History of the Club

As perhaps some of you already know, a rather remarkable lady called Dorothy Elchlepp lived for many years in Freiburg. Dorothy married her German husband Paul in 1936 and spent the turbulent war years here in Freiburg. An account of this time is recalled in her booklet “Let’s face it!”. After the war, Dorothy was determined to do everything to improve Anglo-German relationships and this became her life’s work. In the early fifties she started a conversation group and in 1958, with the support of a Scottish couple, a Mr and Mrs William Grant, formed a club called the English German Circle, which later became the Anglo-German Club. It rapidly became a well-established club in Freiburg chaired by both a German president and an English president.
In 1979, Dorothy’s hard work led to the twinning of Freiburg with Guildford and, later, the founding of the Guildford-Freiburg Association. In recognition of her many years of community work, she was awarded the MBE in 1972 by HM the Queen for her services to England, as well as the German Bundesverdienstkreuz (Federal Order of Merit - First Class) in 1997 for her tireless work in promoting Anglo-German relations. Dorothy was well known in Freiburg as ‘die Mutter der Verständigung’.

Dorothy receiving the  Bundesverdienstkeuz from Conrad Schroeder in 1997

Sadly, Dorothy passed away in 2003 at the age of 90. However, her club and her memory live on. In true Dorothy fashion, there is a free conversation group for all club members and regular events on a monthly basis, including English theatre, visits to art exhibitions, outings to places of local interest and an annual walk in Autumn with onion tart and new wine! And there are other very merry occasions including the annual asparagus dinner and the traditional Christmas Party with roast goose, red cabbage, dumplings (German!) and Christmas puddings (English!).
In 2008, the Club celebrated its 50th anniversary in grand style with a reception in the Historische Kaufhaus followed by an organ recital in the Münster by the world famous organist Jane Parker-Smith.