Spring 2020. Perfect weather for sitting in a beer garden. But they are empty, all those beer gardens, the coffee tables abandoned. No children’s laughter to be heard from the playgrounds; they are all closed off. The Corona virus made it necessary to restrict public life, and mostly people are following those restrictions, with more or less understanding.
One of the saddest restriction effects in the European town Görlitz/Zgorzelec are the measures for senior citizens and patients in care centres, as well as the mostly shut border fence, especially after all the years of the free travel and movement across from both sides.
Yet, what can they create, the Polish and German neighbours, out of those effects?
They create a wonderful story. It begins on the German side of the twin town. As the farmers’ markets had to be closed, and even flowers could not be sold, some people had the idea to buy all flowers from a gardener, which otherwise would have ended on the compost.
After calls and agreements, they bring the flowers to several care centres. On each tour, they deliver 30 to 120 bouquets, depending on the number of patients. Money is collected as a result of an aid appeal and a benevolent newspaper article in the daily. Many people from Görlitz give money, also people who care about Görlitz.
One donation came from family Siekierka. The Siekierkas have lived in Görlitz for a long time and now bought a house in Zgorzelec. To them, the Polish-German interaction between both towns are as natural as breathing. Hence, this donation initiates the ongoing of the wonderful story.
When the flower distributors ask Kathleen Siekierka about the conditions in Poland, she tells them that there are also two big care centres in Zgorzelec that are facing the same restrictions. Thus, the plan evolved. Kathleen called the managers of the care centres, one of them was very cautious and refused, the other one gratefully agreed. Now a gardener in Zgorzelec had to be found, and Pani Irena from the garden company “Blumenland”, who creates dream-like bouquets, together with Kathleen Siekierka managed to deliver flowers, while following all precautions.
Hence, a wonderful story came to life thanks to German-Polish donations, featuring German-Polish solidarity. This provides hope for good times in a common spirit, when the borders reopen and a crossing is daily business again.