Archive of Selected Past Events
- Deutsche Version
December 2: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Checkpoint Charlie
Ambassador John B. Emerson lit the Christmas tree at Checkpoint Charlie on December 2, 2013. The annual tree lighting commemorates a 1961 event when a thousand Christmas trees were erected along the Berlin Wall to express solidarity with the people who lived in the former East Berlin. The illumination symbolizes hope, peace, and unity and also commemorates the Allied Forces who stood guard at this site and could not spend Christmas with their families.
December 2: Ambassador and Mrs. Emerson Present Clothing Donation to Children's Hospital
Ambassador Emerson and his wife Kimberly Marteau Emerson visited the Charité Universitätsklinikum Campus Virchow Tagesklinik für Kinder and presented a donation of 31 boxes of clothes collected during an embassy clothing-drive in honor of World Aids Day. Ambassador Emerson stated: “This is an issue that has touched us deeply personally with a number of friends having been afflicted over the years and we have supported Aids organizations personally both at our home in California and here in Berlin.” The director of the clinic, Prof. Dr. Philippe Stock, and Dr. Cornelia Feiterna-Sperling accepted the donation boxes and, joined by other doctors and the social worker of the clinic, informed the Ambassador and his wife about the work of the clinic, which has approximately 60 HIV positive patients who are mostly youths, babies and mothers, many of them stemming from African nations. The clothes will be made available to the patients in need of the Tagesklinik für Kinder.
U.S. Embassy Literature Series: A Book Harvest
The U.S. Embassy Literature Series featured four American writers at the English Theatre Berlin, our cooperation partner, this fall:
In October, together with mare we brought Dina Nayeri to Germany to present her new novel A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea (Ein Teelöffel Land und Meer, mare). The discussion with the lively author, moderated by Margarete von Schwarzkopf, provided a fascinating look into the immigrant community from Iran and their relationship to the old and the new homeland. Fritzi Haberlandt lent us her German voice. Dina Nayeri also read in Stuttgart, Freiburg, Tuebingen, Hamburg and Munich.
In November, Cuban American writer Jennine Capó Crucet gave us privileged access to her novel-in-progress, Magic City Relic. Jennine Crucet currently serves as Guest Professor for Literature at Leipzig University, a program initiated by the University of Leipzig in cooperation with the German Academic Exchange Service and the Veranstaltungsforum der Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck in 2007. Daniel Schreiber moderated this interesting event. Jennine also read in Leipzig, the home of the Picador guest professorship.
Also in November, a double reading with American Academy fellows Kiran Desai and Ben Marcus, moderated by Gregor Dotzauer, was a special treat. Both attracted a full house, and the discussion with these lively authors reflected upon their very different approaches in their writing.
For the first time, sign language interpreter Joanna Martin accompanied the U.S. Embassy Literature Series and helped attract a new audience that enthusiastically embraces the Embassy's initiative.
November 8 to November 23: “Broken Brushes” Art Exhibition in the Context of the Theme Year “Diversity Destroyed”
From November 8 to November 23, 2013, the Technical University of Berlin exhibited selected graphic prints of the Kopriva collection, Texas, Houston. On the opening night of the exhibition, TU Berlin’s president, Prof. Jörg Steinbach, welcomed the American art collector Gus Kopriva and acknowledged the 79 exhibits, some of them by renowned artists, such as Otto Dix, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Käthe Kollwitz, Lyonel Feininger, Max Beckmann, Wassily Kandinsky, Oskar Kokoschka, Edvard Munch, and George Grosz. Those pieces of art were labeled „degenerate“ during the Nazi regime, leading in many cases to the artists’ forced emigration. The “Broken Brushes” exhibition was part of the theme year “Diversity Destroyed” on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the pogroms on November 9, 1938. In her speech, the curator Dr. Angelika Jansen, based in San Antonio, Texas, and Berlin, pointed out that the exhibit was shown in many American galleries and universities before it found its way back to Germany. Ms. Katharina Gollner-Sweet, Cultural Attaché of the U.S. Embassy Berlin, stressed the prints’ representation of a tremendously significant artistic period in German history. The U.S. Embassy Berlin-funded opening night was also accompanied by a concert by Fuasi&Ensemble, symbolizing the value of diversity.
