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Columbus, Ohio and Dresden, Germany have been sister cities since 1992. Both are large, metropolitan areas—Columbus having 860,000 residents within the city itself, and Dresden 560,000. Dresden is located in the eastern German state of Sachsen, which borders Poland and the Czech Republic.
The connection between Dresden and Columbus was made through Frank Wobst, who grew up in Dresden and witnessed the destruction of his city in 1945, and who later emigrated to the U.S. This relationship is marked by numerous cultural programs, such as artist residency programs, a very popular marathon exchange, an undergraduate Summer German Language Program, and many others. (For more information on those, please see Greater Columbus Arts Council; Ohio Arts Council, Columbus Marathon; Dresden Marathon, https://www.facebook.com/germanicosuedu/)
Dresden is famous for its Striezelmarkt, or their Christmas Market, which boasts the title as “Germany’s oldest Christmas Market,” having begun in 1434. Beginning in 1999, Columbus decided to host its own Striezelmarkt with vendors from the Dresden area, which lasted a number of years.
The latest project is a community college and vocational school exchange in which apprentices and students in electrical and mechanical engineering visit their sister-city counterparts and compare their career paths. This program is planned for fall 2018 and 2019. Dresden Sister City, Inc. holds monthly Stammtisch events for members and friends of the organization.