Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement in Berlin today (26 June 2013) to mark the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s Berlin speech:
Even now, we Germans can never forget the speech that John F. Kennedy gave at Schöneberg town hall 50 years ago today.
Berlin was a city divided. The Cold War had split the people of Germany in two along the fault line of the Wall. In those difficult times, President Kennedy gave Berliners hope and brought new confidence to all the German people. Berlin was the beleaguered symbol of the Western world’s love of freedom.
Today, our shared history is reflected in a vibrant German-American friendship which remains as important as it ever was in this profoundly changing world. In his speech at Brandenburg Gate, President Obama reaffirmed the strong ties of partnership in shared values that President Kennedy evoked 50 years ago. That is a sound footing on which to face and master the challenges of globalization in the 21st century together.