Shared europe lived passionately

20 years town twinning committee bad kissingen – on this occasion a rough jubilee celebration took place on saturday in the green hall of the regentenbau in kissingen.

"Europe doesn't grow out of agreements, europe grows out of the hearts of its citizens, or not at all" – with these words of the former federal minister klaus kinkel, the president of the town partnership committee, maren schmitt, opened the evening, which was attended by numerous members and friends of the association.

Founded as a circle of friends

The town twinning committee of bad kissingen became the 21. October 1999 as friend circle of the partner cities bad kissingen under the guidance of the city council dietrich forsch at that time based and maintains since then on behalf of the city bad kissingen the contacts with the partner cities eisenstadt (austria), massa (italy) and vernon (france). Together with dietrich forsch, now honorary president of the committee, maren schmitt looked back on the 20-year history of the club. Both expressed their gratitude for the dedicated work of all those who have made this success possible in the first place.

First beginnings already in 1993

The beginnings of the committee go back to 1993. At that time, a first municipal committee was founded on the initiative of former mayor christian zoll under city councillor christa nurnberger. In 1996, forsch took over the leadership of the committee. During a trip of the kissing city council to massa the following year, helena scharf, who accompanied the trip as a representative of the press, finally suggested that not only a small circle, but all the citizens of kissing should be involved in the city partnership work. Helena scharf, herself president of the association from 2014 to 2017 after dietrich forsch, then launched an appeal to the press. The first citizens' initiative was formed. In 1998, the group participated for the first time in the vernon cherry fair (now known as the vernon fair) with a sales booth.

Close contacts in advance

When the repeated participation in the following year suddenly brought a profit, the next step was taken: in 1999 the "friends of the twin towns of bad kissingen e" was founded.V.", in which friends of the three partner cities of kissingen joined together. Through klaus horch and peter krug, there were already close contacts between the fire departments and the scouts of eisenstadt and bad kissingen, and there were already strong ties with massa under adi riedl and klaus krieg. In 2002, the association was finally given its present name, the bad kissingen twinning committee.V."

Increasingly, he was entrusted with more tasks by the city of bad kissingen and is still the first contact person for the city in all questions concerning the city partnership. The bundling of three partner cities in one association is a special feature of the kissing committee and unique in the governmental district of lower franconia.

Today, the committee with its well over 200 members is an impressive sign that the common europe is lived passionately by the citizens of bad kissingen. The association organizes numerous trips to the partner cities of kissingen, provides financial and organizational support for school exchanges and youth and club trips, organizes cooking courses and initiates meetings with artists. In bad kissingen itself, this connection can be seen every year during the rakoczy festival, when guests from all three partner cities arrive and create an international flair in the princely wine village on the town hall square. The fact that in the meantime several marriages have come about between burghers from bad kissingen and the twin towns underlines the sustainability of this work, according to the president.

Minibuses donated

Birgit eber, city councilor and city council representative for city partnerships, came to the anniversary celebration on behalf of the mayor and expressed the thanks of the city of bad kissingen to the committee for its outstanding work over the last two decades. The committee has become an important pillar for the city and an ambassador for bad kissingen. Through the hard work of each and every one of them, the association has made a remarkable contribution to the european idea. Monetary successes have also been achieved: in recent years, for example, the committee has donated two minibuses to the city, which have been given to the city's youth work and the city's music school. "When an association supports its town as you do, then one can only say thank you", according to birgit eber. "Please keep up the good work, the city is proud of you."

Guests from the twin towns

Guests from the three partner cities also arrived for the anniversary: hans skarits, city councillor from eisenstadt and president of the local partnership committee, stefania dell "amico and elisabetha nicoletti representing massa, and michel guibout, president of the vernon city partnership committee, personally delivered their greetings and underlined the importance of the work of our associations for a peaceful, tolerant and common europe.

As a sign of recognition and gratitude, the presidium then honored its founding members, whose commitment 20 years ago laid the foundation for a lively and well-functioning association.

Special ambience with pianist thomas rigutto

The pianist thomas rigutto from vernon gave the evening a very special ambience. He impressed the audience with his outstanding artistic performance with a first-class performance of robert schumann's papillons and two brilliant piano sonatas by ludwig van beethoven after the speeches. The audience honored the brilliant concert with long-lasting applause.

Thomas rigutto won first prize in the 2003 unesco FLAME competition at the age of 15, later studied at the sorbonne in paris and followed lessons from louis lortie in quebec and sir andras schiff in switzerland. He regularly gives concerts in france and repeatedly in bad kissingen. At the end of the concert, thomas rigutto said that the committee also played a very special role in his life and that it was a matter of course and an honor for him to provide the music for this evening – after all, he has been married to a woman from kissingen since 2015, whom he met at a celebration of the 50-year town twinning between vernon and bad kissingen. 

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