Despite the restrictions due to the Corona pandemic, 2021/22 was another exceptional club year. The WIB members were delighted to have the opportunity to meet in person again at the summer get-together on 16 June 2022 to mark the end of the club year. Christine Hatakka, the president of Willkommen in Berlin warmly welcomed the numerous members and guests. Among them were the ambassadors of Mali, Liberia and Zimbabwe and several ambassadors’ spouses. The location in the idyllic garden of Villa Schöningen could not have been more beautiful. Under the shade of the trees, the WIB members enjoyed the beauty of the nature and the amusing summer afternoon. They were unanimously agreed that there was no substitute for such in-person events. They indulged in culinary delicacies and swapped stories animatedly.
Villa Schöningen is located in the Berliner Vorstadt district of Potsdam, directly on the Glienicke Bridge, the famous bridge where the spies were exchanged during the division of Germany. The Oscar-nominated historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, "Bridge of Spies" starring Tom Hanks in the lead role, refers to this bridge. Mrs. Christine Wallich, the former owner of Villa Schöningen, gave a fascinating introduction about the history of the house that dates back to 1843. At that time, the Potsdam architect, Ludwig Persius, designed the magnificent Prussian building in the style of an Italian villa with a tower. In addition to its unique architecture, the house is a few steps away from the Havel River blending beautifully with the nature and its picturesque surroundings. Today, the Villa Schöningen is also an exhibition house for contemporary art in Potsdam