Modern European History And Politics

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Modern European History and Politics: Short Essay

On the 26th of June 1963, the 35th President of the United States John F. Kennedy delivered to a massive crowd one of his most memorable speeches in Berlin, Germany. Standing in front of the infamous Berlin Wall President Kennedy’s speech ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ contrasted democracy and freedom (West Germany) with the repression of communist (East Germany), it left a big impression on Germany during the Cold War.

After World War Two Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich was divided into the German east; communist and Germany west; democratic. President Kennedy’s speech addressed Germany’s separation of the east and the west. Eastern Germany had the support of the Soviet Union President Kennedy and the United States of America decided to support Western Germany.

President Kennedy’s support of West Germany became public after the Vienna summit of President Kennedy’s meeting with the Russian politician Nikita Khrushchev who at the time served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. After the Bay of Pigs Khrushchev thought President Kennedy was young, naïve and inexperienced and thought he would be easily manipulated, Khrushchev threatened to sign a separate peace treaty with East Germany which would have given the Soviet Union control over Berlin’s access and the position of the NATO (Northern Atlantic Treaty Organisation) forces in the city indefensible (Cross, p.130 1992)

President Kennedy and Khrushchev
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