Friends of Frankweiler welcome sister-city visitors

Dr. Reingard Eifler, Friends of Frankweiler President Ernest Hauk, Susan Hauk and Dr. Dietmar Eifler stand together to commemorate the Eiflers’ visit to Cullman on May 2, 2024. (Cheyenne Sharp)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Friends of Frankweiler (FoF) was established in 1987, when Cullman and Frankweiler, Germany – the birthplace of Cullman’s founder John G. Cullmann – were joined as sister cities. FoF, as well as the corresponding German group, Friends of Cullman, keep the partnership between the two cities alive, fostering goodwill and friendship between the two countries. 

This year, on Thursday, May 2, FoF welcomed two members of the Friends of Cullman club from Frankweiler. The overseas guests arrived just in time for the always-changing Alabama weather to settle and produce beautiful, sunny days. 

The special meeting room at the Cullman County Public Library’s main branch was vibrating with excitement and chatter as the guests mingled with Dr. Reingard Eifler and Dr. Dietmar Eifler. Most of the time was spent snacking on light refreshments, telling stories, sharing cultural experiences and making future travel plans and itineraries. 

“Dietmar is on the board of the Friends of Cullman Club,” said FoF President Ernest Hauk. “They got in touch with Rudene and Robert Tidwell and asked to plan a visit to Cullman.” 

The groups and delegates alternate trips every two years, ensuring that each group never goes longer than four years without a visit from their counterparts.

Dr. Dietmar Eifler, a mechanical engineer, is professor emeritus of materials science and engineering at the Kaiserslautern Technical University; his wife, Dr. Reingard Eifler, is a medical general practitioner in their hometown. The two often visit Cullman to engage in the small-town cultural scene and catch up and reminisce with their local friends and cohorts. 

Dietmar Eifler said, “Cullman is a beautiful city; we enjoy our visits very much.” 

The couple will head back to Germany on May 9, but not before they get the chance to check out the Alabama Strawberry Festival. 

Hauk said he hopes the younger generation will show more interest in the club, as it will help FoF continue the cultural relationship and friendship with Frankweiler for years to come.

To learn more about FoF, reach out to the Cullman County Museum at 256-739-1258.

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