LLL Deutschland Celebrates 25th Anniversary
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 39 No. 1, February-March 2003, p. 9.
Early in the 1970s, La Leche League came to Germany through the wives of Americans stationed at NATO installations. It wasn’t long before word got out that a group for breastfeeding women existed and German women also started coming to the meetings. As meeting attendance grew and homes were bursting at the seams, it soon became evident that a new organization was being born—La Leche Liga Deutschland!
On September 20-22, 2002, we celebrated the founding of our organization. Over 200 Leaders and guests met in the rolling hills of northern Germany. The weekend was structured after our annual Conference with a business meeting and more than 26 Leader enrichment sessions from which to choose. But unlike our usual Conferences, we had a sprinkling of special guests who made the weekend a true celebration.
Starting on Friday afternoon we had “Tea with Marian,” where Leaders were able to meet and chat with LLL Founder Marian Tompson as they arrived. Marian stayed with us for the weekend, leading and participating in sessions. Her address was the high point of the anniversary celebration on Saturday evening. Along with her well wishes, we received greetings from other breastfeeding advocates in Germany, and we also heard from two of the Founders of La Leche Liga Deutschland (LLLD), who told attendees about the beginning of the organization. It sounded like a real adventure!
Working our way to the present, we also listened to two Leader Applicants describing what LLL means to them. The evening ended with two lovely songs and a huge LLLD logo birthday cake.
On the second day, our honored guest was Spanish pediatrician, Dr. Carlos González, who launched the German translation of his book, My Child Won’t Eat for Me. We thoroughly enjoyed his humorous talk on this theme and many of us went home with personal dedications jotted down in our new copies of his book.
It was a lot of fun. The organization continues to grow in Germany and the anniversary celebration was a good way to mark a point in LLLD’s history. It also enabled us to look back at what we have achieved while giving us new energy and inspiration for the next 25 years.
Cathy Burckhardt has been a Leader for 13 years and lives in Braunschweig, Germany. She has three children: Kirstin, 16; Nicola, 13; and Daniel, 10; all born in South Africa where she became a Leader. Cathy has served as CLA of LLLGermany and Delegate for International Relations for LLLDeutschland.