November 14: Ambassador Emerson at the German chapter of Women in International Security
On November 14, Ambassador Emerson attended a high-level transatlantic conference in honor of the tenth anniversary of the founding of the German chapter of Women in International Security (WWIS), hosted at the Bavarian State Representation in Berlin. In his speech, he congratulated WIIS Germany on its 10th birthday and stressed that the focus on women’s rights is a central component of American Foreign Policy. He also pointed out that the 2011 National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security serves as a road map for accelerating and institutionalizing efforts across the United States Government to advance women’s participation in making and keeping peace. WIIS is a global network founded in the United States in 1987 for the advancement of women’s leadership in the field of peace and security, with 7000 members in 47 countries. WIIS Germany counts more than 300 experts from the fields of politics, academia, business, media and culture.
November 8: Dr. Ann L. Phillips on Stabilization-Reconstruction Missions
Dr. Ann L. Phillips, foreign assistance analyst and consultant at the U.S. Institute of Peace, met with German journalists to discuss effective foreign assistance in stabilization-reconstruction missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Haiti. She outlined the lessons learned and suggested pragmatic remedies to increase the likelihood of future mission success.
October 30: Ambassador Emerson at Stanford House
Ambassador Emerson spoke to a group of American and German students at the Stanford House in Berlin. The Americans are Stanford University students studying abroad in Berlin this year and the German students are their paired language partners. It was a great opportunity to highlight how educational exchanges strengthen ties between our two countries, and help individuals improve their own career skills through foreign language study.”
October 28: Going Green in the USA
The Embassy of the United States of America in cooperation with LISUM cordially invites you to participate in a teacher seminar on
Going Green in the USA
Venue: U.S. Embassy, entrance Behrenstr. (back entrance)
Date and time: Monday, October 28, 2013; 15:30-17:30
PLEASE TRY TO ARRIVE BY 15:15 FOR CHECK-IN. BRING A VALID I.D. FOR IDENTIFICATION AND, IF POSSIBLE LEAVE YOUR CELL PHONE AT HOME.
Registration: Please register at IRCBerlin@state.gov
Only participants who have registered can be admitted to the event.
Unfortunately the event is fully booked.
October 24-25: Ladies (and Gentlemen) of Hip-Hop in Berlin
The Embassy hosted Michele Byrd-McPhee, a Hip-Hop dancer, choreographer and festival organizer. Ms. Byrd-McPhee who gave a workshop at the Flying Steps Academy dance studio in Berlin-Kreuzberg, also participated in the Long Night of Libraries at Berlin’s City Library where she performed and gave an impromptu workshop engaging the audience. During the “open house” event, the library offered a variety of different cultural programs – from traditional library tours to literature readings to Michele’s Hip Hop performance.
As the executive director and founder of Ladies of Hip-Hop Festival, Michele has danced in music videos, battled in the club scene and traveled along as the Hip-Hop dance culture exploded onto stages, in studios and in theaters. Being one of the few women dancing alongside groups of men, she became increasingly aware of the narrow opportunities for women in Hip-Hop. Her experiences as a woman in Hip-Hop dance were the catalyst for her to create an outlet for female dancers. Michele created a neutral zone where the art does not get lost; a safe space where living one’s dream can be celebrated. Michele passed on this dream to the young people she encountered during her Germany-wide tour that took her to Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Hamburg and Berlin.
October 9-20: Embassy takes part in Festival of Lights
The Festival of Lights is back again: Since October 9, many buildings in Berlin shine in spectacular colors. The U.S. Embassy is also participating again. This year, our contribution is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the famous speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. ("I have a dream") and John F. Kennedy ("I am a Berliner"). Portraits of MLK and JFK are projected onto the outside walls of the Embassy, together with images and quotes. The festival will continue until October 20. Hurry up if you haven't visited it yet.
October 9: Preview of "The Butler"
One day before the official German release date, the U.S. Embassy invited 250 high school students to an exclusive advance screening of THE BUTLER at the Hackesche Höfe cinema. The movie, directed by Lee Daniels, had been critically acclaimed in the U.S. Among the invited guests were also teachers, film studies professors as well as North American studies experts. The exclusive movie preview was made possible through the support of the distributor, PROKINO Filmverleih, and the Filmpresse Meuser.
