April 16 - Mayor Byron W. Brown and Dortmund Lord Mayor Ullrich Sierau today signed a reaffirmation of the 1978 Buffalo-Dortmund Sister City agreement.“This signing reaffirms our commitment to do even more,” said Mayor Brown. “To reach across borders and create even stronger partnerships will help further strengthen our residents and our mutual economies.There are so many opportunities to exchange ideas with each other in areas like economic development, and this is what the Sister Cities program is all about, learning from each other. I look forward to many yearsof strong ties with Dortmund.” Lord Mayor Sierau stated, “It is my strong belief that partnerships are the foundations of the interconnectivity of the world. Especially with Buffalo, we have enjoyed a fruitful exchange on different levels, and I am confident that our friendship will continue for many years to come.” The ceremonial reaffirmation capped a full weekend of activities in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the signing of the sister city agreement linking Buffalo and Dortmund, Germany. Lord Mayor Sierau arrived in Buffalo with a large Dortmund delegation on Saturday, April 14, 2018, marking the first time since 1997 that an official delegation has come to Buffalo from Dortmund.On Saturday night, Mayor Brown directed the top of City Hall be lit in red, yellow and black (German flag) in celebration of four decades of friendship. Mayor Brown also announced the “Dortmund Park” project, a $150,000 park improvement project at Niagara Street, Busti Avenue and Hampshire Street that will transform this existing greenspace into a wonderful tribute that captures the spirit of the Buffalo-Dortmund friendship.Greg Engle, President of the Buffalo-Dortmund Sister City Committee, stated, “I congratulate Mayor Brown and Lord Mayor Sierau for reaffirming this wonderful relationship between Buffalo and Dortmund. This renewing of ties will further link our municipal officials, as well as our business, education and cultural communities, cementing the growing ties between our cities. 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 under the auspices of the Carl Duisberg Society, a German exchange program. Morgenroth was struck by the similarities between the City of Buffalo and his hometown of Dortmund: similar in size, steel manufacturing, and beer production. He presented a Buffalo-Dortmund partnership plan to the then Honorary German Consul in Buffalo, Mrs. Nathan “Brix” Barrell. In February of 1972, their plan was formally presented to Mayor Stanley Makowski. The program was formalized in 1978.
Buffalo’s Sister City program boasts 19 cities in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Members of these Sister Cities organizations sponsor student exchanges from Germany, France, and South Korea as well as cultural tours in Europe and Turkey as well as sponsoring good works by establishing medical clinics in cities in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.