Full Citation

  • Title Kennedy Goes to Berlin Wall, Says It Evidences Red Failure
  • Author Irwin, Don
  • Publication Title New York Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Collection New York Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Date Thursday,  June 27, 1963
  • Issue Number 25022
  • Page Number [1]
  • Place of Publication Paris, France
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library The New York Times Company
Amidst Emotional Scenes Kennedy Goes to Berlin Wall, Says It Evidences Red Failure $ . v^»c. x-: x >. . <. * ' s m B s r w d p w lii ii . aar ':i '■■Jc ) 'Pf/M ' ■ I ... f/ P- A*' k > «j /A / BM! ar f Hi SSS ' 1 4 4 pxj: 4/ ‘ * >. S ■V ^ 4 * I % • *' If i?v: m 4 & ill : pSA: %• j ■ i£| n Y if: m Xf’V V V.y *4mr „; A 1 .•«S < •' ->* smm '“A M' $ ■ X . ' 4 m m A 4 * m *• ii m m - 'Ms* ■>>.... ■ "V..Y % OVERWHELMING WELCOME German I which covered the car in which h £... "■ Associaied Pi'e.ss. — Chancellor Konrad Adenauer is partially hidden under an avalanche of ticker tape he was accompanying President Kennedy and Mayor Willy Brandt through West Berlin. By Don Irwin Special to the H:rald Tribune BERLIN, June 26.—West Berliners swarmed into their streets and squares today to roar a wildly emotional wel¬ come to President Kennedy, who told them that their in¬ domitable courage will ex¬ pand the borders of the free world. “This is a great day in the history of the city,” Mayor Willy Brandt shouted to scores of thou¬ sands who jammed the square in front of the Schoeneberg city hall to applaud almost every sentence of a short, moving speech of en¬ couragement by Mr. Kennedy. The speech, one of five the President delivered during a 33- mile, 7 1/2-hour tour of the West’s window on the Iron Curtain, drew the largest single throng on a day in which nearly 1.5 million'of West Berlin's 2.2 million citizens turned out to cheer the President. Greatest Reception White House press secretary Pierre Salinger called it the great¬ est reception Mr. Kennedy has ever received anywhere in the world. During his visit, Mr. Kennedy made two stops at the Communist wall dividing East and West Ber¬ lin—at the Brandenburg Gate and at Checkpoint Charlie. The ugly wall of concrete slabs, cinder blocks and barbed wire bulk¬ ed large in the President's tour. At both the Brandenburg Gate arid at Checkpoint Charlie Mr. Ken¬ nedy mounted specially built plat¬ forms to peer over it. For long stretches, while West Berliners cheered and threw flow¬ ers along the President’s route, the gray-brown wall blocked off the view of the first two stories of the frieze of bomb-torn buildings that fringe the East zone. The visit to the Brandenburg Gate, built as a peace monument in 1795, did not show the President as much as he bad hoped about the other side in the cold war. The Communists, whose zone be¬ gins about 50 yards in front of the gate, had worked during the night to hang red banners and slogan-crammed yellow signboards that completely blocked the view of the Unter den Linden through the three apertures of the old gate. “The result,” the President told a reporter, “was that I didn’t see very much.” Points of Interest Explained The President looked grim and intent as Allied officers used charts to brief him on points of interest, including guard stations used by the East German vopos (people’s police). Fresh from this experience, the President told the crowd out¬ side the City Hall: “While the wall is the most obvi¬ ous and vivid evidence of the failures of the Communist system ... we take no satisfaction in it. For it is, as your mayor has said, an offense not only against his¬ tory, but against humanity.” West Berlin’s massive tribute gained added significance from the fact that Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev is due to arrive on Friday in East Berlin. The Soviet leader's hastily announced visit apparently was timed to discourage 1 (Continued on Page 2, Col. 6) Kennedy Goes to Berlin Wall y (Continued from Page 1) East German restlessness in the wake of Mr. Kennedy’s triumphal reception. West Berlin’s welcome wrote a thunderous climax to a four-day West German tour on which the President worked publicly and pri¬ vately to promote the concept of Western unity, which the Bonn government steadfastly supports. He left