The Reader’s Notebook: Ich bin ein Berliner

Jun 26, 2017

Credit www.thisdayinquotes.com

June 26, 2017 -- On June 26, 1963, President John F. Kennedy arrived in West Berlin to express solidarity with the city’s residents, who were surrounded on all sides by communist East Germany. After visiting Checkpoint Charlie, the Berlin Wall crossing point where Soviet and U.S. tanks had faced each other down two years earlier, Kennedy delivered a short speech that became one of his most famous. As over 120,000 people looked on, Kennedy aggressively attacked the communist system and, despite his poor foreign language skills, peppered in a couple of German phrases, including “Ich bin ein Berliner.” The address was so well received that the square where it took place was subsequently renamed John-F.-Kennedy-Platz.