Pen Pal Friendship Endures After 66 Years

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EAST JORDAN, Mich. (AP) -- A pen pal relationship that began 66 years ago is still going strong between Michigan and Germany.

The Petoskey News-Review reports Helen Fortney was 16 in 1947 when she first wrote to Kurt Maybaum, then 20, who lived in Germany. He wrote back, striking up the friendship that has endured with both now in their 80s.

Fortney of East Jordan says the letter writing started through a youth program meant to promote world peace.

Maybaum was a German soldier during World War II. He picked up English while a prisoner of war in Britain. He returned to his native Hamburg after the war.

Fortney traveled to Amsterdam in 1970 and the two finally met. Fortney's husband, Matt, had served in the U.S. Army in World War II.

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