Category Archives: Swidnica

Biberach and Swidnica Support for Ukraine

Biberach Ukraine aid via sister city Schweidnitz

I thought you might all like to see this article from the Biberach Town website, describing how Biberach will be collecting donations to provide direct support to Swidnica to help displaced Ukrainians and their Ukrainian twin towns. The true power of Town Twinning at a time of desperate need.

Best wishes, Richard.

(English translation by Google) https://biberach–,2215.1&ModID=7&FID=2215.6250.1&NavID=2215.1&NavID=2215.6&_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en

City administration sets up central donation account
Providing the most direct and unbureaucratic help possible for the people affected by the war in Ukraine – that’s what many people want at the moment. For this reason, the city administration of Biberach, in close cooperation with Biberach’s Polish partner city Schweidnitz, initiated an auxiliary axis, via which urgently needed goods land directly where they are needed. The first delivery should be on its way as early as Saturday. Support is currently in demand primarily in the form of monetary donations. In a next step, the acceptance of selected donations in kind is also planned.

#standwithukraine; © City administration of Biberach

The images and news of Russia’s attack on Ukraine shock many people. For Biberach’s Lord Mayor Norbert Zeidler, it quickly became clear: in addition to showing solidarity with the Ukrainian people, it is necessary to provide unbureaucratic practical help to the best of our ability. “It was important to me that our support was based on the needs of the people on site,” says Zeidler.

For this reason, the Biberach mayor contacted the Polish twin town of Schweidnitz, which is only 600 kilometers away from Lemberg and itself maintains partnerships with two towns in the Ukraine. In the exchange with the friends in Schweidnitz, it quickly became clear that this partnership-based axis could provide targeted and needs-based help: “Approximately 5,000 Ukrainian citizens live in Schweidnitz and are currently taking in friends and relatives,” explains Zeidler. In addition, preparations are being made there for the arrival of a large number of refugees in a short time.

There is also contact and aid deliveries from Schweidnitz to the Ukraine. “We therefore want to closely tie our Biberach aid to that of our friends in Schweidnitz,” says Zeidler. “This ensures that our help arrives where it is currently needed and does not ignore the needs of those affected.”

The first step is to bring goods and relief supplies to Schweidnitz very quickly, which are no longer available in Poland but are urgently needed at the moment. The first transport is already planned for the coming weekend.

In order to be able to act as quickly as possible, the city administration will procure these goods centrally in large quantities. In a next step, the city administration is also planning to collect specific, selected donations in kind on site over the course of the next week. More information on this will be provided once it is clear what is needed.

Zeidler presented the Biberach plans at a short-notice appointment with representatives of various aid and blue light organizations as well as the association “StädtePartner eV” and received broad approval. “In particular, it became clear once again that it is important to clarify which aid supplies are actually needed,” explains Zeidler. In Biberach, therefore, they want to refrain from uncoordinated collections of donations in kind.

Anyone who would like to support the Biberach relief campaign is asked to transfer their donation to one of the following accounts:

  • Kreissparkasse Biberach
    IBAN: DE48 6545 0070 0000 0005 12
  • Volksbank Ulm-Biberach
    IBAN: DE14 6309 0100 0000 0010 07

Purpose (please state): Ukraine

All incoming donations are used in full for the procurement of urgently needed products and relief supplies.

“I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support for this aid campaign!” emphasizes Mayor Zeidler. “I am very sure that together with our friends in Schweidnitz we can make our contribution to supporting the people of Ukraine in this way.”

Information on refugees from Ukraine is available on a special website of the state government of Baden-Württemberg

Świdnica Visit September 2016

Świdnica (Poland) and Biberach (Germany) Celebrate 25 Years of Twinning  

8-10 September 2016

Our wonderful weekend began by being picked up from Wrocław Airport by Lukasz and a car with a driver: my husband, Adrian and I were delighted to be returning to Świdnica, and we were even more enchanted by the town than we were on our first visit three years ago.

swid-1Grupa MoCarta

We were there to celebrate the 25 years of twinning between our twin towns of Biberach and Świdnica, and it was certainly an unforgettable weekend packed with so many sights, sounds, smells and tastes. On the Thursday evening we went to a concert which was the inauguration of a new auditorium – formerly a Soviet building. Grupa MoCarta entertained us with their talent and comedy; they are well worth seeing if they come to England. I will be sure to let you know!

swid2After the concert all the visitors were invited to a meal with the president and vice-president of Świdnica so that we could all meet one another: as well as our Polish hosts and the German delegation, we met Ukrainians, Hungarians, Lithuanians and Czech. It was fortunate that we had a very capable interpreter so that we understood what was going on. A very pleasant surprise was that the president spoke French, so I was able to speak to her directly – this made our communication during the weekend particularly good.

dsc_1184-632x420Friday was the day for all the formalities: gifts were exchanged between the different countries. Tendring District Council sent a useful gift which we presented and the twinning association had decided to give something a little different. swid-3Parker’s Garden Centre put together, at our request, the most beautiful gift arrangement of spring bulbs. It was most enthusiastically received – and it will provide a happy souvenir of our weekend next spring after the winter has finished.

swid5Next our party was taken to visit a beautifully renovated complex which is dedicated to peace and after lunch we were taken to Świdnica’s only vineyard where we had a tasting session not only of the wines, but also many local products.

swid4As it was over 30 degrees, we lingered over our tasting session under the trees – getting to know others in our group better.

After visiting a city centre photographic exhibition, we ate dinner in a lovely restaurant where we experienced so many different tastes and traditional food – definitely no diet this weekend!

Saturday, and another action-packed day that included a visit to nearby Książ Castle an impressive castle with a warren of swid6underground tunnels where the Germans had been during WWII; it is rumoured that Hitler visited here. The formal terraced gardens were magnificent, but we opted for a swid7cool drink with the Ukrainian and Lithuanian contingents – accompanied of course by our interpreter, Gosia.

After another delicious lunch in the town square, we went to the top of the tower to get a panoramic view of Świdnica – well worth overcoming my dislike of heights to be rewarded with such picturesque scenery. Adrian and I then did some shopping at the market – to purchase some of the wine and sausage we had tasted the day before and to take a good look at all the different artisanal products. We then re-joined the others at a mock battle before our final dinner. This was a smaller event as some folk had already had to leave – it was a great way to finish the weekend with the president and another vice-president, and definitely made us feel that we were amongst friends.

Sunday morning, although our flight wasn’t until the evening, we got up early to say ‘au revoir’ to our new-found friends; we had time with Aleksandra, my counterpart in the twinning society – then the rest of the day was a bonus for us. We wandered around the town, watching families, dressed in their Sunday best, out eating ice-cream together at the pavement cafes; listening to the music being played by a small band, eating pierogis outside a small restaurant.

We arrived home on Sunday feeling that we had packed a whole week into three days. Our hosts were incredibly welcoming and we do hope we have the opportunity to show them some of our hospitality some time soon.

Joy Phillips

Chair, TTA

More photographs from the visit: