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RFK Cheered by Huge Crowds in West Berlin

June 26, 1964 - Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy evoked today the image and the words of his brother in a return visit to West Berlin on the anniversary of President Kennedy’s triumphal reception.

A crowd of 70,000 saw Mr. Kennedy unveil a bronze memorial plaque on the facade of the West Berlin City Hall and heard him reaffirm the United States’ pledge to defend the freedom of West Berlin.

Throngs estimated at 300,000 lined the streets to applaud the Attorney General as he made his way through the city, visiting a school, a factor, and a U.S. military housing development. The holiday atmosphere was reminiscent of the joyous greeting accorded President Kennedy last year.

The Attorney General, accompanied by his wife and three of his children, retraced much of the route that President Kennedy followed on June 26, 1963 — the day he won Berliners’ hearts by saying: “I am a Berliner.”

The Attorney General recalled those words as he spoke from the same position in the city hall square, now renamed John F. Kennedy Square.

“I know what he meant when he surveyed the wall of shame and measured it against your courage and said, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner,’” Mr. Kennedy said.

“Surrounded by hostility, besieged by enemies, your future threatened, your freedom in jeopardy, you have emerged from each of these assaults stronger, greater, and more resolute,” he said. “For this, President Kennedy congratulated you, and on behalf of free men everywhere he thanked you.

“For him, for what you do today in his memory, a strong, courageous, and free people, I thank you.”

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