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Ich bin ein Berliner

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#1 Greg Burnham

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 02:22 PM

On this day, June 26, 1963, JFK delivered his speech in Berlin.



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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Greg Burnham



"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown



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#2 Jim Hackett II

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 06:41 PM


A university student of German once tried to tell me that JFK actually intoned "I am a jelly donut." In the mid 1970s.

Then I met a naturalized American of German heritage who set me right.

"He said it right." she told me.

It figures as more American 1970s anti-JFK post assassination character assassination we have seen enough of.


How come American Political Leaders today don't speak like that man did?

#3 Charles Drago

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 06:07 AM

A jelly donut, you say?


So does that make Marilyn Monroe a woman sconed?


Is Hillary Clinton really Cruller de Ville?


As for Monica Lewinski, I guess Bill realized that bagels can't be choosers.


On a serious note, let us not forget how Actor-in-Chief Ronald Reagan ripped off JFK's eloquent expression when he demanded that Gorbachev "tear down this wall" -- a linguistic invocation of threat and violence that raped a poetic call for freedom.

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"[Y]ou can't blame the innocent, they are always guiltless. All you can do is control them or eliminate them. Innocence is a kind of insanity." -- Graham Greene, The Quiet American

"If an individual, through either his own volition or events over which he had no control, found himself taking up residence in a country undefined by flags or physical borders, he could be assured of one immediate and abiding consequence. He was on his own, and solitude and loneliness would probably be his companions unto the grave." -- James Lee Burke, Rain Gods

a wind has blown the rain away and blown
the sky away and all the leaves away,
and the trees stand. i think i too have known
autumn too long
-- e. e. cummings

#4 Jim Hackett II

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 07:09 PM

Good for a laugh... woman sconed.


Eloquent that actor was not but he had some competent writers.

Aside from being a closet fascist and crappy actor those two issues should have been enough to ruin any career in "politics."

He and Richard Nixon were only the barely less deadly product of California Weapons Manufacturers.


Their efforts produced like junk, except RRReagan's wars had to be covert in the face of massive efforts of his Massa to legitimize a central american redux of Vietnam in Guatemala .. and El Savador.


They both employed writers for PR/speeches and etc.


Jack Kennedy had both better writers as friends as well as better character as history bears witness.

After all he won his own praise for his own work while a student.


No wonder Reagan had to hitch-hike on JFK's speech instead writing/speaking something original, the puppet-masters couldn't allow that.

It is OK Ronnie,

"Ketchup is a vegetable."

Relative to cutting nutritional levels of children's public school lunches, and

"Nuclear war is survivable."

Serving the merchants of death masters that created Ronnie.

"Star Wars is real."

No Gorbie I won't give up the star wars fantasy for peace.


All right up there with:

"People gotta know if their President is a crook. I am not a crook." (only impeachable right Dick?)


Sure Ronnie a new day dawned in America, one of debt and enslavement.

By their fruits you shall know them.


It is the sad current conditions of the American body politics that I have to insist

A pox on both your houses of evil,

most especially the off-spring of the weapons makers and the banksters.


#5 Barry Keane

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 11:48 AM

He said, I am a Berliner, by which he meant of course, I  and my country will support you. To those in the crowd who were priviliged  to see and hear him speak, it must have been quite a moment!

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#6 Jim Hackett II

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 03:15 AM

Thanks Mr. Keane, er Barry if allowed that liberty.


Yes and Bridgette supports all you said still.

Born Munich naturalized post SEAsian escapades.

An American.


I can't do the xenophobia and be who I am.

Our forebears all came here from somewhere except a few of the native American lines and maybe even they came from elsewhere too.

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