About Amerika Haus Berlin
Amerika Haus Berlin
The Amerika Haus Berlin was 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".
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
In 2008, the ICD began renting the Amerika Haus Berlin and partnered with the Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung to host and run several event series that aimed at raising awareness for the building. In 2008-9 the ICD conducted regular activity in the Amerika Haus and developed a full calendar of activities with the purpose of enabling the Amerika Haus Berlin to continue the tradition that the institution had developed and run until 2006, as a valuable platform for transatlantic dialogue, debate, and cultural exchange. At that time, the ICD managed to offer an opportunity for organisations and cultural groups from Berlin civil society to organise events and conduct activities that facilitated cultural exchange in the Amerika Haus Berlin.