John F. Kennedy photo

Remarks at Tegel Airport, Berlin, Upon Leaving for Ireland.

June 26, 1963

Mr. Chancellor:

I want to express my very warm thanks to you and members of your Government for your hospitality, your invitation, the care you have taken to make our visit useful and productive; to express our thanks to the Mayor, the city government, West Berlin, for the warmth of their welcome today.

I said yesterday that I was going to leave a note for my successor which would say, "To be opened at a time of some discouragement," and in it would be written three words: "Go to Germany." I may open that note myself some day.

I know the American people naturally wonder on occasions whether all that they have done since the end of 1945, all the responsibilities and burdens that they have accepted, whether any of this effort is recognized and appreciated. If they had any doubts, certainly it would seem to me that the warmth of the welcome of the last 3 days which was extended through me to the American people should have ended them. And for that reason, if for no other, I am happy I came and I express my thanks to you, Chancellor, and to all the German people for the hand they held out to us.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 5:30 p.m. following farewell remarks by Chancellor Adenauer.

John F. Kennedy, Remarks at Tegel Airport, Berlin, Upon Leaving for Ireland. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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