Peter Backes     Editorial

Eurojumelages was ahead of its time

The formal foundations for Franco-German friendship were laid exactly 60 years ago.

Three years earlier, a Frenchman and a German, Alexandre Chappé and Hans Winkel, had already launched such a friendship, today's Eurojumelages: this is documented in thereport "Remembrance of 9 November 1959, the birth of our Jumelage movement". Eurojumelages celebrated its 60th anniversary at the General Assembly in Hendaye, in 2019
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After centuries of war, people longed for peace and friendly relations and the Élysée Treaty made this a reality.deutsch franz freundschaft

The visit of French President Charles De Gaulle to Bonn was legendary.

On the afternoon of 4 September 1962, President de Gaulle addressed German citizens for the first time, speaking in Bonn's market square in front of a crowd numbering between 20,000 to 30,000 people. To everyone's surprise, he spoke impromptu and in German. Pesident De Gaulle thus set an example of his special bond with Germany; he had gained most of his knowledge of the language during his time in captivity as a German prisoner of war during the First World War, after the Battle of Verdun in 1916.
In the address, de Gaulle thanked the "great German people" for the warm welcome and assured them that a wave of friendship was rising in the hearts of all French people who at that moment would look to Bonn. His speech ended with the closing words:

"Long live Bonn!
Long live Germany!
Long live Franco-German friendship!"

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