Guernsey Friends of Biberach

Can you help?

Are you interested in our local history, in helping forge closer ties with Europe – not less! – and shaping the future course of an important Guernsey story? We’re looking for enthusiastic members to join us…

For over 20 years, the Guernsey Friends of Biberach have worked closely with their German counterparts in Biberach to encourage and facilitate continued friendship and reconciliation between two communities that became indelibly linked when the horrors of wartime Occupation saw 1,200 residents of Guernsey and Sark interned in Camp Lindele, near Biberach, from 1942-1945. As the forward to the book published by Stadt Biberach (‘Remembering - Coming  together - Becoming Friends’) begins, 

“The Channel Island of Guernsey and the Town of Biberach are bound together by their history.  The booklet documents many of the remembered events  which occurred during 1942/45 and today is meant to point the way towards an open future based on friendship” - former Oberbürgermeister/Mayor of Biberach, Thomas Fettback, Hon OBE. 

Many who experienced captivity in Camp Lindele then became actively involved in the subsequent acts of reconciliation, some years later.

Gloria Dudley-Owen and her brother, David Skillett, for example, were both born in Biberach. Gloria is now Chairperson of the Guernsey Friends of Biberach, whilst David remained close to his German ‘Milch Bruder’ (Milchbruder), Heiner Koch (who was  born on the same day), until his death in 2014, and is also an active committee member of the Guernsey Friends.

Today, the Guernsey Friends work closely with their German counterparts – a large and active friendship group - in organising student exchanges (such as the Guernsey Young Ambassadors), music visits (such as the many choir and orchestral events that have taken place, including Bel Canto and the St Martin’s Boys’ Choir) and reciprocal trips (such as the group of 30x visitors from Biberach who came last year to participate in Liberation Day).

Having direct connections through supporters such as Gloria and her brother certainly help to reinforce the importance of the Guernsey Friends of Biberach as a small but friendly – and influential – friendship group, but there is a desire to encourage much greater involvement from a younger membership, and the committee is keen to hear from anyone who would be interested in becoming involved. In particular, there is an important (and vacant) role of Secretary that would suit someone efficient, enthusiastic and, ideally (but not critical), who is able to speak  German.

Importantly, the Guernsey Friends are keen that this part of Guernsey’s history is remembered & kept alive – as well as involving younger generations to look towards the future with new friendships and shared visions.

If anyone would like to find out more about the Guernsey Friends of Biberach, and how they might help, please contact either Gloria Dudley-Owen ([email protected]) or Chris Betley ([email protected]).

News

Combined Nations Armistice Day Service Recognises Reconciliation

5 November 2019

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Can you help?

29 July 2019

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Annual Report from Biberach

24 April 2019

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Guernsey Newsletter, April 2019

15 April 2019

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Update on Vera Creron, nee Glide

25 February 2019

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NEWS & EVENTS ARCHIVE >>