SisterCityThursday: Arzberg and South Bend
The sister city partnership between Arzberg, Bavaria and South Bend, IN, has existed since 2006. 5,200 inhabitants live in Arzberg, located on the south-eastern edge of the Fichtelgebirge. Iron ore mining flourished here in earlier centuries. Alexander von Humboldt worked in Arzberg for 5 years as a senior mountain master. He even founded a mountain school here. His house can be visited at Kirchberg in Arzberg. Today Arzberg is world-famous for its traditional porcelain brands. A cheap purchase of the “white gold” at one of the city's factory outlets is even worth a long journey.
The partnership was officially opened on June 11, 2006, in Arzberg in the completely renovated and refurbished premises of “Bergbräu” on a historical site. The connections between the “Bergbrauerei Müssel” in Arzberg and the brewery of the same name in South Bend, IN, as well as details about the Müssel family, the “Bergmüssels,” are described in detail in the book by Prof. Gabrielle Robinson The German Settlers of South Bend.
The collaboration of Prof. Gabrielle Robinson and the Arzberg researcher Erwin Scherer finally laid the foundation stone for the sister city partnership. The years of partnership have been marked by mutual visits. A fixed date in the year is the virtual advent meeting via Skype. In addition to an exchange program lasting several weeks, a group of students from Indiana University South Bend and their professors spent several days in Arzberg in 2014. This visit is to be repeated in 2018.