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Berlin Excited for Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy's Arrival

Feb. 21, 1962 - Even before his arrival tomorrow, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy has both halves of the divided, troubled city of Berlin excited. The Kennedy visit and the space flight of Lieut. Col. John Glenn Jr. are giving West Berliners the kind of boost they have long been wanting. The talk in West Berlin was all about the President’s brother, described in newspapers there today as “America’s No. 2,” and about the United States resurgence in the space race. Besides Washington, possibly no place in the world is as susceptible to the ups and downs of American prestige as West Berlin. It was definitely up today, and so were West Berliners. The rise in spirits seemed to cause a corresponding drop across the Wall. Sour groups abounded in brief East German reports and comments on Col. Glenn’s flight. Neues Deutschland, the Communist party’s main paper, played up the control difficulties experienced by the astronaut. A.D.N., the Communist press agency, quoted Dr. Heinz Mielke, president of the East German Astronautical Society, as having said the decision for a third orbit was a “hardly justifiable scientific risk.” “The precision and perfection with which the Soviet space flights were carried out is so far unequaled,” he said. The East German press also made sharp attacks on the Attorney General. A.D.N. distributed a commentary describing Mr. Kennedy as a “reckless, brutal, cynical, neo-fascist type.” The purpose of his visit, A.D.N. said, is “to encourage fascists” and “to inspect and cheer up” the American espionage agents.

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