Section of the Berlin Wall

Section of Berlin Wall

Medium: concrete, quartz, granite, metal, pigment

Dimensions: 12 ft. height x  4 ft. width  x 7 in. deep

Tall, rectangular section of the Berlin wall covered with brightly colored graffiti, designated Segment #41.

The fall of the Berlin Wall:

On June 26, 1963, President Kennedy stood before a huge, cheering crowd gathered in the plaza of the West Berlin City Hall and said, “Ich bin ein Berliner… I am a Berliner.” In that way he confirmed his country’s commitment to the freedom of Berlin. The crowd responded with a roar that reached far beyond the massive wall that divided East and West Berlin.

The Soviet and East German governments had erected the wall only two years before to shut off the flow of East Germans fleeing to the freedom of the west. It was a visible manifestation of Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. 

The wall was also an ominous reminder of the Cold War that divided the world. When he spoke in Berlin, Kennedy called it “the most obvious and vivid demonstration of the failures of the communist system… we take no satisfaction in it, for it is an offense not only against history but an offense against humanity, separating families, dividing husbands and wives and brothers and sisters and dividing a people who wish to be joined together.”

The Berlin Wall stood for 28 years. But in 1989 the peoples of Eastern Europe took matters into their own hands and in an astonishing bloodless revolution brought Soviet domination to an end. As part of those uprisings, citizens of Berlin tore down the Wall, piece by piece.

Through the efforts of Jean Kennedy Smith, the President’s sister, the German government donated this section of the Berlin Wall to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum