The Berlin Wall

By: Brenna Keeling

In June, 1961, President Kennedy went to a peace summit Vienna, Austria in order to build trust with the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev. This was unsuccessful and ended in a threat to the Allied forces, which forced Kennedy to make this statement to the American people.

"So long as the communists insist that they are preparing to end by themselves unilaterally our rights in West Berlin and our commitments to its people, we must be prepared to defend those rights and those commitments. We will at times be ready to talk, if talk will help. But we must also be ready to resist with force, if force is used upon us. Either alone would fail. Together, they can serve the cause of freedom and peace."

The Iron Curtain

Even though Berlin was already split in half between Communism and Democracy, the people that lived there had been free to move from one side to the other as they pleased. That all changed after the peace summit, when the people of Berlin woke to the sound of construction in the middle of the city. A wall of barbed wire was erected and over 260 people were killed attempting to cross this new border.

In 1963 President Kennedy made a visit to Berlin and gave one of his most memorable speeches called "Let The Come To Berlin." There had never been such an enthusiastic greeting to an American politician in Germany before, and shortly after his speech they named the square that he gave it in "John F. Kennedy Platz"