Skip to comments.Ich bin ein Berliner
Posted on 06/26/2006 5:10:57 PM PDT by Past Your Eyes
I am proud to come to this city as the guest of your distinguished Mayor, who has symbolized throughout the world the fighting spirit of West Berlin. And I am proud -- And I am proud to visit the Federal Republic with your distinguished Chancellor who for so many years has committed Germany to democracy and freedom and progress, and to come here in the company of my fellow American, General Clay, who -- who has been in this city during its great moments of crisis and will come again if ever needed.
Two thousand years ago, two thousand years ago, the proudest boast was "civis Romanus sum." Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is "Ich bin ein Berliner."
(I appreciate my interpreter translating my German.)
There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world.
Let them come to Berlin.
There are some who say -- There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future.
Let them come to Berlin.
And there are some who say, in Europe and elsewhere, we can work with the Communists.
Let them come to Berlin.
And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress.
Lass' sie nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin.
Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect. But we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in -- to prevent them from leaving us. I want to say on behalf of my countrymen who live many miles away on the other side of the Atlantic, who are far distant from you, that they take the greatest pride, that they have been able to share with you, even from a distance, the story of the last 18 years. I know of no town, no city, that has been besieged for 18 years that still lives with the vitality and the force, and the hope, and the determination of the city of West Berlin.
While the wall is the most obvious and vivid demonstration of the failures of the Communist system -- for all the world to see -- we take no satisfaction in it; for it is, as your Mayor has said, 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.
What is -- What is true of this city is true of Germany: Real, lasting peace in Europe can never be assured as long as one German out of four is denied the elementary right of free men, and that is to make a free choice. In 18 years of peace and good faith, this generation of Germans has earned the right to be free, including the right to unite their families and their nation in lasting peace, with good will to all people.
You live in a defended island of freedom, but your life is part of the main. So let me ask you, as I close, to lift your eyes beyond the dangers of today, to the hopes of tomorrow, beyond the freedom merely of this city of Berlin, or your country of Germany, to the advance of freedom everywhere, beyond the wall to the day of peace with justice, beyond yourselves and ourselves to all mankind.
Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we look -- can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great Continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe. When that day finally comes, as it will, the people of West Berlin can take sober satisfaction in the fact that they were in the front lines for almost two decades.
All -- All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin.
And, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words "Ich bin ein Berliner."
JFK, RFK, Scoop Jackson and Harry Truman would be to the right of most in the GOP today, Hubert Humphrey would be considered a fairly conservative Republican. Even FDR would be considered too much of a "hawk" by modern 'Rats.
What JFK meant: "I am a Berliner."
What his German-speaking audience heard: "I am a jelly doughnut."
Yeah, I've heard that over the years, but Babblefish translates 'ich bin ein Berliner' to "I am Berlin."
T thought that in Berlin, it was taken to mean "I am a jelly donut!"
So, you insist that you are a jelly donut? Tell me about your childhood......
Well, let's see...I've been to Berlin, New Hampshire (pronounced BER' lin) and Berlin, VT but I don't think I've been a jelly doughnut there.
I took 2 years of German in high school. My German teacher told us about this. President Kennedy should have said "Ich bin berliner" (no ein).
Puzzled, I needed Websters for a foggy explanation, I was thirteen.
Google translates it to "I am a citizen of Berlin."
Google translates "I am a jelly doughnut." to "Ich bin ein Geleekrapfen."
They must not like jelly doughnuts.
LOL. I didn't think anyone had even invented "premature ejaculation" that far back.
I wonder what your grandfather would have said about the Bent One. All hard drive and no memory.
BTW, my father always called JFK "Meathead", long before Norman Lear ever invented Michael Stivik.
I believe you and I are the same age.
Those who understand German that were listening to the speech understood what he meant.
But it is still fun to make fun of him for it.
That comes back as "I am Berlin".
I noticed that you live in The Partially Enslaved State of NH, I also have noticed that you have no FReeper stuff going on, need help? You have a lot of commies infiltrating your midst, want to do a FReep?
A "Berliner" is not actually a jelly or cream "filled" donut, but rather a pastry with a glazed fruit topping (and quite delicious). (If I could ever master posting pics on here, I'd post one)
When I was stationed in Berlin the Germans would say "Ich bin ein Berliner" to be 'cool'... They loved Reagan over there too (except for the hippies who hid out from the draft in West Berlin [draft exempt city]). When Reagan passed there was some movement to name a square after him - I don't know what the status of that is...
" The Partially Enslaved State of NH"
LOL! Which part is the enslaved part? ;)
Plastow, Durham, Portsmouth, Keene, Plymouth, Rochester, Exeter, Sommersworth, Durham, Concord, Berlin, Littleton, Laconia, Manchester..............And Others.
It was incorrect but I bet no German thought he meant jelly doughnut.
It is like saying I am a American vs. I am American. You would not say I am a American.
If a German said I am a American how many Americans would think that they German meant anything other than they meant to say I am an American or I am American.
Point #B on this is ( I know some of you liked him (But Monkey) but..) would any of you accept GWB or WJC(Clinton) saying I am a German or Parisian or Roman or Bagdadi? I would think it would be a bit treasonous to claim you are anything but American...EVER!
But most people just play it off as him mispeaking.
Back in the early 60's, my German professor, Frau Doctor Schreiner, said that the "ein Berliner" should been just "Berliner". "Ein Berliner" is a jelly filled donut.