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Spring Libertarian International/Libertarian Alliance Conference: Berlin, Germany, 2-3 June 2007

The annual Libertarian International Spring conference (in conjunction with Libertarian Alliance) will be held in
Berlin this year. The confirmed dates are the 2nd and 3rd of June for the main conference but with a reception on Friday night, June 1st. 
 

Venue

 The location for the conference will be the famed Hackeshe Höfe complex in the old
East Berlin. Behind the facade of chic shops and restaurants lies a complex of eight interlinked courtyards each with its own ambience. Located one block from the Hackescher Markt S-Bahn station (itself something of an architectural landmark) the complex is filled with restaurants, shops, art galleries, boutiques, a live theatre and a movie theatre with films from around the world. Originally built in 1906/7 it became the largest complex of courtyards in
Europe. It survived the war but was left to decay under Communist rule and was painstakingly restored to its original format 10 years ago. The complex is now one of the most popular spots for tourists to stop for lunch or to shop. The surrounding area throbs with the famous
Berlin night life. 
 For a information on each of the courtyards go here http://www.hackesche-hoefe.com/index.php?id=32 and click on “start Virtueller Rundgang” and click on any courtyard and then click on the coloured squares to see the photos or illustrations.    http://www.berlin-tourist-information.de/bilder/sehenswuerdigkeiten/hackesche-hoefe_03_gross.jpg One can also take a 360º tour of the first courtyard here: http://www.berlin.de/stadttouren/360/hackesche_hoefe/index.en.php 

Reception (optional)

 There will be a reception on Friday night, 1st June for those who arrive the day before the start of the conference. The reception is optional. The evening will include Pizza and soft drinks for a €5 charge. A film will be shown in a second meeting room later in the evening or one can remain in the main reception area to socialise. This will begin at 6:30 with Pizzas beginning at 7:30. No booking is necessary for the reception.  Conference  The conference will begin on Saturday morning with registration between 8:00 am and 9:00 am. A short welcome will kick off the day followed by numerous speakers. Conference organisers are working to bring in top quality experts on various topics. The main thrust of discussion will focus on the threat that the European Union poses especially to those nations just entering it as members.  
Eastern Europe has moved in directions which horrify the old, staid welfare states of Old Europe. The former Soviet bloc is starting to boom while the welfare states are barely growing at all. Plagued with high unemployment, lacklustre economies and bureaucracies that meddle in all aspects of daily life Old Europe can’t compete with the more nimble economies of the East. The European Union is doing its best to makes sure that competition is not necessary by saddling these new EU members with regulations and rules meant to protect the dying economies of the West.  In addition to exploring the dangers of the European Union and welfare statism the conference will look at topical issues of the day. More information on speakers and topics will be released shortly.

Sunday Evening tour and dinner (optional)

The conference will end on Sunday afternoon and be followed with an optional walking tour of the immediate area, which was the old Jewish Quarter before the war. The streets bristle with a history that highlights the dangers of the omnipotent state. Only a few blocks away is the site of the famous Rosenstrasse protests — the only public protests against the Nazi regime during the war.  In 1943 the Nazi regime rounded up the last remaining Jews of Berlin, most were men married to non-Jewish women. The men were housed temporarily at the Jewish Community Centre on Rosenstrasse before deportation to
Auschwitz. But the wives learned of the location and a couple of hundred of them descended on it where they stood outside protesting loudly.
 Nothing the Nazis did could intimidate these women. Each day, for a week, the women and other relatives stood outside protesting. It is believed that up to 6,000 different people participated in this dangerous protest over the week. Finally the Nazis surrendered. Unarmed, with no leaders, the protest succeeded.  You will visit this site and tour the old Jewish Quarter. This tour will begin after the close of the conference and is optional. There will be a light dinner after the tour followed by an evening where we will either have a speaker on the Rosenstrasse protests or show a dramatic film on the events. The tour and dinner are optional. If not enough people will be in
Berlin that evening the tour will not take place so reservations are required. Estimated cost for the walking tour with an English-speaking tour guide plus the dinner is in the range of €30. Detailed information will be available later. If you wish to take this tour please let us know.

