How it all began
The history of the club began before WiB was founded in May 1999. In the former German capital Bonn, "Welcome to Bonn" had existed since the eighties. Through their voluntary commitment, the spouses of the Federal Foreign Office's employees and the ladies of the Bonn’s society assisted the spouses of the accredited diplomats to settle down in their new life in Bonn. They planned and organized jours fixes, various group activities and trips within Germany in addition to sharing useful tips for daily life.
During this period, West Berlin was an island in the middle of the GDR. Only consulates were located in the city. Therefore, there was still a rather large population of diplomats who resided there where the spouses practically lived in seclusion. In 1994, Monika Diepgen, the wife of the then governing Mayor of Berlin, and Jutta Fischer, the wife of the Chief of Protocol of the Foreign Federal Office in Berlin, set up “Welcome to Berlin” as a venue for social interaction where the spouses of the diplomatic corps could share common interests and activities.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification, Berlin became the diplomatic hub and the Federal Foreign Office moved to a new building at Werderscher Markt in 1999. The two clubs merged and “Willkommen in Berlin” was born. Marion Mauch and Fiorenza Richter of the Bonn club, together with Ingrid von der Heyde and Barbara Schmidt of the Berlin club, finalized the new statute of the united club. The “federal eagle-Berlin bear” logo symbolizes Berlin and Germany. As the long-standing tradition, one of the State Secretaries of the Federal Foreign Office assumes the patronage of the club reflecting its support and the strong bond.