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LLL Germany and LLL Deutschland Unite!

Cathy Burkhard
Brunschweig, Germany
Cordelia Koppitz
Leverkusen, Germany
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 36 No. 6, December 2000-January 2001, p. 118

Do you have a file of "old" issues of LEAVEN? You do? Great - look into those from 1997. In three issues from 1997 there are pictures and an article about the "LLL Twin Sisters" of Germany, what they have in common, and what makes them different from each other. This "sisterhood" was highly unusual but it had its roots in the past dating back to the early 1970s, when LLLI came to Europe and specifically to Germany through American Leaders married to men in military service who were stationed here. When German women started also coming to meetings, it soon became clear that LLL would flourish better if German women could spread the word in their mother tongue and cultural setting. And so in 1977, LLL Deutschland became an Area; later LLL Deutschland became an Affiliate.

For the most part, having an Area and Affiliate in the same country has worked very well, serving mothers on both sides. Over the years LLL Deutschland has grown into a very well organized, healthy organization with over 200 Leaders.

LLL Germany has seen a different development. After the fall of the Berlin wall, NATO presence in Germany decreased dramatically, thereby also reducing the number of Leaders and Groups. The Area was increasingly being administered by English speaking women for whom Germany had become a permanent home; some Leaders were even active in both LLL Germany and LLL Deutschland. Over the past few years it became more and more obvious that the advantages of being a united organization would outweigh the risks. This, along with a spirit of openness on the part of the LLL Deutschland (LLLD) Board, made it possible for LLL Germany to look at the possibility of joining LLLD. So today we proudly announce the merger of the two organizations, both into the La Leche Affiliate Liga Deutschland!

The right moment had come and both organizations were willing to accept the other's ideas, make accommodations, and recognize that pooling our resources will make us all better able to do our work as La Leche League Leaders.

Of course, it was not easy to smooth out all wrinkles and difficulties: language, area newsletter, finances, memberships, two different currencies - to name but a few! We are very grateful for the unfailing and enthusiastic support of Leaders from both organizations! By voting unanimously in favor of merging, the English-speaking women showed their trust in their German "sisters." The German Leaders, on the other hand, listened to the special needs of their English-speaking sisters and did everything they could to accommodate those needs. We are very proud of what we have accomplished and are confident that history will show this to be a good decision.

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