Based on the true story of the butler Eugene Allen, THE BUTLER tells the story of Cecil Gaines (Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker), who served in the White House during seven presidencies – from 1957 to 1986 – and witnessed the writing of world history and the U.S. civil rights movement. At an advanced age, he finally experiences his biggest triumph: an African-American becomes President of the United States of America. Lee Daniels’ film is already said to be an Oscar® favorite.
September 23-27: A musical history lesson with American musician Ami Yares thrills students in Berlin and Brandenburg
The American musician Ami Yares visited Berlin to hold a number of workshops at several schools in Berlin, Eisenhüttenstadt and Baruth. He was invited by the U.S. Embassy to teach students about the extent and the meaning of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of ”The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom“, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in August 1963. Back then, hundreds of thousands of Americans protested against racial discrimination in the U.S.
In his workshops, Ami Yares introduced prominent artists and influential songs that were relevant in this movement. By animating the students to sing along, to stamp the beat and to read between the lines of the song lyrics, he created interaction and some interesting discussions. The students learned a lot about the power of music and its impact on people which helped them understand how music can peacefully contribute to dramatic changes within a society.
September 26: US Embassy Election Project received national “Piepho” Award 2013
The US Embassy Election Project 2012, a joint project of Leuphana University Lüneburg, eXplorarium Life e.V. Berlin, LISUM Berlin-Brandenburg and the US Embassy and its consulates, received the prestigious Hans-Eberhard Piepho Award 2013 for innovative teaching. The award was presented at the annual conference of the German Association for Research and Foreign Languages in Augsburg on September 26, 2013. More than 1,700 students and teachers had participated in this project in the fall of 2012 and predicted almost to the point the results of the Presidential elections.
September 20: Stolperstein Ceremony commemorates Mildred Fish-Harnack and husband Arvid Harnack
U.S. Ambassador John Emerson participated in a Stolperstein ceremony commemorating American born resistance fighter Mildred Fish-Harnack and her husband Arvid Harnack, both victims of the Third Reich.
In the presence of members of the family- including Jilly Allenby-Ryan and her sister Nicole Hutchings, both grandchildren of Arvid Harnack's sister, Inge Harnack - Berlin artist Gunter Demnig installed two commemorative Stolpersteine in the pavement in front of Genthiner Straße 14, the family's last address of choice.
Other speakers at the ceremony included André Schmitz, Permanent Secretary for Cultural Affairs of Berlin; Professor Johannes Tuchel, Executive Director of the German Resistance Memorial Center in Berlin; and Joel Waldinger, an award-winning American journalist, who produced the documentary “Wisconsin’s Nazi Resistance: The Mildred Fish Harnack Story” for Wisconsin Public Television in 2011.
Mildred Fish-Harnack, an American literary historian and graduate of the University of Wisconsin, married Arvid Harnack, a young German graduate student, and returned with him to Germany in 1929. Alarmed by the rise of Hitler and the Nazis during the 1930s, the Harnacks, along with other like-minded individuals, joined a resistance group that became known as the “Red Orchestra.” Arvid Harnack was arrested in 1942 and executed; Mildred Fish-Harnack was guillotined on February 16, 1943, the only American civilian to be executed on the direct order of Hitler. In 1986, the Wisconsin State Legislature designated her birth date, September 16, as “Mildred Harnack Day” across Wisconsin.
September 19-22: U.S. Embassy Teacher Academy 2013
“Global Challenges, Local Approaches: Teaching American Studies in the 21st Century” was the topic of this year’s U.S. Embassy Teacher Academy which took place in Lüneburg in cooperation with Amerikazentrum Hamburg and Leuphana University Lüneburg. 60 participants from 14 German states discussed global issues with leading experts and explored new ways of teaching English. The U.S. Embassy School Election project served as an example for tech supported state-of-the art English instruction, and the work-in-progress e-learning project “Going Green” received a lot of input. Interactive workshops produced a blog and recommendations for classroom application.
Highlight of the program was WPT journalist and award winning film maker Joel Waldinger’s film screening “Wisconsin’s Nazi Resistance: The Mildred Fish-Harnack Story.” Waldinger’s visit to Germany coincided with a “Stolpersteine” ceremony in memory of Mildred Fish-Harnack in Berlin.
