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Mr Obama receives astonishing JFK-style welcome in Berlin

July 24, 2008
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He doesn't actually occupy the Oval Office, but to the estimated 100,000 flag-waving Germans who gathered in Berlin to see Barack Obama speak this hardly seemed to matter.

The charismatic Illinois senator and presidential candidate was given a rapturous welcome which drew comparisons with the ecstatic scenes when John F Kennedy gave his famous 1963 "Ich bin ein Berliner address.

Even before the American politician touched down, local newspapers were hailing him as 'Berlin's New Kennedy'. And as Mr Obama strode out to greet the crowds at the Victory Column in the Tiergarten park admirers took up the cry: "Obama Today".

Presenting his credentials as a unifying figure, the 46-year-old began by declaring: "Tonight I speak to you not as a candidate for president of the United States, but as a proud citizen of the United States and a proud citizen of the world".

On Friday the Democratic candidate travels on to France for talks with Nicolas Sarkozy before stopping in London to meet Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Conservative leader David Cameron and Tony Blair.

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Photo: ©
The Democratic candidate for the White House acknowledges throngs of admirers during an address just metres from the Brandenburg Gate where the late American leader delivered his famous speech in 1963. His enthusiastic reception marked the first stop of the European leg of his world tour Photo: © Rex
Photo: ©
Before he arrived in the city, the German press were describing the Illinois senator as a 'Black JFK' Photo: © Getty Images

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