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John F. Kennedy at Freie Universität

"The Free University must be interested in turning out citizens of the world"

1963 during the Cold War the President of the United States gave a programmatic speech in Dahlem

It is 3:20 p.m. on June 26. A crowd of nearly 20,000 gathers on the campus of Freie Universität, in Berlin’s Dahlem district. They have come to hear the man who is driving up to the Henry Ford Building right now, in a Lincoln Continental convertible with Washington license plates.

And they won’t be disappointed: A few minutes later the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, starts his highly acclaimed speech at Freie Universität Berlin.

50th Anniversary Program: With several lectures, an official ceremony, and a symposium Freie Universität was drawing attention to the significance of the American President's visit in Berlin as well as to the speech he gave at the university in Dahlem.

John F. Kennedy Visits Dahlem


A Triumphal Visit to the Free University

All lthe tickets were gone within a very short time, and hours before the President's speech, the atmosphere in Dahlem was euphoric. This was the 26th of June, 1963, in Dahlem.

Pictures and Documents


50th Anniversary of Kennedy's Visit

Everything from the grandstand seating plan to thus far unpublished photographs and an audio file of President Kennedy's speech: here you will find a variety of documents related to President Kennedy's visit to Freie Universität Berlin.

Institute and Graduate School

Die Bibliothek des John-F.-Kennedy-Insituts

Research and Teaching about North America

When J.F. Kennedy traveled to Berlin, he brought a special gift with him: 2,500 slides and a book about American art. Both are still treasures of the library. After his assassination in Dallas, the institute was renamed in his honor: John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies (JFKI).