September 19: Gillian Flynn
U.S. Embassy Literature Series
Gilian Flynn, Gone Girl (Gone Girl – Das perfekte Opfer)
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick Dunne’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. http://gillian-flynn.com/
Gillian Flynn, born 1971, is an American author and former television critic for Entertainment Weekly. She grew up in Kansas City and worked as a journalist for the San Francisco Examiner and U.S. News & World Report. So far, she has published three novels: Sharp Objects (2006), Dark Places (2009), and Gone Girl (2012).
September 17: Berlin Peace Wall Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
In Berlin Mitte (Grosse Hamburger Strasse 25), students, artists, and guests participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the inauguration of the Berlin Peace Wall. The idea of creating the colorful mosaic wall came from New York-based CITYarts’ Executive and Creative Director, Tsipi Ben-Haim, and was sponsored in part by the U.S. Embassy. The wall, including individually painted tiles featuring themes of peace, were created over the past three months by youth of various religious and ethnic backgrounds from 12 different schools from across Berlin. During the ceremony, students and honored guests placed the last tiles on the wall, which symbolizes the hope for a peaceful future. It is the fifth of its kind around the world. Read more about CITYarts' Peace Walls.
September 11: observance at the Brandenburg Gate
The American Church in Berlin organized a small gathering on together with "Religions on the Path to Peace" (Religionen auf dem Weg des Friedens) at Pariserplatz, on the East side of the Brandenburg Gate across from the U.S. Embassy, for an inter-religious service of commemoration for the victims of 9-11 and and prayers for peace. The Deputy Chief of Mission James D. Melville, Jr. also took part in the ceremony.
September 10: National Park Service Representative gives talk at the Embassy
The U.S. Embassy welcomed John Keck, the Wyoming/Montana State Coordinator of the National Park Service (NPS) at a roundtable discussion with students, university professors, and non-profit organization representatives. Having John at the Embassy on the eve of the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance, marked a forward-looking tribute to victims, survivors, and those who rose up in service on 9/11. Ranger John commended the hundreds of thousands of people who volunteer 5.2 million hours every year to help preserve and protect natural and cultural heritage.
Ranger John also gave information on how to help plan visits to our beautiful national parks and support our natuerlichusa.de campaign to showcase our amazing range of spectacular national parks and marine habitats with leading scientific institutions dedicated to their preservation.
September 4: international literature festival
The international literature festival is an event of the Peter Weiss Foundation for Art and Politics (registered association) and the Berliner Festspiele. It is under the auspices of the German UNESCO Commission and is made possible by funding from the Capital Cultural Fund.
September 3: Exchange and Visitor Program Alumni visit Embassy
Ambassador Emerson and his wife Kimberley invited over 100 alumni of our exchange and visitor programs to the Embassy to promote the State Department Alumni Network. In his speech, the Ambassador emphasized the importance and uniqueness of each participant’s experience in the USA. Now that they are back in Germany, alumni have the chance to share their experiences with each other by engaging in various alumni associations, including the Embassy Alumni Network. Alumni were thus able not only to meet the new Ambassador first-hand that evening, but also to establish new contacts among all of the programs and age groups that were represented there.
The cultural highlight of the event was a performance by the American a capella group „The Exchange“, which demonstrated its talents with stunning renditions of, among other classics, the National Anthem.
August 30-18. September: Musikfest Berlin
Over 20 days, 24 events with 64 works by 25 composers can be experienced. A total of 20 orchestras, choirs and instrumental ensembles, and 25 solists from the USA, the whole of Europe and Berlin will be performing. The concerts will take place in the Berlin Philharmonie, its Kammermusiksaal and the Konzerthaus Berlin.
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Emerson String Quartet, Alan Gilbert, Michael Weilacher, Adam Weisman ...
Through September 15: Amerika Haus Exhibit
Open-Air exhibition 13 July 2013 - 15 September 2013 “Bourgeoisie, Swing and Molotov Cocktails Amerika Haus through the ages”
Opening in presence of A/DCM Tom Miller.
“At the beginning of the 1950s, US allies discussed the idea of building Amerika Haus on this site – to intentionally provide a counterbalance to the location's Nationalist Socialist past... ”
2013: Obama in Berlin
- At the invitation of Chancellor Merkel, President Obama will travel to Berlin for an official visit. Visit page »