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City gives German mayor good impression

August 17, 2000

City gives German mayor good impression



By KERRI SACCHET / Staff Writer


Joern Schroh's first visit to the United States has brought him to Hagerstown for Augustoberfest and a chance to further relations with city officials.

Schroh is burgermeister, or mayor, of Wesel, Germany, Hagerstown's sister city. He said although he and his wife, Gemille, still have much to see of the area, his first impression has been a positive one.

"I'm glad to come here in your town They are very kind to you and Hagerstown is really very clean," Schroh said Thursday.

Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said having Schroh visit Hagerstown helps communications between the officials and people of the sister cities.

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"It brings us closer together and cements more into uniting two countries. We're learning cultures and being globally active we're really trying to bring in as much as we can and make the world a little smaller," Bruchey said.

Schroh agreed with Bruchey. He said it is important, not only for officials of the two cities to meet, but for the people of both cities to get to know one another.

After viewing the Jonathan Hager House, eating lunch at Nick's Airport Inn, and doing some sightseeing, Schroh said he'll be taking part in the festivities of Augustoberfest this weekend in downtown Hagerstown.

Charles Sekula, interpreter for Schroh and owner of the Schmankerl Stube restaurant, is the founder of Augustoberfest. Schroh thanked him for his efforts to blend German culture into the town.

Sekula said he was glad Schroh would be present for Augustoberfest.

"We are very much appreciative of the effort he has made to help us celebrate something that is dear to our heart and the community," Sekula said.

A city with 65,000 people, Wesel is larger than Hagerstown, which has 35,000 residents. Schroh said that isn't the only difference between the towns.

"In Wesel there are a lot of shops in town and here it seems like everyone goes to big shops outside of the town. There are not so many shops in town here and not that many people walking around." Schroh said, "Perhaps that will change and in the future there will be more little shops.

"Germany and America both have good and bad things. We must live together and we can all learn from one another," he said.

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