischen Portsmouth – Gäste beider Städte besuchen momentan Duisburg.

Besucher aus gleich zwei Partnerstädten sind momentan in Duisburg zu Gast. Zusammen mit Sportlern aus dem französischen Calais fand am Wochenende der traditionelle Sportaustausch statt (siehe unten). Die Gäste aus Portsmouth ließen es dagegen ruhig angehen.

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Long Term Friendship

BY JOHANNA MUSCHALIK - published: 25.05.2009

Duisburg (RP) Duisburg has eight twin cities in all. The two longest friendships are with Calais in France and with Portsmouth in England – guests from both cities are currently visiting Duisburg.

Visitors from two separate twin cities are currently guests of Duisburg. At the weekend, the traditional sports exchange took place with sportsmen from Calais (see below). Our guests from Portsmouth on the other hand are taking things easier. For them, the weekend is dedicated to socialising. They do have a few plans for the upcoming week however. Together with the Duisburger Portsmouthfreunden they will be exploring the town and its neighborhood.

The twinning between Duisburg and Portsmouth will celebrate its 60th anniversary next year. The original aim of this twinning at the time, fairly shortly after the end of the Second World War, was reconciliation and collaboration between the two countries.

25 Years of the Portsmouthfreunde

"This friendship should be more than just a relationship at the administrative level" – that was intention of Jochen Vogt, when he founded the Duisburger Portsmouthfreunde association 25 years ago. Since that time there has been an active exchange involving the inhabitants of both cities. Each year, guests from Portsmouth visit Duisburg – and vice versa. At the moment, a 34-strong contingent from Portsmouth are paying us a visit. And then in August, a group of Duisburgers will be making for the English city. The motto for this year's trip is "Countryside". Former school director Jürgen Hordt, who has been at the helm of the association for the past eleven years, has quite intentionally selected small towns worthy of a visit for their setting.

When he holidayed in England for the first time in 1972 he was immediately fascinated by the scenery. Since then he has spent as much time as possible there – sometimes he goes there as many as eight times a year. It is he who also prepares and leads the well-organized trips. Well in advance of time, he determines all the itineraries and collects together information sheets for participants. "The travellers should feel themselves secure and protected with me", Jürgen Hordt declares.

Active Twinning

An important feature of the trip for both cities is meeting local people – especially if new friendships are made. "One of our association members has found so many friends in Portsmouth that he spends half the time in Deutschland and the other half in England", says Jürgen. That is active twinning.