Hand-Stitched Tablecloth Gift Comes Full Circle
By Office of Communication
Posted on May 23, 2004, May 23, 2004

Sister City

In 1951 Arlington adopted as a Sister City the town then called Königshofen, located just west of what had become the border between West and East Germany. Hundreds of refugees from the communist East had overwhelmed the town and there was a real shortage of food and clothing. From 1952 till 1954 Arlington sent four shipments of food and clothing to its German Sister City. Included in those shipments were sacks of flour and sugar.

Susi Eschenbach, the lifetime resident of Bad Königshofen, Germany, was a young woman at the time the aid shipments began arriving from Arlington. Even though in her early 20s, she was quite accomplished in needlework. She began making items from the flour and sugar sacks and gave many of her handmade articles to friends as Christmas or birthday gifts. The sturdy cotton material of the shipping sacks was often used by the aid recipients to make tablecloths, pillow covers and articles of clothing.

Susi kept at least one of her handmade items, a tablecloth which was used in her home for many years. In 2001, the year that marked the 50th Anniversary of the Partnership between Arlington and Bad Königshofen, Ms. Eschenbach sent her handmade tablecloth as a gift to the City of Arlington. The decorative stitches she used are hemstitching, the herringbone stitch and needle weaving.

Arlington's aid shipments to Bad Königshofen in the early 1950s represented lifesaving gifts to the people of the little Bavarian town, establishing a friendship that has endured more than 50 years. With the presentation of Ms. Eschenbach's hand-made tablecloth to the City of Arlington, the gift had come full circle.

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