Frankweiler, Germany, was the hometown of our founder, Col. John G. Cullmann. A permanent partnership was formed in 1987 between Cullman and Frankweiler. Frankweiler is situated on the eastern slopes of the Haardt Mountains, about 6 km north of Landau “The Garden Town”. It is a municipality in Sudliche Weinstrasse district in Rhineland-Palatinate in western Germany.
The organizations Cullman Friends of Frankweiler and Frankweiler Friends of Cullman were organized in an effort to maintain and encourage cultural exchanges and personal relationships between Cullman, Alabama, and Frankweiler, Germany. The two groups have made many visits back and forth since our partnership began. For more information on our partnership with Frankweiler, Germany, contact the Cullman County Museum at 256-739-1258. Or, check out the Friends of Frankweiler page on Facebook!
This excerpt from the Cullman Friends of Frankweiler Facebook page details our partnership with Frankweiler:
Friends Across the Ocean, Friends Across Time
(A brief history of the association between the citizens of John Cullmann’s hometown, Frankweiler, Germany and their counterparts in Cullman, Alabama.)
When the citizens of Cullman began the town’s one-hundredth birthday, thoughts naturally turned to John Cullmann, founding father and his native land of Germany. Small seeds were planted during the centennial year of 1973 when Hans Krause, representative of Lufthansa Airline of Germany presented Cullman’s Mayor, W.J. Nesmith with a book compiled by the airline containing information about John Cullmann with greetings from the Burgermeister of Frankweiler, Germany, Cullmann’s hometown.
In August of 1975 these seeds began to bear fruit when five visitors from Frankweiler, past Burgermeister Friedrich Fliehmann, his wife and daughter and the Burgermeister of that time, Theodor Pfaffmann and the city clerk of Frankweiler were present at the dedication of the Colonel Cullmann house, home of the Cullman County Museum.
Many wondered if the Colonel had any direct descendants left in Germany since both of Cullmann’s sons, who came to America, died young. The only possible direct descendants would have been through his daughter who remained in Germany with her mother.
A little detective work turned up a great-great-granddaughter of John Cullmann, Ellen van der Linden, of Konigstein, Germany. Also, there was a great-great nephew who lived in Cullman, Stanley Johnston. His sister, Julia Emanuel, of Lancaster, South Carolina was a great-great niece. In 1985, Ellen van der Linden, visited Cullman and met with Stanley and his sister.
An invitation from Gunter Stiess, Burgermeister of Frankweiler, was extended to Mayor Jack Sides to attend a special ceremony in John Cullmann’s birthplace of Frankweiler, Germany. This ceremony was to honor Colonel Cullmann’s contribution as the founder of the City of Cullman. In May of 1987, a delegation of 19 Cullman citizens, led by Mayor Jack Sides, and his wife, Ruth, attended the celebration marking a permanent partnership between the two cities. The next year, a group of 47 visitors from Frankweiler arrived in Cullman for a visit and thus began a tradition of exchanging visits every two years. Those who have had an opportunity to experience this special bond between the two cities, either as a host or guest, have many fond and special memories.