Today in History: JFK in Berlin

Friday, June 26, 2009

On June 26, 1963, President John F. Kennedy addressed a vast crowd of Germans on Rudolph Wilde Platz near the Berlin Wall. In his speech, Kennedy condemns the wall separating East from West, calling it a "vivid demonstration of the failures of the Communist system" and praised the "fighting spirit" of West Berlin.

"Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was 'civis Romanus sum' (I am a Roman citizen). Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is 'Ich bin ein Berliner'... All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words 'Ich bin ein Berliner!'"

Full text of the speech

Thanks to WNYC Archivist Andy Lanset and John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

President Kennedy delivers remarks in the Rudolph Wilde Platz.
President Kennedy\'s speech notes
Text excerpt of President Kennedy\'s address
President Kennedy at the Berlin Wall.


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