Stammtisch Thursday May 7

Our regular monthly Stammtisch meets at Café X-Zeit at Welserstr. 10-12 just a few steps from Viktoria Luise Platz at 8 p.m. The café has homemade food at reasonable prices. Just take U-bahn Linie 4 to Viktoria Luise Platz. Or walk 7-8 minutes from Wittenberg Platz down Bayreuther, which turns into Welserstr.

Stammtisch Thursday March 5 at 8pm with Special Theme

Stammtisch theme:  “Facts and Trends in Immigration” guest: Dr. Henriette Litta, Head of Office Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration.

Many thanks to our guest Dr. Henriette Litta for her  informative talk about immigration in Germany.  We had a lively discussion on this timely topic.

Phil Remembered

Drawings by CP, made at an AVA business meeting, found recently in a sketchbook.


From the TAZ, January 17, 2015traueranzeige

Photos © Karen Axelrad

Stammtisch February 5, 2015 In Memoriam Phil Hill

20141207_ava-mtg_7271Our regular monthly Stammtisch meets at Café X-Zeit at Welserstr. 10-12 just a few steps from Viktoria Luise Platz at 8 p.m. Phil Hill, one of our founding members, died on December 22, 2014 (he is pictured above at our brunch at the beginning of Dec.).  We intend to spend some time at the Stammtisch reminiscing about Phil, telling stories or passing around photos.

Annual Business Brunch Sunday December 7

On Sunday, December 7, from 12:00 am to 3:00 pm, American Voices Abroad Berlin will again be holding its annual business meeting in the separate room at La Parrilla at Albrechtstr.11 right behind the Friedrichstrasse station. If you are coming from the S-Bahn, cross the Spree and Schiffbauerdamm and there it is.

The meeting will begin promptly at 12:00. An excellent Mediterranean brunch will begin at 11:00 for all who are hungry at that hour or would just like to sit around and talk.

This meeting is open to all AVAers but only paid-up members will have voting rights (you cannot pay at the meeting) . If you still haven’t paid but would like to, please transfer €30 (or, if that’s too much at the moment, a self-assessed lesser amount) to our treasurer. For details, click on MEMBERSHIP.

Premiere of 1971 at Human Rights Film Festival

20141120_1971_9804More photos here.

The premiere of 1971 at the One World Film Festival was a great success.  It was introduced by Natalie Gravenor and our own Isabel Cole, and followed by a panel discussion with, from left Annie Machon (former UK spy and whistleblower), Wolfgang Kaleck (European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights e.V. ECCHR) Nadja Vancauwenberghe (Editor-in-chief Exberliner Magazine), Johanna Hamilton (director 1971) and our own Ann Wertheimer, (in a double role as chair AVA-Berlin and telling her story of being spied upon by the U.S. army in the 1970s).

One World Berlin Film Festival

postcard_front_k2On November 20, AVA-Berlin will sponsor Johanna Hamilton’s  film 1971 at the One World Berlin film festival. Co-produced by Laura Poitras, 1971 will open the festival on NOVEMBER 20, 7 p.m., at the ARSENAL movie theater on Potsdamer Platz. 1971 tells the story of the break-in at FBI offices in Media, Pennsylvania, in that year.  Here’s the trailer for this ‘cat- and-mouse thriller’: It’s a real bit of American history “before Watergate, Wikileaks and Edward Snowden”!

A discussion moderated by Nadja Vancauwenberghe, the editor of the Exberliner, will follow the screening. Special guests include director Johanna Hamilton, Wolfgang Kaleck of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights e.V. (ECCHR), and our own Ann Wertheimer as ‘Zeitzeugin’ of the surveillance here in Berlin in 1971. Additional special guests will be announced as soon as their presence is confirmed.

AVA at Global Protest against Climate Change

20140921_florian-climateSeptember 21, 2014                                                                        Photo by Florian Schiedhelm

Special Martin Luther King Stammtisch in September

Joan Klakow introducing Rev. Zorn                                   More photos here,

It will be 50 years this coming September that Martin Luther King, Jr. visited West Berlin at the invitation of Mayor Willy Brandt. AVA’s own contribution to the Martin Luther King anniversary celebrations took place at its regular first-Thursday-of-the-month Stammtisch on September 4 at 8:00 p.m. On that evening we hosted the Rev. Ralf Zorn, an American Pastor in West Berlin and Dr. King’s interpreter and driver on that weekend 50 years ago. 

