Ich bin ein Berliner
Coordinates: 52°29′06″N 13°20′40″E / 52.484932°N 13.344395°E
Ich bin ein Berliner (English: I am a Berliner) was a speech by John F. Kennedy. He made the speech on June 26, 1963 in West Berlin. This is thought to be one of Kennedy's most famous speeches. He made the speech to gain support for the Cold War and to mark the anniversary of the Berlin Wall's construction. Kennedy said:
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!"
Kennedy wrote on his paper "ish bin ein Bearleener" to help him say it better.
Background[change | change source]
Germany's capital, Berlin, was deep inside the area controlled by the Soviet Union after World War II. A first governed in four sectors controlled by the four Allied powers (United States, United Kingdom, France and the Soviet Union), tensions of the Cold War rose. This continued until the Soviet forces created the Berlin Blockade of the city's western sectors. The Western allies went around this with the dramatic airlift. Afterwards, the sectors controlled by the NATO Allies became an effective exclave (territory surrounded by territory of a different state or entity) of West Germany. Which was completely surrounded by East Germany. Starting in 1952, the border between East and West was closed everywhere but in Berlin. Hundreds of thousands of East Germans defected (gives up allegiance to a state) to the West via West Berlin. This was a labor drain that threatened East Germany with economic collapse.
Related pages[change | change source]
- Tear down this wall! (Ronald Reagan speech)
References[change | change source]
- ↑ Daum, Andreas W. (2008). Kennedy in Berlin. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. pp. 147–55. ISBN 978-0-521-85824-3.
- ↑ "Understanding the Wall: How the Berlin Wall divided a nation".
Other websites[change | change source]
- Text, audio, video of address
- About.com article Archived 2014-04-12 at the Wayback Machine
- JFK Letter On Success of Trip to Europe 1963 Archived 2014-05-03 at the Wayback Machine Shapell Manuscript Foundation
- Text: Kennedy's Berlin speech text