One Day Europe Will be One, for Real (part 1)

“Eens Wordt Europa Werkelijk Eén” is a heading in an article by the Foundation Schiedamse Gemeenschap dated March 1, 1964. The town of Schiedam had just started to connect to other European towns.

”There is no future for the people of Europe other than in union” Jean Monnet had said. In that same spirit, exchanges were organised between Esslingen in Germany, Neath in Wales, Schiedam in Holland and Vienne in France, expanding to more towns later on.


Connie was 20 year old in 1970 and had started to organise youth-exchanges for the Foundation Schiedamse Gemeenschap. The participating youths were of a generation that had come to its own in the roaring sixties. However, international travel was still special for most and the Second World War was not yet forgotten, at least not with the parents of the youths.


Friends in a Cold Climate is an oral history project that traces the young travellers of then in a Europe that was becoming ever more united. The interviews are archived and published by DANS, the digital archive of the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences).