Our former member Franziska Stein (born in 1922) wrote to us about her fond memories of the early years of the Club. After having emigrated and having spent more than 50 years in South America and the USA, she returned to Berlin in 1993. She joined the BIWC the same year.
She remembers vividly the winds of change in Berlin after the fall of the Wall. This upbeat atmosphere was also felt in the newly-founded BIWC. The members organized many activities, lectures and excursions and witnessed the reconstruction of the city. Especially fascinating was the reconstruction of the Potsdamer Platz, once the center of the city and now a no-man’s land. The famous Hotel Adlon was rebuilt and some BIWC ladies helped during the inauguration of the old, new hotel.
Bill Clinton visited Berlin in July 1994. He crossed the Brandenburg Gate from West to East, declaring in German Berlin ist frei and visited the New Synagogue in East Berlin. Several BIWC ladies worked as hostesses for this very important visitor and his entourage.
Franziska remembers vividly these early years and writes that the many new impressions and friends enriched her late years. She left Berlin in 2011 when she was 89 years old and now lives with her family in the USA. At the age of 95, she is still very well informed and passionate about recent political developments in the world.
An indication of how much she misses the BIWC – her screen saver is a photo of her BIWC farewell party in August 2011 in member Pam’s beautiful garden. It constantly reminds her of the familiar and dear faces of her friends here in Berlin.