Richard Nixon photo

Remarks on Departure From West Berlin

February 27, 1969

Mr. Chancellor:

I am deeply grateful for the eloquent words that you have expressed as I leave your country and .leave this city which is such a vitally important part of your country.

This brief visit that I have made to your country has been valuable in several respects. First, because it allowed me, as the new President of the United States, to develop a basis for very close consultation and cooperation with the members of your government. Cooperation between the German and American Governments is vital and essential if we are to defend the freedom which we both cherish and if we are to achieve the peace which we both seek.

I know now that we have established in this brief visit the basis for that consultation and cooperation which will be so valuable and constructive in seeking our common purposes in the years ahead. This visit also will be memorable to me because it provided my first opportunity to speak before a legislative body at the highest level, and I am proud to have been received as the first foreign visitor to appear before the Bundestag. Also, I am proud that my first appearance was before your Parliament.

Mr. Chancellor, you and I, as political leaders, know that it is essential that the leaders at the top, with executive power, and the legislators who work with them must have an understanding and communication if two nations and two peoples are to work together.

But even more important than Presidents and Chancellors getting along together, and Members of Parliaments and Members of Congress understanding each other, is that the people of two nations share a common spirit and have a common understanding.

Yesterday in Bonn and today in Berlin I saw the German people by the thousands, and I felt, as I saw them, as I heard them, that I was at home among my own people.

We are different people with different languages and different backgrounds, but in a sense we are one people--one people in our dedication to peace and in our dedication to freedom.

Because we are one people in that spirit, we, as leaders of the people, will be able to achieve our goal of a new world in which peoples in nations, in continents, and in the world may live together in peace and in friendship.

Note: The President spoke at 2:05 p.m. at Tegel Airport, West Berlin. The Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany was Kurt Georg Kiesinger. An advance text of the President's remarks is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 5, P. 342).

Richard Nixon, Remarks on Departure From West Berlin Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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