|Thank you to the citizens of
Berlin and to the people of Germany. Let me thank Chancellor Merkel
and Foreign Minister Steinmeier for welcoming me earlier today.
Thank you Mayor Wowereit, the Berlin Senate, the police, and most of
all thank you for this welcome and Theodor Heuss for
building this bridge, which gives us shelter from the rain.
I come to Berlin as so many of my countrymen have come
before. Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for President,
but as a citizen - a proud citizen of the United States, and a
fellow citizen of the world. And let me also reach out to the people
in the forgotten corners of this universe, the people living on
Mars, Jupiter and Venus.
I know that I don't look like the Americans who've previously
spoken in this great city. Nein, ick bin kein Berliner. The journey
that led me here is improbable. My mother was born in the heartland
of America, but my father grew up herding goats in Kenya. His father
- my grandfather - was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.
And his father - my great grandfather - was even older than him.
At the height of the Cold War, my father decided, that his
yearning - his dream - required the freedom and opportunity promised
by the West. And so he wrote letter after letter to universities all
across America until somebody, somewhere answered his prayer for a
better life. Nobody had told him however that in the United States
of America it was forbidden to drink alcohol in public, that there
was no public transportation and that everybody called McDonald's a
Well anyway. That is why I'm here. And you are here because
you too know that yearning. This city, of all cities, knows the
dream of freedom. And you know that the only reason we stand here
tonight is because men and women from both of our nations came
together to work, and struggle, and sacrifice for that better life.
And some of you may be here, because the beer is really cheap and
you can drink it in public.
Here in Berlin, where a wall came down and a continent came
together, history proved that there is no challenge too great for a
world that stands as one. On the other hand, as we speak, cars in
Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the
Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and the erste FC
Nürnberg has to play soccer in a league which is called Zweite
No one nation, no matter how large or powerful, can defeat
such challenges alone. None of us can deny these threats, or escape
responsibility in meeting them. So I ask you, will we give meaning
to the words "zweite Liga, nie mehr, nie mehr, nie mehr" for the
Club Fan in the heart of Southern Germany?
People of Berlin - people of the world - this is our moment.
This is our time. And it is also time to introduce to you Oskar, a
dog that already helped my father herd goats in Kenya. He has
prepared a little poem, which is really nice and his yearning is, to
present it to you, the citizens of Berlin. Please welcome my dog
So, wau, hallo. Ja, mein Herrchen war ja so nett und hat mich
schon angekündigt. Ich bin also sein Hund Oskar. Und ich habe
den Vorteil, dass ich deutsch spreche. Für heute Abend habe ich
in der Tat ein kleines Gedicht vorbereitet, das ich Ihnen, den
Bürgern von Berlin gerne vortragen möchte. Es heißt: