Circumstances

In this section, we will discuss the circumstances that surround John F. Kennedy’s "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech.

The speech was made on 26th of June, 1963, on the steps of Rathaus Schoneberg, the city hall in Berlin. The speech comes as a response on behalf of the US to the construction of the Berlin Wall, which prevented free access between East and West Berlin. Through his speech, Kennedy’s purpose is to restate US support for West Berlin.

Keep in mind that the construction of the Berlin Wall happened during the Cold War, which was a period of tension between the Soviet Union and its allies and the Western powers, particularly the US. It is called the Cold War because it involved little actual warfare. Both sides had nuclear weapons and it was therefore understood that war would be devastating for humanity.

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