Conference Pricing

The two day conference, without meals, can be reserved in advance for €95.00. This includes tea and coffee before the start of the conference on Saturday and Sunday, two tea breaks with snacks later on Saturday and one break with snacks later on Sunday. (We are considering having donuts brought in as an option for those who don’t eat on the way. These will not be included and will cost about €1 each.)  The €95 registration price is for early registrations received before April 20th. After April 20th registrations will increase to €124.95 and those received after May 20th will be €149.95. It is also important to know that seating is strictly limited. Due to the popularity of the location, and the tentative speakers scheduled, we believe that it is likely that seating will run out. Delaying your registration not only costs you more but increases the chance of not being able to attend.

Conference meals (optional)

The conference has an optional meal package available. This includes lunches on Saturday and Sunday and a dinner on Saturday night. The dinner alone is €25. One lunch by itself is €12, but both lunches together can be purchased for €20 in total. All three meals are €40. Meals will be held at one of the restaurants in the courtyard.  Our venue is in the centre of a major tourist area so there are lots of restaurants and take-aways nearby if you prefer. These include some very low cost outlets. You are free to purchase none, one or all of the meals if you prefer. A menu will be announced closer to the time of the conference when the restaurant’s summer menu is avialable.

Scholarships

Students requiring financial assistance to attend are urged to contact the three local organisers immediately at peron@orcon.net.nz. Scholarships can cover up to the entire cost of the conference itself. However, funding will be allocated first to those students asking for the least amount of funding. A student asking for a €20 scholarship will have that filled before one asking for a €95 scholarship. Larger scholarships will be distributed last and will be dependent on available seating.

Budget Restricted Guests

Budget restricted guests should know that it is possible to attend the full weekend quite inexpensively.
Berlin is filled with low cost hotels and hostels and our venue is on the main train route and just off the the route of the underground. One can find hostels with shared rooms from as low as €15. There are hotels that are nearby that cost €80 to €100 per night. Of course there are the more up-market options as well. With many low cost food outlets near the venue you can also cut food costs. You need to make your own hotel reservations and we recommend you book early as
Berlin is a popular destination in the Spring.

Hotel and Hostel Information

We have found that www.all-hotels.com is a good location to book hotels. Also www.hotel-rates.com  We recommend checking several such on-line discount services as the rates often are lower on one site than on another. A few minutes time on the net can save you a good amount. Below are some options, in a range of prices, which are relatively convenient to the venue.

A&O Hostels

Either the location Hostel am Zoo or Hostel Mitte are convenient for you. From either you will need to take the train to the Hackesche Markt station. Both are short train rides but Hostel Mitte is a slightly longer walk to the local station but a shorter train ride. Rates depend on whether you take a single room, a dorm room, etc. But assume prices of between €15 and €40 per night.  A&O Hotel Mitte, located a short walk from Oostbahnhof and then a short ride to Hackersher Markt. 

On line information:

http://www.aohostels.com/en/berlin/  

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Hotel Amelie is located a short walik from the Friedrichstrasse train station and it is then just a quick train ride to Hackerscher Markt. Room rates begin at about €80 per night.

http://en.venere.com/hotels_berlin/hotel_hotel_amelie_berlin.html?ref=42461

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Old Town Apartments are a 5 minute walk from the conference venue. It has 2 person, 4 person and 6 person apartments. Prices range from €85 to €185 per night depending on the size of the apartment.

http://www.ota-berlin.de/english/index.php 

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Arte Luise Hotel  Room rates range from €50 for a single with shower and lavatory not attached) to €180 for a suite. Singles range from €82 to €115 and doubles from €121 to€150. It is a short walk to the Friedrichstrasse station and short train ride to Hackerscher Markt or a 3k  taxi ride.

http://www.luise-berlin.com/en/reservation.htm 

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Hackersher Markt Hotel. A very neary hotel with prices around €130 or so per night.

http://www.loock-hotels.com/hackeschermarkt/01_hotel/hotel.html 

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Hotel Taunus. Close to conference venue. Rates around €90 to €100 per night.

http://www.eurocheapo.com/berlin/hotel/hotel-taunus.html 

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The Alexander Plaza Hotel is nearby, within walking distance. Costs are around €160 per night.

