Iis the crowd bigger? The laughter louder? Are the clothes smarter, the greetings warmer, the conversations more upbeat? Or does it only seem that way because it hasn’t been possible for far too long? “It’s really nice to be here,” says actress Pheline Roggan, an Aperol Spritz in hand. The narrowness in front of the cloakroom made her wince for a moment. But: “It’s good preparation for tomorrow’s film awards, in terms of the density and the crowd.” Blue denim dress, sun-yellow midi bag: finally getting out there again and seeing people, “that was totally missing”.
After the summer festival season in the capital was largely canceled for two years due to the pandemic, this evening made it more than clear: personal encounters and communication face to faceacross party lines and professions, is an essential part of the core of politics, business, culture and journalism – and of being human in general.
Thursday, Berlin-Mitte: The FAZ invited to its traditional reception in the Borchardt restaurant. Between the streets of the city it is hot, fortunately there is no thermometer inside. Around 500 guests push their way through the two rooms of this top Berlin address for schnitzel, glitz and gossip. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) is first with FAZ publisher Berthold Kohler, then with Reinhard Müller, the editor responsible for current affairs in this newspaper. Building Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) rushes past Jens Spahn, deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, pointing out her index finger. The Japanese ambassador gives Anton Hofreiter from the Green Party a business card.
Buschmann shows the mask and grins
Federal Family Minister Lisa Paus had to choose between three invitations and chose the FAZ. Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) also says: “I do very few summer parties. But of course the FAZ is a must-have.” Then he pulls a black FFP2 mask out of his jacket pocket and grins, ironically responding to reports that he has something against masks. In the supermarket, he says, he always wears one.
“I think there is already an absolute majority in the cabinet,” says Kohler, who, as the current chairman of the FAZ editors’ conference, welcomes the guests. A tribute to the illustrious company could last until midnight, he says, looking at the packed hall. The only person he mentions personally is Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger, a long-standing colleague and head of foreign affairs at the FAZ. Frankenberger retired earlier this year after 35 years in the newspaper. “This is your evening a bit too tonight,” the editor calls out to him.