JFK Brandenburg


Clinton Gate

In the doublethink Orwellian world we're rapidly descending into, our enemies are our friends and our friends are our enemies - just like in 1984. It seems, however, that we're NEVER at hot war with the Communists - just cold war. When it comes to HOT war, we're always on their side, or they're on ours. And even when we're enemies - as we were after WWII in which we were friends - it's politically incorrect to speak out against them, and people who do often meet early deaths. Look at what happened to Joseph McCarthy, who was belittled and besmirched and hounded to death - even though what he said about Communists infiltrating the State Department was true, and those he accused were found guilty.

Or look at JFK, who spoke out against Communism in speeches prior to and during his 1002 days as President of the most powerful nation of the Free World. His most emotional speech EVER against Communism took place in Germany just five months before he was gunned down in Dallas. It must have rankled the Communists to hear him denounce their East German regime as a system that "had to put a wall up" to keep its people in.

So today [Oct 2002], while an ex-President of the United States (Clinton) is at the Brandenburg Gate pulling down another zipper (to unveil a facelift), I'm remembering one of USA's GREATEST presidents, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and comparing his words and his actions to the presidents who've followed him:

ON Wednesday, June 26, 1963, JFK culminated his trip to Germany with an eight hour visit to Berlin. TV cameras relayed every movement and every word to 20,000,000 Germans. They witnessesd him gaze in silence over The Wall at the Brandenburg Gate, where the Communists had hung great banners between the pillars to block his view.

But before readers go to a description of that visit, and to JFK's famous Ich Bin Ein Berliner speech, they're invited to read the following short history of the Brandenberg Gate:

The Brandenburg Gate is situated in Berlin and has become a worldwide symbol of freedom against tyranny. The Gate is 65-ft high, 213-ft wide and 36-ft thick It was conceived in 1788 as "The Gate of Peace" and construction was completed in 1791. It became the entry way to Berlin, which at that time was the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1794 the "Quadriga" - a chariot with four horses pulling Eirene, the goddess of peace - was built on the roof of the Gate. In 1806 Napoleon and his troops marched into Berlin and transported the Quadriga to Paris where it was shown in the Louvre as a sign of victory. After the wars of liberation fought from 1813 to 1814 against Napoleon and French rule in central Europe, Prussia took the Quadriga back to Berlin and the peace goddess became the victory goddess. She received the laurel wreath, the Prussian eagle and the iron cross as a sign of victory. While Hitler was in power, the Gate became a symbol for Germany, and the street under it his favourite parade avenue.

After WWII - in which the so-called "free world" sided with the Communists against Germany - the four allies (Soviet Union, United States, Britain and France) divided pre-war Germany into four sections. Berlin, being the capital, was ALSO divided into four, even though it was situated in the quarter given to the Soviet Union. The three democratic sections combined under the name Federal Republic of Germany and the lone Communist section became the German unDemocratic Republic (GDR).

This was a sad state of affairs for the German people who had in large part been driven to war by the desire to oust the Communists from their midst, and to one day expand eastward to take over the Soviet Union. Instead, here they were, being handed to their enemies as part of the spoils of war. The only solution for Germans trapped behind this new boundary (GDR) was escape to the west. This caused problems for the Communist government which was embarassed by the stark contrast between life in West and East Berlin. The former thrived, the latter deteriorated into destitution.

After futile attempts to persuade the allies to hand West Berlin over to the GDR - and just six months after JFK became president in the USA - Kruschev ordered a wall to be built from one end of Berlin to the other - thus preventing East Germans from living and working in West Berlin, and escaping elsewhere into the Federal Republic.

On the night of the 13th of August, 1961 the Brandenburg Gate was closed off by armed forces of the Communist army with armored cars and the construction of the Berlin Wall began. The government of the GDR removed the iron cross and the Prussian eagle from the Quadriga, and the Gate became a symbol of the divisions between East and West, between Communisim and Freedom.

As the border fortifications were being built, many people from the GDR attempted one last time to flee to the West before the "iron curtain" came down for good. Moving episodes took place where parents threw their young children out of windows on the eastern side into the life nets of the fire brigades standing ready on the western side.

To the west, a wall of concrete slabs was erected and capped by a wide cylindrical pipe to prevent an easy grip. Behind it lay a strip of land approximately fifty meters wide studded with barricades, detectors, watch towers, and guard dogs on long leads. This part of the frontier barriers soon became known as the "death strip" because the East German border guards used their weapons to thwart attempts at escape. To the east, too, the border was sealed by a wall.

The erection of the border severed all contact between the two halves of the city. Neither friends nor acquaintances, not even close relatives, were allowed to visit each other. The border snaked its devastating way through the city, respecting neither buildings nor long-established neighborhood communities. Eventually, only an aerial view made it possible to see what had once belonged together. ~ Jackie Jura

JFK FASCINATES BERLINERS (cherished as charismatic leader who stood up to Soviet Union). Reuters, Jun 25, 2004

Berlin resurrecting Lenin (nostalgia for communism). Independent, May 26, 2003

Baghdad bombing brings back Berlin's WW2 nightmares. Yahoo!Reuters, Mar 22, 2003. Go to 13.Weapons

STORY OF BERLIN (link http://www.scrapbookpages.com/EasternGermany/Berlin/index.html)

QUADRIGA PEACE STATUE (towers above Picadilly Circus). London Independent, Nov 4, 2002

New Brandenburg Gate unzipped (now a symbol of unity). SanFran Gate, Oct 3, 2002
One million people gathered for the unveiling of the restored Brandenburg Gate... former President Clinton watched as the designer pulled a huge zipper to loosen the covering from the gate, revealing the gleaming sandstone structure for the first time in two years

JFK's VISIT & "ICH BIN EIN BERLINER" SPEECH on June 26, 1963 (five months before he was assassinated)

JFK RADIO/TV REPORT TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ON THE BERLIN CRISIS (given on July 25, 1961, one month before the Communists put up the Berlin Wall)
link - http://www.cs.umb.edu/jfklibrary/jfk_berlin_crisis_speech.html- no longer works




Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

email: orwelltoday@gmail.com
website: www.orwelltoday.com