Publication: The Times

Full Citation

  • Title Berlin Goes Wild Over Mr. Kennedy
  • Author From Our Special Correspondent
  • Publication Title The Times
  • Collection The Times Digital Archive, 1785-2008
  • Date Thursday,  June 27, 1963
  • Issue Number 55738
  • Page Number 12
  • Place of Publication London, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library Times Newspapers Limited
  • Copyright Statement © Times Newspapers Limited.
BERLIN GOES WILD OVER MR. KENNEDY SILENT E. GERMANS WATCH AND DARE NOT WAVE "NO LASIING PEACE UNTIL ALL IBVE FREE CHOICE" From Our Special Correspondent BERLIN, JUNE 2& President Kennedy's eight-hour stay in Berlin was expected from the start to be the emotional climax of his German visit, but no one had expected the frenzy of jubilation which gripped the city today.. It was a triumphal progress, the like of which Berlin had not seen since the days of Hier, a rocal correspondent remarked. Half the population was on the streets to greet the President and went almost mad with joy when he appeared. At the end of this unforgettable day, one's ears are still ringing with the endless roar of cheering, and one's eyes filled with the sight of smiling, laughing, waving masses. Relations between Germany and the United States can never be quite mte same afterit. President Kennedy rose to the oCcasion. He seemed compIetely confident and relaxed, displaying his outstanding gifts as a popular tribune mn a way he has not done since he arrivei His wordsfi packed with unusual punch, whipped up the crowd tO' new heights of enthusias. "BURDENS APPRECIATED " The significant part of the whole German visit, however, and in particular of today in Berlin. was not so much the speeclies as the fact that the President obviously got a feeling for the Germans which he had not had before. Herr Brandt, the chief burgomaster. summed it up in a phrase whem he told the crowd before Schdneberg Ratbaus at noon: "I have a wish to express to you. the wiih that in this town you may feel the heart of the German people beat also for youY The crowd roared assent. At Tegel airfield, in the French sector, this evening, when he took farewell of Dr. Adenaner and Herr Brandt. who had ridden through 30 maiTes of streets with him and shared in his triumph, he said that the American people were sometimes doubtful whether the tremendons burdens they had shouldered for the free world in 18 years were really appreciated. After this visit to Germany and the tremendous welcome he had been given he was sure they were. PROlUDEST BOAST The broad square before Schoneberg Rathaus has witnessed many sad and joyful events, but it has never seen anything, lka today's demonstration for President Kennedy. It was padced with 120,000 very emotional yet disciplined Berliners long before the President was due to speak. Whea he appeared on. the tall podium, an ovation of several minutes greeted him. Two thousand years ago -, he de. clare- the pr'ondest boast in the wold was ' cvin. Ramwnux sum'. Tli-day, m! the world of frecdem, the prudest boast is 'rck bfnr eT fer brer:' Many times he was interrupted im the middle of, a: phrase by- crescendo cheers and rhythmic shouts of -Kennedy, Kennedy ". His tribute to' General Clay, who was at his side, "and will come again if ever needed ", was enthusiastically endorsed. Even the ChanCelor who has never really been a popufar figur here, got a warn hand and sbuts of " Konni, Konni '* in ith general euphoria. "There are many people in the world who really do not understnd what is the great issue between the free world and communismL Let them come to Berlin. And theme are me who say in Europe and ecsewber that we can work with the communists. Let them come to Berlin. VITALITY AND HIPE; "Freedom has many d&fcuties and democracY is not Perfect- but vwe never had to put up a wall to kep our people in. I know of no town. no city which has been besieged for IS years and still lives with the vitality and the force and the hope and determination of this city of west Berlin. While the wan is the most obvious and vivid demonstrations of the failures of the communist system, we take no satisfactfon in it. for it is an offence not only agaInst bisory but against humanity . What was true of Beren was true of Germany. The President continued:-Real lasting peace in EBurope can never be assutd as long as one German out of four is denied the elemetary riLbt of free men, and that is to make a hee choice. Im 18 years of peace and good faith this seneration of Gerns has earned the right to be free- iocudins the xibt to unite their family and natio in basting peace with the goodwill of al} people. When the day fiall comes when this city wil be joined as oe, in this great continent of E&rope i a peaceful and hopefue gathering, the people of west Berlin can take great satsfaction in the fact that tey were in the frost line for almost two decades. "All free men. wherever ther may Eiye are citizens of Berlin. and. theefore. as a freeman, I take pride in the words 'Ich bin ein Berliner'." Herr Brandt declared: 4 In Beriin the United States assmed the most obvious and the most decisive commitment in Gernnay. Here is visible what unites us: the same interess the same ideals and the same determination." He had to speak for his fellow countrymen on the far side of the wall. T hey would be brought out into the streets in a few days (to greet Mr. Khrushchev) whether they wished or no, " but they would much rather be with us, freely gathered together here." LIKE EMPTY STAGE "We tell them, we will not give up. Berlin is true: to those behind barbed wire, as to fellow countrymen in the west and friends in the whole world." Then as the great Freedom Bell from the belfry of the Rathaus tolled for east Germany, a great silence fell upon the huge crowd- How much the communists in east Berlin feared the impact of President Kennedy's visit was made abundantly plain in childish ways today. In addition to the 100 metre forbidden zone ;long the 9wtor boundary which they decreed a few days ago, they had draped the Brandenberg Gate with huge red flags which made it look like a sinister empty stage, in order to prevent the President from seeing through it. A huge placard hastily erected in front of it at the last moment proclaimed that at Yalta and Potsdam, Presidents Roosevelt and Truman had undertaken to eradicate Nazism andc militarism. " These pledges have been fulfilIed in the German Democratic Republic When will these pledges be fulfilled irn west Germany and west Berlin, President Kennedy ? " it read. VIEWS ON COEXISTENCE At Checkpoint Charlie, the crossing point at the Friedrichstrasse, the President went on foot to the demarcation line, accompanied by the American Commandant, and was observed from afar by group's of Peoples Police and east Berlin reporters In the far distance-one of the most moving sights today-small groups of east Berliners looked, without daring to wave because of the police standing by. In two days they will be marched out to cheer Mr. Khrushchev in a communist attempt at a counter-demonstration. This. may, however, be embarrassing for Herr Brandt, if the Soviet leader should renewr his invitation to him of last January or make other advances to west Berlin. President Kennedy had reserved for his speech to the students of the Free University this afternoon a mcrre detailed exposition of his views on coexistence. General Marshall, in his famous speech at Harvard, made a proposal which extended to " all of Europe". His offer of help and friendship, President Kennedy emphasized, had been rejected. But it was not too early to think once again in terms. of all of Europe. WINDS OF CHANGE K For the winds of cfhange are blowins across the iron curtain as wel as in the rest of the world. The people of eastern Europe, even after 18 years of oppresion. are not immune to chanxe. The truth never d'es. IThe desire for libert can never be fuUy suppressed. The people of the Soviet Unlion - . . feel the force of historical evolution, The harsh precepts of Stalinism are offidally recognized as banklrtpt, So history itself runs asainst Mlarxi'st dogma not towards it. In short, these dogmatic police states are an anacliroDim. 'The new Europe of the west. dynamic. diverse and democratic. must exert an ever increasing attraction on the peoples to, the. easL And when the possibilities of reconciliation appear. we in the west will make it clear that we are not hostile te any peoptDe or sysem.. =Ther will be wovmds to be healed and susp=ions to be cased on both sid:s. Fair and effective agreements to end the arms race mu: be reacbed. These changes may rtot come tomrow but our effort must continue andiminished." Picture oa Pace Z