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Thread: Hessian Border Town Changing States After 50-Year Campaign

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    Hessian Border Town Changing States After 50-Year Campaign

    Hessian border town changing states after 50-year campaign

    Published: 9 Sep 09 10:54 CET


    Exasperated citizens of Stormbruch in Hesse will likely secede to North Rhine-Westphalia in a state parliamentary vote on Wednesday to make a border change the town has wanted since state-lines were redrawn after World War II.



    Stormbruch is just a stone’s throw away from Bontkirchen, which was assigned to North Rhine-Westphalia after WWII, though it continues to be the spiritual home of many Stormbruch residents. The separation, marked by a stream called the Itter, has engendered countless problems for residents caught between two administrative systems.

    Bureaucratic difficulties have plagued the daily lives of the 22 residents in the tiny enclave. For Marion Votland and her husband, a special permit was needed to allow their children to attend school in neighbouring Bontkirchen, her hometown, despite the nearest Hesse school being miles away with no bus transport.

    “I am happy that all this bureaucracy is coming to an end soon,” she told news agency DDP.

    “Even postal delivery is a disaster. Letters are not delivered because the postal service assigns us to North Rhine-Westphalia, but our address officially belongs to Hesse,” added local sawmill owner and carpenter Ernst Hennecke.

    But life on the border will likely end on Wednesday, when the North Rhine-Westphalia parliament is expected to approve a treaty taking Stormbruch into the state. This comes after the Hesse parliament spoke out in favour of a border change in July this year.

    According to Volker Becker, mayor of Diemelsee, the administrative region to which Stormbruch currently belongs, there has been cross-border agreement on the matter for over three years now.

    “They’re always talking about a unified Europe, but here even this small area has been divided. The people from Bontkirchen, now living in Stormbruch, bear no social resemblance at all to the people of Diemelsee,” he said.

    The question as to why it has taken so long for the parliaments to reach a decision remains unanswered. Even the outline for the treaty itself acknowledged that the campaigns had been taking place “since the end of the 1950s.”

    “If the parliament in North Rhine-Westphalia approves the treaty on its second hearing, it will come into effect around October 1,” confirmed Heike Dederer, a spokesperson for the Hesse parliament.

    While the end may be in sight, it won’t come cheaply. North Rhine-Westphalia will have to pay Hesse €390,000 for the privilege of gaining 22 extra residents – the price the other state has exacted for the loss in tax revenue.
    Hessian border town changing states after 50-year campaign - The Local
    When men cease to fight — they cease to be — Men.
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    I am actually quite happy that a Waldeckian village should end up with their tribal Westphalian brothers. I am all the more happy since Stormbruch is the little hamlet from which my maternal grandmother's lineage originally hails from, needless to say there's never been much of a tie with Hessen anyhow, this is true for all of Waldeck in fact.

    Now, if this would only be a wider initiative, and all of Waldeck would cede to Westphalia, rather than being unrightfully stuck with Hessen, this would be even better. But the re-drawing of the ahistorical regional borders with which Germany finds herself in the Post-WWII era is alas a matter to be dealt with at a later stage.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Hessia or North Rhine-Westphalia...both of them are "Prussians" to me!

    "Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Surely, dear Valky, Franks/Franconians (that is, the Hessians) are a tad worse than Saxons (that is, the Westphalians, as well as the Waldeckians).
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    Surely, dear Valky, Franks/Franconians (that is, the Hessians) are a tad worse than Saxons (that is, the Westphalians, as well as the Waldeckians).
    The part of Hessen that is south of the River Main is Frankish, there are many town and area names reminding of this, like Fränkisch-Crumbach, Frankenhausen, castle Frankenstein, Frankenhöhe (a hill), and, of course Frankfurt am Main. The Hessians north of the River Main do not consider themselves as Franks (neither do the southern Hessians by the way), since they are descendants of the Chatti, which however were under the rule of the Franks (like the Thuringians were too), neither do northern Hessians consider themselves as Prussians, which had annexed the Electorate Hessen-Kassel. Northern Hessians proudly see themselves as the real Hessians. [-> Chatti].

    Anyway, I found that article above interesting, it again confirms people are mainly seen as "tax cattle" for the feudal rulers...
    When men cease to fight — they cease to be — Men.
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