„Ich bin ein Berliner“ (1963)

John F. Kennedy, US President (1917 – 1963)

West Berlin on 26 June 1963, almost the entire city is on its feet that day to experience the US President live during the city tour or his speech in front of the West Berlin City Hall. In the midst of a turbulent phase of the Cold War, which also worries the inhabitants of West Berlin, many hope Kennedy will protect them from the recurring threat of the USSR.

Ich bin ein Berliner English Analysis


At the invitation of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, Kennedy travels to West Germany. The occasion is the 15th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift. JFK is the first US President to step on German soil since the end of the Second World War. Due to the construction of the Berlin Wall two years earlier, West Berlin is cut off from the outside world once again. In front of more than 400,000 people at the Schöneberg City Hall, Kennedy’s speech manages to inspire confidence in the West Berlin citizens during these tense times. He is particularly enthusiastic with his closing sentence „Ich bin ein Berliner„.

Candidness and drama in „Ich bin ein Berliner“

The percentage of drama perfectly supports the openness Kennedy provides in his speech. He surprises with its high degree of openness. Through innovative statements such as „Ich bin ein Berliner“ he opens up new perspectives and inspires generations by offering them three things: First, he stresses the need for goodwill between East and West Berlin. He also emphasizes the importance of unification between communist and democratic nations. Finally, his famous saying symbolizes the support of the United States for West Germany.

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