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Schöneberg Town Hall

  • Rathaus Schöneberg
  • Rathaus Schöneberg
  • John F. Kennedy vor dem Rathaus Schöneberg

    John F. Kennedy in front of Schöneberg Town Hall.

"Ich bin ein Berliner" - these legendary words were spoken by John F. Kennedy in front of Schöneberg Town Hall. During the division of Germany, the town hall was regarded as a worldwide symbol of the divided city's desire for freedom.

When Berlin was divided, Schöneberg Town Hall was the seat of West Berlin's government,s the official residence of the Governing Mayor and the Allied liaison officers as well as the meeting place of the House of Representatives. The building was regarded as a worldwide symbol of the divided city's desire for freedom. It was the political centre of West Berlin under mayors such as Ernst Reuter and Willy Brandt until reunification, when the Senate and the House of Representatives moved to the Red Town Hall in the Mitte district.

John F. Kennedy's Legendary Speech at Schöneberg Town Hall

The square in front of the town hall became a place for rallies and meetings, especially in the 1950s and 1960s. It was also the place where the former U.S. President John. F. Kennedy held his legendary speech in 1963 during which he stated: "Ich bin ein Berliner." In addition to annual rallies on May 1, the protest rally against the Persian Shah on June 2, 1967 also took place in front of Schöneberg Town Hall. The last large gathering of Berliners with around 20,000 people took place here on November 10, 1989 - the day after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Berlin's Own Liberty Bell

A characteristic feature of the free-standing, four-storey building is its 70-meter tower, which houses the Liberty Bell, modelled after the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and erected in 1950. It was built on the initiative of the former U.S. military governor in Germany, Lucius D. Clay, and had previously travelled through 26 states of the USA. Around 16 million Americans had donated for the casting of the bell and signing the Liberty Oath, which is still located in the town hall's tower today.


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Last edited: 7 February 2024