During the speech in Dahlem, I sat on the steel structure we had built for the event, not far away from Kennedy and the professors.
Afterwards, some colleagues and I were curious, so we followed Kennedy into the Henry Ford Building. When we saw him, he had just collapsed. He was lying on a bench, probably in a lot of pain. The president had back problems, you know. At the time, the journalists didn’t catch so much as a hint of it. The university staff members who were there also looked like they didn’t know what to do.”
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About the Witness
Peter Arndt, 72, worked at Freie Universität until 2006. He had started working on campus as a pipe fitter not six months before Kennedy’s visit. He helped to build the imposing stage structure in front of the Henry Ford Building where the U.S. President gave his speech.