What powerful people were enemies of JFK
Contemporary witnesses remember
Besides being one of the most popular presidents of the United States, "JFK" was the only president in the world who shook my hand. And this is how it happened:
On June 26, 1963, Kennedy completed his legendary visit to Berlin for just under a day during his stay in Germany (after two years before, shortly after the Wall was built in 1961, “only” his Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson had come to Berlin). The whole of Halbstadt was excited about the announced visit, mostly myself, because I, too, belonged and still belong to the large, worldwide fan community who loved and loves this new, almost paternal-friendly being like a new savior - despite everything that has been tried since then against him, his family or his politics.
Since all schools in Berlin had no school, I was able to choose a time and place in the morning where I could see him from as close as possible. My choice fell on the Tegeler Seidelstrasse, where the vehicle convoy with the President and his companions (shortly after leaving Tegel Airport, where the Presidential plane "Air Force One" would land and take off again in the early evening) after the announcement in the newspapers should turn. I started from the idea that the more cheering Berliners would line the edges of the streets the closer the convoy got to the city center.
But my calculations didn't quite work out, as I did when I tried to get a favorable position on the side of the road. Obviously, I wasn't the only one who wanted to be so clever: already on Seidelstrasse, just behind the corner of the access road that led to the airport, hundreds were waiting on both sides of the street. However, there were hardly any policemen here to hold back any pushers, and certainly not barriers of any kind, as we are used to today at such events - Kennedy was one of the most popular politicians of that time, and nobody in the world, especially not in Berlin , had an inkling of what was going to happen in Dallas / Texas just a few months later ...
In order to find the best position, I ran quickly down Seidelstrasse in the direction of Scharnweberstrasse in anticipation of the nearby car convoy, and changed the side of the road several times, undecided, but without finding a place that seemed advantageous enough to me - when suddenly a rapidly rising cheering noise approached the Announced the column. I was just about to quickly change the side of the street again when a police officer in the immediate vicinity called me back harshly: “Stop! Stop there! Clear the lane immediately! ”Hesitantly and dissatisfied, I paused and looked around. Then came the first radio car with blue lights and soon afterwards the cordon of honor of the “White Mice”, which, in the shape of a wedge, cleared the way for the presidential vehicle. But the curious, cheering crowd on both sides of the street was rapidly moving closer and closer to the center of the street, and the path for the convoy of vehicles became narrower and narrower. The open car in which Kennedy was standing to greet his "fans" had almost come to a standstill, and the officers accompanying him on foot and on motorcycles tried their best to clear the way again. They just seemed to succeed, the motorcycle escort had already passed when JFK slowly drove past me only two or three meters away.
“Now or never”, my inspiration commanded me, “or you have won this favorable position for free once and for all!”
With the president firmly in view, I burst out of the front line to the right of the heavy vehicle, which was only slowly picking up speed, and stormed towards my destination, which was suddenly within my grasp. Then a strong hand from the security guard, who was standing on the right-hand side of the rear bumper of the presidential car, grabbed me and almost tore my shirt off my body. Like a machine gun volley, three, four, five of my shirt buttons jumped into the air in front of me. Apparently either I or the security guard had called out loudly, or some other circumstance caused Kennedy to finally turn to me and see me. Despite the resistance of the officer on the running board, I held out a hand to Kennedy - and finally the President of the United States of America took my right hand, a soft, almost feminine handshake, while I looked deep into his eyes and moved to tears ...
We let go of each other because the vehicle was moving faster again, and I backed away to the side, my shirt pulled out of my pants and probably a bright red head, while JFK - leaning forward and holding on to the back of the front seat - stepped away from me to wave to the next jubilarians ...
On the afternoon of the same day, when he gave his speech on the balcony of the Schöneberg town hall with the world-famous closing sentence “And therefore I take pride with the words: I am a Berliner”, I was naturally in the midst of the quarter of a million enthusiastic listeners, far, far away from him so that I could hardly see him properly. But that didn't bother me anymore, because hours before I had been closer to him than hardly any of the bystanders! At the end of his speech, I applauded with pride and admiration until my palms began to glow. I would never be able to forget this June 26th in my life ...
A situation that I did not know then (but I know today), that and to what extent it - only apparently completely independent of John F. Kennedy and his further fate - would more or less violently influence my later life, almost happened at the same time:
Among the young and ambitious officers of the honorary formation of the Berlin police, who had lined up at the Tegel airfield in Wichs und Tschako to receive the US President, there were two who - ten months later at the latest, when I opened my locker in room 14 1st floor of the 14th readiness of the III. Department of the riot police seized - members of this readiness were: Police Commissioner Klaus Magiera (already retired today) and the police sergeant major Wolfgang Seipold, who is about the same age. On April 1st, 1964 I took up the same job as her, and the first of the two became my platoon leader and the second my group leader, and I was not even remotely known to either of them. It was only later, during more or less private conversations with Mr Seipold, that we came across this honorary formation as if by chance - and since then I have been believing almost fatalistically in the existence of “Kommissar Zufall”.
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