JFK Library marks 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall

9.11.14

President Kennedy addresses the gathered crowd at the Rudolph Wilde Platz, June 26, 1963. Credit: PFC Wolf, 69th Signal Co/John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. 
Today marks 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. I had yet to be born, but this event, and the visit of President Kennedy in 1963 are two of the most prominent that changed the world for my generation, and those that followed.

To mark this anniversary, the JFK Library has released archival materials marking President Kennedy's visit to West Berlin in 1963. The Soviet and East German governments had erected the wall only two years before President Kennedy’s visit to shut off the flow of East Germans fleeing to the freedom of the west. President Kennedy called the wall, “an offense not only against history but an offense against humanity, separating families, dividing husbands and wives and brothers and sisters and dividing a people who wish to be joined together.”

Through the efforts of Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, the President’s sister, the German government donated a section of the Berlin Wall to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

The 3.5 ton, 12-foot concrete slab of the Berlin Wall on display at the Kennedy Library and Museum. Credit: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
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