This year the Hans Joohs Sister Cities Cultural Exchange program is celebrating its 25th year. Sister Cities is an international, person-to-person diplomacy program that creates friendships and bonds between the US and other nations.
New Ulm is a proud participant in the program, which began in the Eisenhower Administration. But New Ulm has had a "sister city" relationship with Ulm and Neu-Ulm in Germany for many, many years earlier. Elsewhere on this page, Jack Minch of the New Ulm Sister Cities Commission recounts some of the history of the Sister Cities program and the Hans Joohs Cultural Exchange program, which sends young professionals from each sister city to spend three months in the partner city.
Over the years, a growing list of people from Germany have lived and worked for a time in New Ulm, and an equal number from here have lived and worked in Germany. The friendships and connections that have been forged have renewed and strengthened the friendships that grew out of New Ulm's German origins.
New Ulm's founders never forgot their German roots, and the relationships between individual families grew into a city-wide relationship after World Wars I and II, when New Ulm residents sent shipments of food and clothing to the relief of their war-ravaged sister cities in Germany. Those bonds of friendship are important, and we applaud the Sister Cities Commission for its work in maintaining and nurturing those relationships.