How did the sister city relation come into existence?
The origins of the Buffalo-Dortmund Sister City relationship can be traced back to 1972. A Dortmund native, Herbert Morgenroth, arrived in Buffalo as an exchange teacher at the University of Buffalo and was struck by the similarities between Buffalo and his hometown Dortmund. He introduced the idea of a Sister City relationship and found supporters in Buffalo like Mr. John E. Ward, then principal of Genesee-Humboldt Junior High School. By 1974, the two of them broached the idea with Honorary German Consul in Buffalo, Mrs. Nathan “Brix” Barrell. Later that year, their idea was formally presented to Mayor Stanley Makowski and the program was on its way. Although in Dortmund the concept was first met with reservation due to the considerable distance, the mayor agreed on meetings. First encounters as visits by young Americans to Dortmund and the Dortmund orchestra visiting Buffalo took place in 1975. The RWAG, which today is the Foreign Institute, seized the opportunity and started organizing High School exchanges and a “Buffalo week” in Dortmund. The city council of Dortmund was won over and the resolution to adopt an official sister city relationship was adopted in 1977. At the “Dortmund Days” in Buffalo one year later a German delegation handed over Dortmund’s charter of partnership:
The Council of the City of Dortmund declares its firm intention to nurture and expand its relationship to the City of Buffalo, USA.