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Ich bin ein Berliner-John F. Kennedy
04-04-2014, 01:26 PM
Post: #1
Ich bin ein Berliner-John F. Kennedy






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John F. Kennedy: "Ich bin ein Berliner" ("I am a 'Berliner'")

I am proud to come to this city as the guest of your distinguished Mayor, who has symbolized
throughout the world the fighting spirit of West Berlin. And I am proud And
I am proud to
visit the Federal Republic with your distinguished Chancellor who for so many years has
committed Germany to democracy and freedom and progress, and to come here in the
company of my fellow American, General Clay, who who
has been in this city during its
great moments of crisis and will come again if ever needed.
Two thousand years ago, two thousand years ago, the proudest boast was "civis Romanus
sum." Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is "Ich bin ein Berliner."
(I appreciate my interpreter translating my German.)
There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is
the great issue between the free world and the Communist world.
Let them come to Berlin.
There are some who say There
are some who say that communism is the wave of the
future.
Let them come to Berlin.
And there are some who say, in Europe and elsewhere, we can work with the Communists.
Let them come to Berlin.


And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it
permits us to make economic progress.
Lass' sie nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin.
Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect. But we have never had to put a
wall up to keep our people in to
prevent them from leaving us. I want to say on behalf of
my countrymen who live many miles away on the other side of the Atlantic, who are far
distant from you, that they take the greatest pride, that they have been able to share with
you, even from a distance, the story of the last 18 years. I know of no town, no city, that has
been besieged for 18 years that still lives with the vitality and the force, and the hope, and
the determination of the city of West Berlin.
While the wall is the most obvious and vivid demonstration of the failures of the Communist
system for
all the world to see we
take no satisfaction in it? for it is, as your Mayor has
said, an offense not only against history but an offense against humanity, separating families,
dividing husbands and wives and brothers and sisters, and dividing a people who wish to be
joined together.
What is What
is true of this city is true of Germany: Real, lasting peace in Europe can never
be assured as long as one German out of four is denied the elementary right of free men, and
that is to make a free choice. In 18 years of peace and good faith, this generation of Germans
has earned the right to be free, including the right to unite their families and their nation in
lasting peace, with good will to all people.
You live in a defended island of freedom, but your life is part of the main. So let me ask you,
as I close, to lift your eyes beyond the dangers of today, to the hopes of tomorrow, beyond
the freedom merely of this city of Berlin, or your country of Germany, to the advance of
freedom everywhere, beyond the wall to the day of peace with justice, beyond yourselves and
ourselves to all mankind.
Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then
we look can
look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country
and this great Continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe. When that day finally
comes, as it will, the people of West Berlin can take sober satisfaction in the fact that they
were in the front lines for almost two decades.
All 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."
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