Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a young student from Leipzig, now Dr. Stefan Roehrbein, approached Sister Cities International in Washington, D.C., with the idea of establishing a sister city relationship between his hometown and Houston. Another major step in this private initiative in Leipzig was the founding of the "Freundeskreis Leipzig-Houston, e.V." (Friendship Association Leipzig-Houston) in March of 1992.
The President of Leipzig's City Parliament at that time, Mr. Friedrich Magirius, became the Honorary Chairperson of the association. Mr. Magirius also was senior pastor at the St. Nikolai Church during the days of the historic "Monday marches" when the popular peaceful movement started that precipitated the collapse of the communist regime in East Germany.
In the wake of the Leipzig initiative, a number of Houston citizens interested in pursuing a closer relationship with Leipzig, approached then Mayor of Houston, The Hon. Bob Lanier, who introduced a resolution of support and endorsement of the Houston-Leipzig Sister City Association that was unanimously approved by City Council on April 29, 1992. The resolution, together with a City Proclamation, was presented to then German President von Weizsaecker on the occasion of his visit to Houston that year. Houston City Council Member Mark Ellis was the first enthusiastic Honorary Chairperson of the Houston-Leipzig Sister City Association.
A groundswell of support in Leipzig and Houston gave the sister city relationship a dynamic and auspicious start that continues to this day. Business people, doctors, students and other citizens practice an active and fruitful exchange between the two cities, living up to the spirit of international friendship contemplated by the sister cities program.