“Ich bin ein Berliner.” With these words, John F. Kennedy made history. Addressing a crowd of several hundred thousand in West Berlin, two years after the erection of the Berlin Wall, the young and charismatic president conveyed solidarity and support for West Germany on behalf of the United States, marking the height of good relations between the two countries and a decisive moment in Cold War history as well.
The local media were poised to record this momentous event. Among the photographers and reporters covering the Kennedy visit was twenty-eight-year-old Ulrich Mack, whose never-before-published photographs feature the president in a variety of settings: a triumphal ticker-tape procession down the main street of West Berlin with West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Willy Brandt, mayor of Berlin; a visit to the notorious Checkpoint Charlie where Kennedy stands atop the observation deck; a crowd of cheering West Berliners encircling the president following his impassioned speech. Mack’s photographs are technically superb but, more important, they are guided by an instinctive feel for capturing great momentsincluding those on the sidelines that, in their candor, often surpass the staged appearances. For the modern-day viewer, many of the photos are also remarkable for having been taken at very close range.
Published on the fiftieth anniversary of this historic occasion, Kennedy in Berlin reproduces more than one hundred of Mack’s photos taken throughout the state visit in June 1963selected by the photographer himself and editor Hans-Michael Koetzle, offering a look at this important event.
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About the Author
Hans-Michael Koetzle is a Munich-based writer, curator, and photo historian. Ulrich Mack is an award-winning German photographer. He has served as professor of visual arts at the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Germany, and was an artist-in-residence at the Boston University College of Fine Arts.
Table of Contents
“Got to Germany, go to Berlin!”: John F. Kennedy in Germany
Cologne: Sunday, June 23, 1963
Bonn: Sunday, June 23, 1963
Bonn: Monday, June 24, 1963
Hanau: Tuesday, June 25, 1963
Frankfurt and Wiesbaden: Tuesday, June 25 1963
Berlin: Wednesday, June 26, 1963
“The Guest Who Makes the Germans Ecstatic”: On the Kennedy Coverage by the Photographer Ulrich Mack
The First Summer Fairy Tale: How with John F. Kennedy, what belonged together came together
Jasper von Altenbockum
Ulrich Mack Biographical Chronology
Selected Exhibitions and Publications
About the Authors