Guernsey Friends of Biberach

Newsletter, February 2003

Dear Friends,

We thought it was time to let you all know what has been happening since our Inaugural Meeting on 27th June 2002. The two highlights among our activities have been the visit of the St. Martin’s Boys Choir from Biberach in August and the deportees’ visit to Biberach in September.

Visit of the St. Martin’s Boys Choir from Biberach

At the beginning of August we hosted the St. Martin’s Boys Choir from Biberach. I am sure many of you will have heard them sing at one of the three concerts they gave here, at 5t Sampson’s Parish Church, the Town Church and St. Joseph’s Church. The 39 youngsters aged between 9 and 25 and their musical director Johannes Striegel seemed to settle in to Island life very quickly and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Apart from singing at the concerts, they took every opportunity to entertain with their singing, for instance on the coach during their Island Tour, after their lunch in St Joseph’s Parish Hall and again at the harbour right by the Liberation monument before boarding the Herm boat for their well earned camping holiday. This visit was a most successful beginning to an exchange of young people between Guernsey and Biberach.

Deportees’ Visit to Biberach

A group of around 30 people including the Bailiff and members of the Deportees’ Association and the Council of Churches travelled to Biberach in September for the dedication ceremony of a new memorial commemorating by name those who died at Biberach’s Camp Lindele. We attended an ecumenical service in SI.  Martin’s Church in Biberach where the Boys Choir sang for us once more. We had a very busy programme of visits, guided tours of Biberach and Ulm and even managed to attend the twinning ceremony between Bad Wurzach and SI.  Helier. The visit to the former Camp Lindele which still evokes vivid memories among those deported and the visit to the graves of those who had died away from home were very moving occasions for everyone. At the former camp, now a police training school, we were very well looked after by the police. We even had lunch in their canteen. During our stay we also attended the launch of a new book telling the history of Camp Lindele. Reinhold Adler, a history teacher at a school in Biberach, has spent the last 20 years researching the history of the Camp. It makes very interesting reading, unfortunately it’s not yet available in English. A visit such as this is always a good opportunity to make new friends, forge new links and work towards closer bonds between our two communities.

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