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History of the German - American Women's Club

Back in 1945, after 6 years of devastating war, it was time to move on and try to get the people who had been enemies together again. At that time the Americans had a policy of non-fraternization which made this at first impossible. Gradually the regulations were relaxed and German-American discussion groups sprang up in various towns. German and American women were helping with the organization of GYA (German Youth Activities) and were working together on the Youth Committee. They were active in procuring money and materials for lessons in handicrafts as well as arranging holiday camps for the young Germans.

These first informal meetings may well be considered as the beginning of the club. On October 1, 1948, the formal founding of the Club took place. It was of particular significance as Heidelberg was the headquarters of the military command in Europe.

In post war Germany there was so much misery and poverty, the club decided in order to help, some kind of money making project was necessary.

For a number of years the club ran a Christmas Bazaar in the Heidelberg Stadthalle. They organized the renting of floor space for the various vendors and our club received a percentage of their takings. Americans were our primary customers and of course the money went to charity. Gradually this idea lost its attraction and we had to consider new ways of making money.

Mrs. Gladys Fischer, one of our GAWC Heidelberg founding members as well as frequent past president, changed this idea completely by bringing up the idea of a sort of ''rummage sale'' to raise funds.

From this idea, on April 11 and 12, 1960, the first Pfennig Bazaar took place in the town hall of Heidelberg, and like today's Bazaar, it is an important event in the Heidelberg areas culture. The funds raised went towards supporting both German and American needs.