Zittau is one of Portsmouth's sister cities, and Sister City president Barry Carlson said his group intends to show the 32 people who will be visiting the highlights of Portsmouth.
"We received a grant from the Scioto Foundation, which will partially fund our activities," he said.
Carlson said the itinerary for the visit includes both free time and visits to specific places the committee believes will be of interest to the visitors.
"We have a museum tour. We are going to have a Vern Riffe (Center for the Arts) tour of the backstage area, then the murals," he said. "We hope to have all the murals translated into German. We've got half of them from the previous trip, and they are doing the other half right now."
Carlson said the group visited Portsmouth about six years ago, and often combines the visit with another cross-country trek. The last time, the Zittau visitors also took a trip out West.
"When they leave here, they are going down to Florida for a few days," he said. "The Euro is very strong against the dollar, so they're going to vacation a little bit."
Among the other places Zittau residents will tour are St. Mary's Catholic Church, Portsmouth High School and they will make an all-day trip to Cincinnati.
"They requested a riverboat ride, so we are taking a bus to Cincinnati, and we're going to take them to the Kenwood Mall. They love to shop. Then we're going down to the Freedom Museum," he said. "We will take a city tour of downtown Cincinnati, and then we are going over to the Newport (Ky.) Levy. We are going to get on a riverboat, and we are going to have dinner and a cruise on the riverboat, and get back to Portsmouth around midnight."
Carlson said the purpose in having a sister city is to build relationships between countries.
"In the beginning, it was part of (President Dwight) Eisenhower's People to People Initiative in 1956, so they come here about every six years and we go over there about every six years," he said. "In fact, we had a contingent from Portsmouth that went to Zittau last year. We went to Orizaba (Mexico) two years ago."
Orizaba was Portsmouth's first sister city, with the relationship established in 1965.
The year before, the Ohio Sister City Committee was formed, Leo Blackburn was assigned by then-Portsmouth Mayor George Wear as chairman of the organizing committee.
Carlson said those who make sister city trips pay their own way, and when visitors come to Portsmouth from a sister city, each member stays in a host home.
Carlson said there always is a language barrier during the visit.
"Maybe a couple of them know English very well, a handful know a little English, but the majority do not know any English," he said.
Carlson's wife, Jean, explained why there is more of a language barrier when the Zittau residents come to Portsmouth.
"They are from East Germany, so these people were all raised, especially the older ones, under the Communist regime," she said.
"Thursday night, we are going to have a dinner down at All Saints (Episcopal) Church, and John Simon and a friend are going to come in and play some typical Appalachian music," Barry Carlson said. "Sunday, we are going to the (Shawnee State) university to see the West High School production of 'Anything Goes.' Then we will go to the (Clark) Planetarium, and after that, walk to the Micklethwaite Room for the farewell dinner."