On the occasion of Franco-German Day on January 22, the Internationaler Bund (IB) recalls the importance of friendship with the neighboring country to the west. The IB looks back on a long and deep cooperation with France.
The foundation of the IB in 1949 finally came about only through the active involvement of the French military government. The officer Henri Humblot ensured with his commitment that youth encounters also became part of the IB program. The idea behind this was to deepen the understanding for each other among the young generation - regardless of origin or political orientation. Humanistic values were and are conveyed in order to prevent new enmities.
On January 22, 1963, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and French President Charles de Gaulle signed the Élysée Treaty. With this Franco-German friendship treaty, the two countries wanted to draw a line under a long period of wars with countless deaths and destruction. In the meantime, Germany and France have become friends, allies and a common anchor as well as engine of peaceful European unification. January 22 officially became Franco-German Day.
The IB contributed a great deal to the establishment of the Franco-German Youth Office. Also in 1963, the OFAJ/DFJW, Office franco-allemand pour la Jeunesse / Deutsch-französisches Jugendwerk, was founded, to whose development the IB contributed significantly. Among other things, within the framework of this cooperation, the IB has filled the spirit of the Franco-German friendship treaty with life for many decades through educational programs, youth work, personal encounters and more.
"To all who have contributed to this - and will continue to do so - I would like to express my heartfelt thanks! We are happy and grateful that our French neighbors are our friends today. The IB will continue to work actively to maintain the good relations in the future," emphasizes Thiemo Fojkar, Chairman of the IB Executive Board.