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West Berlin Mayor Wants "Words Not Action" from Kennedy

Aug. 16, 1961 - Mayor Willy Brandt (pictured) told President Kennedy in a letter today that West Berlin expected "not merely words but political action" against the Communists' closing of the city's border with East Berlin. Mayor Brandt warned that the existence of the entire non-Communist alliance was at stake in the Berlin crisis. Mayor Brandt compared the sealing off of East Berlin and East Germany to Hitler's occupation of the Rhineland in 1936. "The question at issue," he said, "is that Berlin should not become a new Munich." The allusion was to the 1938 meeting in Munich where an agreement that led to Czechoslovakia's occupation by the Nazis was reached between Hitler, Mussolini, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain of Britain and Premier Eduard Daladier of France.


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