Unsere Geschichte (Our history)

The Coventry German Circle  is about to reach its 72nd  year without a break

The group was originally set up by three Coventry citizens in September 1946.  Mr. Percy Harvey, who lost all his business on the night of the raid on Coventry in 1940, Miss E. M. Rose whose mother died the day after the raid, and Mr. W. J. Sharpe, a prominent member of the Christian Endeavour Movement, decided – on September 17th 1946 – to create the German Circle.  It was formed for people who wanted to listen to German lectures and be reconciled with their former enemies.  German refugees of Jewish descent were among the first members.   Prisoners of war from the Stoneleigh PoW camp were also invited, from the beginning, to come to the German Circle.  The Circle has been going strong ever since, forging friendships and links between Coventrians and German people.   We are currently building contacts with friends in our partner city of Dresden.

The first A.G.M. was held in 1947. Our purpose and aim, then as now, is “to create opportunities for those interested in the German language and literature to increase their knowledge through discussions and talks”.  Ours was without doubt the first of the many German circles to be founded in Great Britain. Our current Chair is Steve Lamb and secretary is Lynne Adams.

At first meetings were held each Wednesday evening during the Autumn and Spring terms, at the then Technical College.  When the building behind the Technical College was demolished the German Circle moved to the Methodist Church Hall in Earlsdon, Coventry.   Our current programme consists of monthly talks from visiting speakers, as well as afternoon conversation groups in Coventry city centre.   Talks are held on the first Wednesday evening, conversations on the third Wednesday afternoon.  From the outset, and to this day, speakers from the German Embassy have come to Coventry to speak at one of our meetings.  The German Lutheran pastor who holds regular monthly services in the German language in Coventry Cathedral, for a wide area which includes Coventry, is regularly invited to speak.

With great sadness we announced the death on 30 July of Waltraut Lewent, longstanding member and president of the Coventry German Circle.  Her funeral was  held in The Chapel of Unity, Coventry Cathedral, on Wednesday 15 August 2018.

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