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Kiel is the capital of the German Bundesland (State) of Schleswig-Holstein and has a population of about 250,000. This link was established in 1947.
The link between Coventry and Kiel was officially formed when Mr Williams, a British service man from Coventry based in Kiel to help the rebuilding process after the Second World War, made contact with the City Authority in Kiel.
Like Coventry, Kiel was heavily bombed during the War and Mr Williams could see the common experiences of the two post-war cities. Then the Mayor of Kiel, Andreas Gayk sent a letter to the Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor George Briggs in 1946 proposing a friendship link, Coventry was already developing a reputation for an active international peace and reconciliation policy and so reacted positively to the message of friendship and reconciliation.
In 1947, the Friends of Coventry Society was founded, which later became the Deutsche-Britische Gesellschaft Kiel (German British society). In the same year a delegation from Coventry, which included the Lord Mayor, presented a cross of nails to Kiel, made out of nails from the destroyed Coventry Cathedral.
Kiel is the capital of the German Land (state) of Schleswig-Holstein. Situated at the eastern entrance of the Kiel Canal in north central Germany, it faces a tideless fjord of the Baltic Sea. Because of this excellent harbour the city has been a major port since the 10th century. The chief industries, aside from fishing, shipbuilding, and naval maintenance, are the manufacture of soap, food products, machinery, and woollen goods. The city has a university and is a popular centre for pleasure boating.