- 1945-1994 Officer’s club of the US Army
1945 - 1994
Officer’s club of the US Army
In mid-July 1945, US troops confiscated Harnack House which had initially been occupied by the Red Army at the end of the war. The Americans found an intact building that lent itself to use as a hotel and set up their officers’ club there. South-west Berlin was under the Allied control of the USA which established its headquarters near to Harnack House. From that point on Harnack House represented a piece of America in Berlin and contributed to German-American relations. Instead of scientists, members of the Berlin Brigade were now regular lunchtime guests here and also attended events and festivities.
Soon after Harnack House was taken over by the US Army it quickly became apparent that the building designed as a clubhouse and to provide guest accommodation could only meet the new requirements and intended purpose to a certain extent. There were no large rooms for exuberant parties and glamorous celebrations. In the early 1950s, extensions were added and the building’s structure was permanently altered.
In the post-war period, many Max Planck Society (MPG) scientists had vivid memories of Harnack House. Many still felt an association with its predecessor organization, the Kaiser Wilhelm Society (KWG), and the Statutes of the MPG founded in 1948 stated that the “Max Planck Society was continuing the tradition of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society”.