Essay about Analysis 'Ich Bin Ein Berliner'

1090 Words Dec 13th, 2012 5 Pages
FME2.GE7-01 Spoken and Written English Discourse

Speech: ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’
John F. Kennedy

Name: Maaike Wittebrood
Class: 2ME-2B
Student number: 112418
Lecturer: Anita Maessen


The author of the speech is John F. Kennedy. He was in 1963 the president of the United States of America. John F. Kennedy became president on 20 January 1961 until his assassination on 22 November 1963. Kennedy was against everything that was associated with communism. He was also a very important person in the ‘Cold War’. Kennedy also was seen as de icon of the Western world of freedom and democracy.


The speech was given at June 26, 1963 in West-Berlin. During that time Germany was split up in West-Germany and
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Still the main audience of the speech were the West-Berliners.


The main purpose of the speech is to make sure that West-Berlin was not given up, and to show the support from the USA. As mentioned West-Berlin was surrounded and isolated, so John F. Kennedy wanted to give the West-Berliners a sort of ‘boost’ to make sure that they will keep their heads high and don’t have any fear for occupation. With the famous quote: ‘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!’ (John F. Kennedy, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’. 1963) This famous quote was actually a huge compliment for the West-Berliners and it showed the main message of the whole speech; the USA who supported a democratic West-Berlin.

In my opinion the speech has a good structure. The speech on itself is not that long, but it is a very powerful speech though. The speech starts with Kennedy saying that he is proud to be in ‘The Federal Republic with your distinguished Chancellor who for so many years has committed Germany to democracy and freedom and progress’ (John F. Kennedy, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’. 1963)

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