Ich Bin Ein Berliner: John F. Kennedy

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Analysis of speech
Ich bin ein Berliner / I am a Berliner (John F. Kennedy)
In June of 1963, in Germany, his first stop of five different countries, John F. Kennedy (president of the United States at the time) delivered a speech that inspired and brought hope to many. Some thought that he was declaring himself a doughnut, while others truly grasped the meaning of his persuasive speech and had hope brought back into their lives, since not even twenty years before the entire country had been engaged in world conquest under Hitler’s dictatorship, and had been sorely defeated. West Germany was then under democratic leadership, and allied to France, England, and the USA. East Germany was under direct communist leadership from Russia. However, with
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The logic behind this that Kennedy said “Ich bin ein Berliner.” By using the indefinite article "ein," he supposedly changed the meaning of the sentence from "I am a citizen of Berlin" to "I am a jelly doughnut." The indefinite article is omitted in German when speaking of an individual's profession or residence but is still used when speaking in a figurative sense. Since the President was not literally from Berlin but declaring his solidarity with its citizens, "Ich bin ein Berliner" was the only way to express what he wanted to say. Kennedy acknowledges this fact when he says “I appreciate my interpreter translating my German!” (Line 14). The mistake is now used across the US as a meme of sorts, with people saying “Ich bin ein + (some sort of German food [Frankfurter, Hamburger, etc.]), and sometimes people simply restate the phrase “Ich bin ein Berliner”. The Liberian 5 dollar coin contains his face and the words “Ich bin ein Berliner” on one side, and Ronald Reagan evoked both the sentiment and the legacy of Kennedy's speech 24 years later in his "Tear down this wall!" speech. There are also multiple locations across Germany renamed after Kennedy, such as the public square where he made the speech, which was renamed the

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