Welcome to the Amerika Haus Berlin
The Amerika Haus Berlin is an institution that was developed following the end of the Second World War to provide an opportunity for German citizens to learn more about American culture and politics, and engage in discussion and debate on the transatlantic relationship. Run by the American government until 2006, Berlin’s Amerika Haus is one of many Amerika Häuser located across Germany.
On September 25th 2006 the Amerika Haus Berlin was officially handed back to the city of Berlin and its doors were closed to the general public. Shortly after it closed a number of parties in Berlin’s civil society came together with the goal of reviving the institution and keeping its tradition as a location for cultural exchange alive. These individuals and organisations established the "Committee Amerika Haus Berlin" (CAB), which campaigned to raise awareness of the building and secure its future use as a centre for transatlantic dialogue. CAB later changed its name to the "Initiative Amerika Haus Berlin" (www.initiative-amerika-haus-berlin.org).
In September 2008, the Initiative Amerika Haus Berlin, the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, and the Institute for Cultural Diplomcay (ICD) reopened the Amerika Haus doors to the general public for a series of seven events entitled "Wie Wählt Amerika?" (How will America vote?). The series allowed the public to have a look behind the scenes at the approaching US elections through public panel discussions, lectures, and live coverage of results on election night itself.
The ICD and the Amerika Haus Berlin
Immediately after the conclusion of “Wie Wählt Amerika?”, the ICD began renting parts of the Amerika Haus Berlin and partnered with the Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung for “Black History Month in Berlin” (January 28th – February 28th, 2009), an event series that aimed to raise awareness of and celebrate the influence of the African Diaspora in German society. Since this series the ICD has been conducting regular activity in the Amerika Haus and has developed a full calendar of activity for 2009, including “German-Turkish Week 2009” (8th – 13th June).
The role of the Amerika Haus Berlin today is to continue the tradition that the institution had developed until 2006 as a valuable platform for transatlantic dialogue, debate, and cultural exchange, whilst offering an opportunity for all organisations and cultural groups in Berlin civil society to organise events and conduct activities that facilitate cultural exchange.