Lothar And Nina Von Maltzahn, Volker Schlöndorff, Al Gore, John Kornblum. Photo: Ralph K. Penno

Al Gore at the American Academy

On the evening of August 7, the American Academy in Berlin hosted a reception and dinner for former-US vice president Al Gore, who was in Berlin for the European premiere of his film An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. The film was screened for 800 guests at Zoo Palast the following night, followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Dirk Steffens of ZDF, with Mr. Gore, Academy co-secretary John C. Kornblum; actor Hannes Jaenicke; head of the World Wildlife Fund Germany, Eberhard Brandes; and Barabara Hendricks, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. The screening and discussion were organized by Paramount Germany, in partnership with the environmental ministry, WWF Germany, and the American Academy.

The private dinner at the Academy on August 7—highlighted by a screening of the film’s trailer and a discussion of pressing environmental issues—included, among a dozen additional guests, trustees John Kornblum, Nina von Maltzahn, Volker Schlöndorff, and Christine Wallich; Sandra Breka of the Berlin office of the Bosch Foundation; founder of Plant-for-the-Planet, Felix Finkbeiner; former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer; co-managing directors of Paramount Germany, Tobias Riehl and Florian Ritter; David Mike Reinert from the US Embassy; Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter and Jochen Flasbarth, from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety; and Konstantin Mettenheimer, whose generosity helped to make this evening possible.

It was especially meaningful for the American Academy to host Mr. Gore at the Hans Arnhold Center: not only did he screen his 2006 environmental documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, at the Academy, a day before the official German premiere; as vice president of the United States, he announced the founding of the American Academy in Berlin, on September 9, 1994, via satellite from Washington, DC, at the conclusion of the New Traditions Conference.

John C. Kornblum on Al Gore and the American Academy in Berlin