Tag: Norwich-Koblenz Friendship Association

Koblenz visitors to Norwich today

This morning I had the pleasure of meeting again with Günter Hahn from the Norwich-Koblenz Friendship Association, who was  my translator from the Bundesarchiv Escaping Hitler book  event in Koblenz on 11th May (far left of photo).  He is visiting Norwich for just two nights, along with the Oberbürgermeister of Koblenz, Prof. Dr. Joachim Hofmann-Göttig (far right of photo).  It is the Lord Mayor’s first visit to Norwich, a trip which has included a concert at the Cathedral (where he met Joe Stirling), a trip to the Sainsbury’s Centre at UEA and lunch at the Britannia Cafe next to the Prison!  The Lord Mayor was delightful and I gave him a copy of my book, signed by both me and Joe of course!  I hope he has a longer stay in our fine city on his next visit to Norwich.

 

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Packing for Germany

This weekend is all about preparing for our promotional trip to Germany on Monday.  I am proud to be taking little Günter Stern’s (now known as Joe Stirling of Norwich) life story  back to his roots in the village of Nickenich and the Rhineland city of Koblenz.  I have been invited by the Mayor of Nickenich, Gottfried Busch to give an illustrated talk on Friday 13th May in the Spiegelsaal (Sports Hall) of the Nickenich Community Centre known as the Pellenzhalle.  Two days earlier I will be presenting Escaping Hitler to the people of Koblenz, the twin city of Norwich, at the prestigious Federal Archive.  On both occasions I will be working with a translator, as sadly my German is rudimentary!  I am grateful to Herr Günter Hansen from the Norwich-Koblenz Friendship Association for his help in Koblenz, and to Jessica Hahn, a student at Trier University and resident of Nickenich for her help in Joe’s home village. This is an incredible opportunity to let the audiences know exactly what happened to that little Jewish boy after he left his homeland on a Kindertransport in July 1939.  I am excited and nervous in equal measure!!!

The photos show the village of Nickenich, the Pellenzhalle, the Federal Archive in Koblenz, an article from a Nickenich newspaper and the poster that is apparently on lampposts all over the village!

 

INVITATION TO NICKENICH

Wonderful news! We have been invited by Herr Gottfried Busch, Mayor of Nickenich, to visit during May 2016.  Joe Stirling was born in Nickenich and named Günter Stern in 1924.  His parents are still remembered by some older residents and their only son is held in high esteem.  The plan is to load the car up with copies of Escaping Hitler and give an evening presentation to village residents complete with a book signing. I will work with a translator. During the trip we hope to arrange a similar event in near-by Koblenz, now twinned with Norwich, and to where Gunter and his mother fled on the morning following Kristallnacht in 1938. I will shortly be contacting the Norwich-Koblenz Friendship Association to discuss the possibilities. 

I could not be more excited by the invitation and would like to thank Herr Busch and Jutta Hansen for setting up this opportunity to ‘take Gunter’s story home to Nickenich’.  Keep following this blog and ‘liking’ the Facebook page for updates on the publication journey and book signings during the New Year.

Mayor of Nickenich
Mayor of Nickenich
Joe's home village from the air
Joe’s home village from the air