Freiheit statt Angst Demo 30. August in Berlin

AVA-Berlin supported “Call to Action: Join the Mass Rally ‘Freedom not Fear’ against surveillance at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin”. More information here.  Not all the photos represent the views of AVA-Berlin. Photos of the Demo here.

Freedom Not Fear

Freedom Not Fear protest march; August 30, 2014

Chair Ann Wertheimer at Dems Fundraiser

Our chair Ann Wertheimer briefly explained our organization at the Berlin Chapter of Democrats Abroad Annual Cocktail Party/Fundraiser.20140726_dab_7811

Special Stammtisch on Climate Change

Our own Rich Rosen will give a talk with discussion on “The Science of Climate Change, and its Implications for Prevention” on June 5th at our monthly Stammtisch. Our monthly Stammtisch will, again temporarily, meet at Café X-Zeit at Welserstr. 10-12 just a few steps from Viktoria Luise Platz.

Rich, himself a scientist, has long traveled between Berlin and Boston working with the Tellus Institute – for a Great Transition – research and action for a global civilization of sustainability, equity, and well-being. The institute was established in 1976 as an interdisciplinary not-for-profit research and policy organization. The institute has launched a website called The Great Transition Initiative.

29th Black International Cinema (BIC) festival

20140507_BIC_6931AVA-Berlin chair Ann Wertheimer gave one of the opening speeches at the 29th Black International Cinema (BIC) festival. Here is the full text of her moving speech referring to her own experiences in the 60s during the civil rights movement. More photos here.

Our VENUE IS CHANGING! May 1 Stammtisch

Although we still hope to return to meeting at Seerose, there are still acoustic issues to be worked out there, and in the meantime, we are meeting at Café X-Zeit at Welserstr. 10-12. Our April meeting was there and the May Stammtisch will also be there.

April Stammtisch with Special Topic at Different Location

20140403_ava_6522On the first Thursday of the month, April 3, 8:00 pm, the regular AVA Stammtisch was held – temporarily – at a different venue: at Café X-Zeit at Welserstr. 10-12.

Special topic for the evening: the surveillance case of 1973 here in Berlin. Ann Wertheimer and several of the other plaintiffs presented the facts of the case.            More photos here.


We have a NEW VENUE for our monthly Stammtisch !

Die Seerose has moved, and we are moving with them, to
Körtestr. 38  directly at the U-Bahn Südstern. We will be in the side room, starting our usual First Thursday Stammtisch as usual at 8 p.m. this February 6. Come enjoy the new place as we move on into the new year.

Talk by Ellen Rosen on “Global Wal-Mart” for the Free University and AVA, 2 Jan 2014

Talk by Ellen Rosen on Global Wal-Mart

AVA-Berlin Annual Business Brunch

AVA-Berlin had a successful annual business meeting at La Parilla.  More photos here.


AVA Annual Business Meeting

On Sunday, December 8, from 12:00 am to 3:00 pm, American Voices Abroad Berlin will again be holding its annual business meeting in the separate room at La Parrilla at Albrechtstr.11 right behind the Friedrichstrasse station. If you are coming from the S-Bahn, cross the Spree and Schiffbauerdamm and there it is. See for details. (more…)

How a Group of Americans Challenged Military Intelligence in West Berlin: Low-tech Surveillance, Whistleblowers and the Court Case That Resulted

The plaintiffs in this complicated case have been telling a simplified version of our story for the last 40 years. Now, as issues of surveillance are becoming more and more relevant, there’s all the more reason for us to get it exactly right. This report explains what happened.

This case study was written by Ann Wertheimer, a member of Americans in Berlin for Mc-Govern (later Concerned Americans in Berlin [CAIB] and then the Berlin Democratic Club), with many thanks to everyone who sent me their notes and told me their recollections, with special thanks to Douglas Hillmer, whose contemporaneous notes from 1973 provided the framework for this report. And once again, a big thank-you to our lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – Mark Lynch, John Shattuck, William Schaap and David Addlestone. We hope that our continuing donations to the ACLU reflect our gratitude.  Here is the Case Study.

