Analysis

In this part of the study guide, we will briefly summarize the main points of our analysis of John F. Kennedy’s "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech.

The main topic of John F. Kennedy’s speech is a demonstration of support on behalf of the United States for West Germany, after the construction of the Berlin Wall by the Soviet-supported East Germany. He also argues against the Communist system, which he considers a barrier for freedom.

Kennedy is a political speaker, and his speech is delivered at a crucial moment during the Cold War. His language mirrors the position of the US during the Cold War and has a distinct style, characterized by the use of repetition and iconic phrases that have a positive effect on the audience and that have since been quoted in popular culture.

The audience of Kennedy’s speech was represented by 450,000 people, who witnessed his speech in front of Rathaus Schoneberg, the city hall in West Berlin. As the speech was filmed and televised, it also reached millions of people in the US and across the world.

The circumstances that surround Kennedy’s speech specifically involve the construction of the Berlin Wall during the Cold War. Due to these circumstances, Kennedy’s intention with the speech is to emphasize the US’s support for West Berlin, as well as to condemn Communism.

You can find the full analysis of the speech on the following pages of the study guide.