Guildford - Freiburg Town Twinning Background
The Deed of Partnership between Guildford and Freiburg was signed on 22 September 1979 by the then Mayor of Guildford, Cllr. Ron Burgess, and the then Oberbürgermeister of Freiburg, Dr Eugen Keidel.
The Deed was signed as a “token and promise of lasting friendship between the two communities and an encouragement to regular mutual liaison, to exchange experiences and to support the coming together of our citizens in every sphere”.
The twinning was also intended to foster understanding and dedication to the unity of Europe.
These aims have been nurtured and developed over the past thirty plus years by means of exchange visits by groups and individuals involved in sport, the arts, the churches and clubs of all kinds, and by representatives of the Borough Council and members of the Guildford-Freiburg Association.
The "Our Files" section of this site (accessible via the website's sidebar menu) contains this PDF file, containing a copy of an information panel about Freiburg im Breisgau that was produced by the GFA and is displayed under Tunsgate Arch, on Guildford's High Street.
Dorothy Elchlepp MBE
The website of the Anglo-German Club in Freiburg includes this page (click to access) which is dedicated to Dorothy Elchlepp, and which features a photograph of her.
The major part in bringing the twinning about was played by Mrs Dorothy Elchlepp, a remarkable English lady who married Paul Elchlepp, a Freiburg "Drogist" (pharmacist), in April 1936 at the Caxton Hall Register Office; (click here for background information on that Register Office, which is now closed).
Mrs Elchlepp spent the whole of the last war in Freiburg, and afterwards decided to work to build bridges between Germany and Britain. After a long search, she decided that Guildford would be a suitable twin for Freiburg.
In 1959, Mrs Elchlepp also founded Freiburg's Anglo-German Club. She was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Federal Order of Merit), First Class, by the German government in recognition of her services to Anglo-German relations. Click here to see a photographic record taken in November 1997 of her receiving the award from the late Conrad Schroeder (Head of the Regional Government, or "Regierungspräsident"). This German award complemented the MBE which she had received in June 1972, "for services to the British community in Stuttgart" (click here to see the citation, in an online copy of a Supplement to the London Gazette, dated 3 June 1972 - towards the foot of the right-hand column).
Dorothy continued to work hard to support the twinning right up to the time of her death, at the end of 2003, at the age of 90.
Her short illustrated autobiography, entitled "Let's Face it!" was published in 2000 by Schillinger Verlag, of Freiburg im Breisgau; the ISBN of this book is 3-89155-255-6.