West Berlin’s Tegel Air¬ port aboard his Air Force jet this evening and flew to Ireland for a visit to the land of his ancestors. The determination expressed by the President to work by peaceful means to combat the division of Germany contrasted with the tone of occasional placards displayed along his route that repeatedly raised the nagging question: when? But the signs did not interfere with the day’s gala mood that had many Berliners smiling, shouting, waving and weeping, sometimes all at the same time. From the mo¬ ment Mr. Kennedy left the plane that brought him from Wiesbaden at 9:45 a.m., it was evident that West Berliners set the highest store by his coming. On hand to welcome the Presi¬ dent were Mayor Brandt and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who flew here last night to bid fare¬ well to Mr. Kennedy. After welcoming ceremonies by troops of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the President told an airport crowd of about 5,000 that he had not come to reassure West Berliners. That is unnecessary, he said, decause the record of the Al¬ lied occupation powers is “written on rock.” However, he said, the “morale and spirit of the people of West Berlin” . . . reassure us. The mood of West Berlin’s wel¬ come was evident minutes after his motorcade left the' airport, which is in the French Zone. As the President, the Chancellor and the mayor stood waving in the rear of the open White House pa¬ rade car that had been flown here for the event, gray-uniformed po¬ lice locked hands to hold back a crowd that jammed six-deep by the airport gate. Balloons, banners, flags and fall¬ ing confetti flecked the crowds that waited on both sides of the streets to greet the President. Ap¬ plause and cheers marked the pro¬ gress of the parade car. Some onlookers threw flowers, and so many tried to carry bou¬ quets to the President that the escort of 125 white-jacketed motor¬ cycle policemen formed a phalanx that encircled the car. About a dozen flower-carriers got through anyway. “He does not need to say a word,” a man said. “It’s enough to see him here.” Moments later, the crowds broke through the police cordon. They blocked the way of the Red Cross helpers carrying out people who fainted by the dozens. One of those who had managed to break through was Baffoe B’on- nie, a 29-year-old Ghana doctor in¬ terning here. “I like him,” the African said. “He is trying to do a lot for colored people. That’s why I wanted to see him.” In downtown Berlin, where some bomb ruins still stand among new glass-and-concrete buildings, the crowds were more than ten deep. There wasn’t a foot of empty space in the City Hall square, where some West Berliners had brought air mattresses and spent the night to be sure they had preferred posi¬ tions when the President spoke. The roar was deafening when Mr. Kennedy stepped forward to speak. The crowd was in a frantic state, chanting, shouting and wav¬ ing. Red Cross helpers rushed in k ¬ e m d t n t ¬ t s r t , s — t e ¬ n ¬ r d g ¬ ¬ ¬ t e ¬ m e o e all directions to carry away faint¬ ing people. One boy, nervously chewing gum, held up a poster, almost bigger than himself. “Welcome Johnny,” it said. Another of the handmade posters said: “Johnny, du bist Duf- te” (Johnny you are a swell guy). From the balconies across the square, people let loose a shower of shredded newspapers. The crowd began a chant—Ken- ne-dee—that played counterpoint to the rumbling applause that greeted every sentence of his speech. It reached a crescendo when the President recalled that the proud¬ est boast of the ancient world was “civis Romanus sum” (I am a Roman citizen). Now in the world of freedom, he said, in bad but fear¬ less German, “the proudest boast is Tch bin ein Berliner’ ” (I am a Berliner). Berlin has been in the front lines ¬ f e o of freedom for almost two decades, the President said in his conclu¬ sion and “all free men are citizens of Berlin and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words Tch bin ein Berliner.’” Some people appeared to be on the verge of tears. The emotion seemed to ebb down a little as the speech continued. But at the end, the cheers were overwhelming again. “It’s a pity he did not come out to shake hands with the crowd,” a woman said. “He would have been crushed,” a man commented.