The building is quite good to look at, completed in 1914. You can still see the scars of many bullet holes. The Americans donated a bell, nicknamed the “freedom bell”, in 1950, which I understand was rang every day while the Berlin wall existed, which is just short of 30 years. When the wall went up, the West-Berliners were really concerned about whether they would be deserted, as they were essentially cut off from the rest of West Germany. They were in effect living in an exclave of capitalist life, surrounded by Communists who clearly didn’t want them to be there.
JFK’s visit was understandably, of extreme importance! So, when he addressed the crowds and declared “Ich bin ein Berliner”, he was hoping to reassure them of the continued support of the US. Around 450,000 people attended the event.
Very moving to see the building, the plaque on the wall, and the FRESH rose expressing gratitude!
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