JFK Berlin Speech
Two years after the construction of the Berlin wall, Berlin was divided into zones for the allies (France, Britain, US, Soviet Union) at the end of the war the allies joined forces and occupied the new West Germany against the soviet east Germany. Many Berliners didn’t want to live under communist rule so moved to Berlin, the new money in Berlin brought with new jobs and industries so many east Berliners fled to the west. Thus affecting the East Berlin economy massively.
Kennedy visited Berlin in 1963 more than a million west Berliners shown up to show support, joy and enthusiasm for Kennedy and his hopeful speech for a free Berlin. President JFK visited Vienna and Austria at the summits for meeting with the soviet leader Nikita Khruschev with the aim to build trust and resolve some of the political conflicts, this was unsuccessful. Krushchev threatened to cut off Berlin, Kennedy in response promised that the United States would defend Berlin and continue to fight for a free Berlin.
JFK delivered the speech in front of the Berlin wall and the Rathaus on the west side in response to the cold war and continuous conflict between the communist east and the west. The speech would reassure the people of Berlin that it wasn’t forgotten and free world would support them and aim for a democratic Berlin.
The speech itself mentions themes of hope, freedom, pride, justice and peace.
Full transcript of speech http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3022166.stm
After Kennedy’s death the square in which this famous speech taken, there is now a street named after him like many of Berlin’s influential historical characters JFK joined this minority with John F Kennedy Platz.