German-American friendship in Baden-Württemberg has been shaped in a special way by the experiences after the Second World War. It was Americans who helped us rebuild a destroyed Germany after the war and establish democratic conditions.
Since 1945, 15 million Americans have lived in Germany, 11,000 of them in Ludwigsburg-Kornwestheim, the largest of the six US locations in the Stuttgart area.
These were years of intense mutual exchange, years in which American culture inspired us: with jazz and rock 'n' roll, with great Hollywood movie classics, and outstanding American metropolitan architecture.
In 1993, the same year in which the last units of the US Army stationed in Ludwigsburg said goodbye, the first contacts between Ludwigsburg and St. Charles began. This led led to the signing of the official partnership agreement in 1996.
Today, with the twinning between Ludwigsburg and St. Charles, we are continuing the long tradition of German-American friendship.
We do not want to content ourselves with grateful memories of the past, but rather create a common future and build new transatlantic bridges.
Contributing to this are the many citizens of the two cities who, as part of student exchanges, club meetings, or administrative exchanges travel to the twin town and maintain direct contact. Modern technology is no substitute for face-to-face communication! Both cities have active partnership clubs, whose members always welcome twin city guests into their families.
Our friendship is also an investment in a peaceful future. We recognize the need for constant dialogue, in which we also want to involve the youths of our cities more intensively. The personal connections and experiences that young people can gain through a stay in the twin city, be it in the context of student exchange, an internship, time as an au pair, or through study, form the best foundation for understanding and mutual respect.
The main pillar of our town twinning is the student exchange, in which four Ludwigsburg gymnasiums and four high schools in St. Charles are involved.
In 2017, the first active student exchange between Lindenwood University's film department in St. Charles and the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg was implemented. Two students from Lindenwood can take part in the program for English-speaking international exchange students in the winter semester in Ludwigsburg, and in return, Lindenwood offers two free spots for Filmakademie students.