About the AWC Berlin
Founded in 1894, the American Women’s Club of Berlin (AWC Berlin) is a social network with a charitable calling. The AWC Berlin provides a forum for women to share information and experiences, to meet new friends and engage in inspiring and fun activities, all while helping and empowering others along the way.
After a period in hiatus, we have re-LAUNCHED the Club in June 2015. Many organizations in Berlin offer social activities and cultural exchanges, but the AWC Berlin exists for women of all nationalities who embody or appreciate the “American Spirit” – the spirit of giving, the can-do attitude, the desire to learn and grow, and the drive to make a difference – while still having a lot of fun! We believe in the empowerment of women and our activities and causes reflect this purpose. We believe in developing our youth into responsible and caring global citizens and have programs to engage our members’ children. Lastly, we discover our host city together through a range of different activities and programs to appreciate the special relationship that Berlin has with Americans.
The American Women’s Club, formerly known as the American Girls Club, began its existence in the fall of 1894 as a branch of the American Woman’s Aid association which had then been organized less than two years before. Mrs. John Rockefeller and Miss Tilly Spooner subscribed the first money for this object, which was sufficient to enable the renting of two rooms in connection with Miss Morgan’s Home for Girls (source: ‘The American Woman’s Club of Berlin,’ Herald and Review (Decatur, Illinois) (August 10, 1902), p. 6). Read article here.
In 1931, represented by Mrs. Shandein-Best, Miss Schneider, and Mrs. Heyl, AWC Berlin was invited to London by Mrs. Caroline Curtis Brown (of AWC London) to be one of the seven founding clubs of the Federation of American Women’s Clubs in Europe.
During the war years, former president Mildred Harnack was part of the Resistance’s The Red Orchestra. Read more about Mildred Harnack here.
After World War II, the AWC became an officers’ wives organization to fulfill a need in the military community. Following the withdrawal of the allied troops from Berlin in 1994, American women who remained in the city decided to carry on the role of the Club and in the same year, founded the AWC of Berlin e.V., a non-profit, non-political women’s club.
AWC Berlin is a proud founding member of FAWCO (www.fawco.org), the Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas. Founded in 1931, FAWCO is a global women’s NGO (Non-Governmental Organization), an international network of independent volunteer clubs and associations with a total membership of around 12,000 in nearly 35 countries. FAWCO serves as a resource and a voice for its members; seeks to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide, especially in the areas of human rights, health, education and the environment; advocates for the rights of U.S. citizens overseas; contributes to the global community through its Task Forces. The FAWCO Foundation, its philanthropic arm, provides development grants and education awards. Since 1987, FAWCO has held special consultative status to the UN Economic and Social Council.
In 1932, AWC Berlin hosted the first official conference of the Federation, and 74 years later, AWC Berlin hosted the 75th anniversary of FAWCO at the 2006 Conference.