On November 17th, 2016, Birmingham welcomed a delegation from Frankfurt-am-Main led by Peter Feldmann, Mayor of Frankfurt. Throughout the day members of the delegation attended various events of the German Week. In the evening, three events symbolizing the lifelong partnership between Birmingham and Frankfurt took place: a book exchange in the Shakespeare Memorial Room (Library of Birmingham), the Frankfurt Christmas Market opening and the anniversary gala including the renewal of the partnership.
Book exchange: A long-standing friendship between two cultures
In presence of Birmingham and Frankfurt representatives, Lord Mayor, Cllr Carl Rice, and Mayor of Frankfurt, Peter Feldmann, proceeded to the exchange of books.
The City of Frankfurt made a gift of 14 books from various German authors. In addition, Charlotte Schwarzer, Kultureattachée at the German Embassy in London, gave 2 books on behalf of the Embassy. In return, the City of Birmingham gave 11 books from British authors selected by Writing West Midlands to the City of Frankfurt, .
Symbolically, the Lord Mayor and the Mayor of Frankfurt respectively signed A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare and Zur Farbenlehre (Theory of Colours) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
The following books given by Frankfurt-am-Main will soon be available to the public at the Library of Birmingham:
- Goethe, Johann Wolfgang, Zur Farbenlehre
- Witzel, Frank, Die Erfindung der Roten Armee Fraktion durch einen manisch depressiven Teenager im Sommer 1969
- Ahrens, Henning, Glantz und Gloria
- Kurzeck, Peter, Kein Frühling
- Demski, Eva, Scheintod
- Grimmelshausen, Hans, Jacob Christoffel von Der abenteurliche
- Härtling, Peter, Tage Mit Echo
- Kirchhoff, Bodo, Verlangen und Melancholie
- Maier, Andreas, Der Kreis
- Mosebach, Martin, Mogador
- Scheuermann, Silke, Die Häuser der anderen
- Seghers, Jan, Die Sterntaler-Verschwörung
- Vesper, Guntram, Frohburg
- Göritz, Matthias, Shanghai Blues
Frankfurt Christmas Market opening:
For the opening of the 16th Frankfurt Christmas Market, standing next to the Lord Mayor was the Mayor of Frankfurt. The two Mayors spoke about the importance of the friendship between Birmingham and Frankfurt. The Christmas Market represents it best, enabling cultural and economic exchanges.
Anniversary Gala: 50th Anniversary of Partnership between Birmingham and Frankfurt
During the gala held in the Industrial Gallery of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Lord Mayor, Carl Rice, Leader, Councillor Clancy and Mayor of Frankfurt, Peter Feldmann, signed the affirmation of partnership between the two cities.
“We are all a part of history today as we renew our partnership with Frankfurt. […] Given the recent referendum vote I would suggest that this year’s renewal of friendship is particularly important as it sends a clear signal that Birmingham is very much part of Europe and the European family of nations and peoples.” – Lord Mayor, Carl Rice
Affirmation of partnership extract: “By renewing this partnership, we hereby pledge to sustain the long standing relationship between our cities and build on the strong foundations of partnership laid over the last 50 years.”