Gasland Part II screening September 10th

Gasland Part II screening September 10th at 7:30pm at Radial System. Josh Fox will be there to introduce the film and for a Q&A after.

In this explosive follow-up to his Oscar®-nominated film GASLAND, filmmaker Josh Fox uses his trademark dark humor to take a deeper, broader look at the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial method of extracting natural gas and oil, now occurring on a global level (in 32 countries worldwide).

Jon Oberg’s Notes on Freedom

Jon Oberg, who joined us at the July 4th Stammtisch, blogged about Celebrating our Freedoms on the Fourth of July.

AVA joins Amnesty Int. calling for closing of Guantánamo

On the occasion of President Obama’s Berlin speech on June 19, 2013, AVA-Berlin joined the Amnesty International Berlin-Brandenburg group in calling for a closure of the Guantánamo prison camp.                                                                         More photos here.20130619_guantanamo_3984-2

The following is the text of Ann Wertheimer’s speech on behalf of American Voices Abroad Berlin at the Amnesty International tent in Berlin (June 19, 2013): (more…)

Stammtisch June 6 , 2013 – Special Guest Talk on Guatemala


Pam Selwyn introducing guest speaker Andrea Althoff

Thanks to Andrea Althoff for her stimulating presentation at our Stammtisch on the subject of “The Mayas, the New Religious Pluralism and Democratization in Guatemala”. There were lots of questions which she patiently answered and everyone left with a much better picture of the complicated situation in Guatemala.  The following is an excerpt from her lecture: (more…)

Stammtisch April 4, 2013 8pm – Special Guest Talk on Drones

20130404_drones_3227The hot topic of drones was the focus of our Stammtisch on Thursday April 4th. Otfried Nassauer, a founder and director of the Berlin Information-Center for Transnational Security and long engaged in peace and security research, spoke to us on the subject of drones and thoughts for new international laws regulating them.            More photos here.

Slideshow of 10 Years AVA-Berlin 2003-2013

Click on vimeo to watch in HD fullscreen.

AVA Berlin celebrates 10th Anniversary

A good time was had by all as we celebrated our 10th Anniversary.  Thanks to Pam for hosting and Eva for entertainment.                                                           More photos here20130316_AVA10_3172


Inauguration Celebration in Berlin on January 21, 2013

Inauguration Celebration organized by Democrats Abroad Germany-Berlin Chapter. Our chair, Ann Wertheimer, spoke for AVA-Berlin.  Her Inauguration Speech was well received by all.    Video of Ann’s speech.    More photos here.20130121_inauguration_2177

Annual Business Brunch on Dec. 9, 2012

We elected new officers, discussed the past year and ideas for projects in 2013 as we ate a huge brunch, and stared at the snowstorm out the window .  View the Annual Report 2012 (it is also above under Who We Are).                                                               More photos here.

AVA’s David MacBryde Interviewed on the Rag Radio

David MacBryde — a Berlin-based correspondent for The Rag Blog — offered a progressive perspective on developments in Germany and the Eurozone to the Rag Radio audience on Friday, November 9 in Austin, Texas.   Listen to the interview here.Photo by Charlie Martin / KOOP.

AVA’s Alan Benson quoted in Reuters article

Alan Benson who has worked tirelessly to register Americans to vote was quoted in a Reuter’s article which was also carried by the New York Times.

The Democrats vs Republicans Debate at Rathaus Schöneberg

Photos of the event sponsored by IBUSA on October 16, 2012.

Protesting Guantánamo at the Brandenburg Gate

The chair of AVA-Berlin, Ann Wertheimer, spoke on January 11, 2012,  the 10th anniversary of the opening of the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. American Voices Abroad Berlin joined Amnesty International Berlin-Brandenburg to mark this 10th anniversary and to call for an end to indefinite detention and unfair trials.

Listen to Ann’s full speech below.  More photos here.

Proposal for a GI café in Kaiserslautern

At the Stammtisch on Jan 6, 2011, fifteen AVAers heard from Meike Schubert and Chris Capps-Schubert about their ambitious Proposal for a GI Cafe in Kaiserslautern.