Special Event October 2015
The first special event of the club year took close to 60 interested members, some with kith and kin, far beyond the confines of central Berlin.
Eva and Klaus Herlitz' invitation gathered everyone on the 4th floor of a factory building in Marienfelde. The huge, whitewashed halls serve as a workshop as well as exhibition space for the well-travelled Berlin Buddy Bears.
Vividly-painted giant specimens were on display along with their white, unpainted counterparts; these could be touched while listening to an explanation about how colour is applied to them. Tables and shelves were lined with fast-selling smaller versions of the Buddy Bears.
A presentation by both hosts took us on a vicarious journey around the globe: in the course of 13 years, the United Buddy Bears have made almost 25 stops on all five continents, from Argentina to North Korea, Jerusalem to Kuala Lumpur. Now numbering 140, the bears represent most of the countries recognised by the UN; each Buddy Bear was designed by an artist from the respective country.
When exhibited, the bears stand side by side according to the alphabet of the host country, symbolically holding hands. As such, South Korea has stood beside North Korea, while Israel has been positioned next to Iran. “Hand in Hand“ - the vision for a peaceful and tolerant world.
For Eva Herlitz, Buddy Bear activities and help for children in need are an inseparable unit and her strongest impulse. Buddy Bear auctions have already raised over €2 million for UNICEF and local children's aid organisations.