A good place...
When asked which celebrities had been guests of the club, its long-serving president, Heinrich von Berenberg-Gossler, used to answer: “Better ask me which have not”. The Anglo-German Club is a meeting-place for people who get things moving and whose opinions count. It has been functioning perfectly in this role for over fifty years.
The list of guest speakers reads like a Who's Who of international business, politics and culture. Diplomats (including, of course, regular visits from British ambassadors), managers, journalists, industrialists, theatre directors, medical specialists, lawyers and bankers, high church dignitaries and key people like the Chairmen of Lloyd's of London and the Baltic Exchange - you name them, they have all spoken there.
And the list of famous names whose visit was not official, but who just stopped by for an informal chat with friends and a good dinner, is just as long. British and German Foreign Ministers have used the club for informal meetings. Michail Gorbachev and Shimon Peres have been here, as well as Reinhard Gehlen, the shadowy head of the Federal German Secret Service, who generally preferred to travel incognito anyway. And Karl Blessing, when he was President of the Federal German Reserve Bank, chose the club as the venue for his ‘Wednesday Meetings’ with Hamburg bankers.
The Anglo-German Club was founded as a forum for communication and understanding at a time when it was essential to defuse the tensions created by the war and restore acceptance of Germany on the world's stage. The contribution made to these objectives by its members and guests has been impressive. And the club lying on Hamburg's beautiful Alster lake is still actively playing its role of breaking down barriers and prejudices, and preparing the soil in which new ideas can thrive and widely differing opinions can be freely exchanged.
The Anglo-German Club has some 1000 members, of whom 70 are junior members. It is a men's club where ladies are welcome as guests. It has strict customs and rules of conduct, whose roots go back to the great traditions of British clubs throughout the world. As one Hamburg mayor once put it: “It is the continent's last British colony”.