http://www.alexander-plaza.com 

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Arcotel Velvet. Nearby hotel. Rooms range from €115 to €150.

http://cc.arcotel.at/document.asp?id=1329  

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Park Inn Alexanderplatz. A short walk to the Alexanderplatz train station and short ride to Hackersher Markt. A large hotel with casino. Room rates for a single run around €100 to €120 per night.

http://www.parkinn.de/

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Adlon Hotel is an up-market hotel located about 15 minutes from our venue by foot or taxi. It is a short walk to the U-Bahn which can be taken to Alexanderplatz where you can take the S-Bahn to Hackersher Markt. So taxi or walking might be just as effective due to its location regarding transit lines. Rooms begin at €300 per night.

http://www.hotel-adlon.de 

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Regent Charlottenstrasse is located about 15 minutes from the venue on foot. You can also take a short U-Bahn trip to Friedrichstrasse and transfer to the S-Bahn or take a short taxi tride. The hotel is a luxury hotel. Rates begin at €250 per night.  http://www.regenthotels.com  

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Grand Hotel De’Rome. This luxury hotel is about a 15 minute walk or short taxi ride from our venue. Rates state at €420. I suggest also checking their “offers” section to find reduced rates.

http://www.hotelderome.com / 

Transport

A detailed transit map for Berlin can be found here.  http://www.lodging-germany.com/info/Berlin/berlin-7citymapubahn.htm More detailed information is available here:  http://www.berlin-tourist-information.de/english/berlin-infos/e_bi_stadtinfos_nahverkehr.php You can purchase a day transit pass for €5.80. You want the day pass for Zones A&B only. A single journey ticket is €2.10. Tickets can be purchased at main train stations. If you arrive by air you can purchase tickets or a day pass from the bus driver. The TXL bus to Alexanderplatz will take you to Hauptbahnhoff and from there it is relatively easy to get to any of the hotels on our recommended list. If you are staying at Alexanderplatz then take the bus to the end. If you stay at A&O Hostel am Zoo then you want to take the bus to Zoologischer Garten. This drops you one about half a block from the Hostel.   If you only go from your hotel to the conference and back then single journey tickets are cheaper. If you take more than 3 trips per day the day pass is cheaper.  You can purchase a Welcome Card which will give you access to all public transit, including buses to and from the airport. A 48 hour pass is €16.00 and a 72 hour pass is €21.00 The Welcome Card gives you a discount to various museums and tourist sites in the city. The Welcome Card is propably not worth the cost during the conference weekend.

Location

The precise location of the Hockershe Höfe is Rosenthaler 40/41.  By S-Bahn (train) you wish to go to the Hackesche Markt station. Exit the station on the side with the large square (north). As you exit the station on your right will be a busy street with trolley tracks ( An der Sapandauer Brücke). Keep the tracks on your right until you get to the crossing. Cross the street and go around the corner (just a few meters). You are now on Rosenthalerstrasse. At the pedestrian crossing there cross over to the opposite side of the street and turn right. (Be careful of trolleys turning the corner from your left.) You are now standing in front of the Hackesche Höfe. As you walk up Rosenthaler you will find a gateway into the first courtyard. Go through the gateway. The ticket office for the theatre will be on your right. As you come into the courtyard you will see another gateway in front of you and to the right. That takes you through to the second courtyard. When you walk into the second courtyard look straight ahead and to the left and you will see an entry to the office complex. It is next to the entrance to the bookshop.  You are looking for the offices of the Institute for Free Enterprise, which hosts our conference. These are on the third floor. Either coming up the stairs, or using the lift, you will find their doors immediately to your left.   For a visual of the buildings and street names go here:   http://maps.google.com/maps?q&hl=en&q=Berlin+deutschland&layer=&ie=UTF8&om=1&z=18&ll=52.523392,13.402323&spn=0.00173,0.005407&t=h&iwloc=addr  If you are looking at this visual the train station is the long building on the bottom. Exit north and walk toward the main street to the right. You can see a street trolley on the picture where the pedestrian crossing is located. You can see the trolley tracks turning to the right onto to Rosenthaler. Go around the corner and cross immediately at the pedestrian crossing.

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