The "Deutsch-Englische Freundeskreis Inc." (Association for partnership and friendship between North Tyneside and Oer-Erkenschwick) now exists since 1979 and promotes in many fields the partnership with the city North-Tyneside. North-Tyneside adjoins with the better known city of Newcastle and is situated at the shores of the North Sea around 80 km south of the scotish border. When in the middle of the sixties of the last century the first precautious contacts were socialised with England on the part of the political side, one dealed rather aloof with each other, partly even suspiciously. The hostility, grown in two world wars, even decades after the end of World War II not yet had vanished from the minds. English and german mentality had but little points of contact.
Through great efforts on both sides, but with little steps moving onwards to each other, it succeeded in 1972 to set the seal to the official partnership between North-Tyneside (at this time todays dsitrict Longbenton) and Oer-Erkenschwick by means of decisions of the city council and partnership certificates. When in 1979 politics put the maintenance of the partnership into the hands of the DEF, since some years already an exchange of students had taken place. Aside the contacts between the pupils, which solely because of age reasons always proved to be plain sailing, it succeeded over the years to carry partnership into various social spheres.
Points of contact were discovered in sports and in culture. They were experienced in public fields like police and fire brigade. The exchange between adult groups became independent and a regular institution. Where before suspicion, partly even subliminal hostility ruled, slowly confidence, understanding and the willingness, to approach each other more and more, developed. From mutual respect friendship arose, from peaceful coexistence partnership emerged.
The Committee of the DEF