​​St Helier Town Hall​





​​The twinning of towns after the Second World War helped unite and heal a war-torn Europe. In 2002, the parish of St Helier was twinned with the German town of Bad Wurzach, where English-born Islanders had been interned during the Occupation. This symbolised a long process of peace and reconciliation between the people of Jersey and their occupiers.

​​On 31 October 1942, 618 men, women and children from Jersey arrived at Schloss Wurzach - an early 18th century castle in the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg - where they would remain until June 1945. These British-born Islanders were deported in direct response to the internment of German agents and citizens working in Iran by Britain. Hitler was outraged by this act and ordered the German Foreign Ministry to consider reprisals.

Following their enforced three-year stay in Wurzach, many internees swore they would never return to Germany. However, just a few years later, the first former internees once again returned to their place of captivity in order to renew the personal contacts and friendships forged during those years.

​​In 1970, the first large group of ex-internees returned to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Liberation of the Channel Islands. Over the years the visits continued, personal friendships endured and regular student exchanges took place, laying the foundation for the symbolic twinning of St Helier and Bad Wurzach in 2002.

In 2005, to mark the 60th anniversary of the Liberation, the pavement outside the Town Hall was fitted with an inscribed stone carrying the words of former internee Michael Ginns. They read:

‘Forgiveness leads to understanding. Understanding leads to friendship. Friendship leads to reconciliation. Reconciliation leads to peace, both in our hearts and in the world.’


​​50, York Street​, St Helier, Jersey