Ich bin ein Berliner

History of Sorts

kennedy_ich_bin_ein_berliner

The speech is considered one of Kennedy’s best, both a notable moment of the Cold War and a high point of the New Frontier. It was a great morale boost for West Berliners, who lived in an enclave deep inside East Germany and feared a possible East German occupation. Speaking from a platform erected on the steps of Rathaus Schöneberg for an audience of 450,000, 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!”.

JFK_Ich_bin_ein_Berliner_-_civis_Romanus_sum

Kennedy used the phrase twice in his speech, including at the end, pronouncing the sentence with his Boston accent and reading from his note…

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