The Illinois senator addressed an enthusiastic crowd of some 250,000 that stretched for a mile to the storied Brandenburg Gate.
Instead, he addressed at least 250,000 – most of whom were under 40 and who waited hours to hear the young Democrat from Illinois tell them he came as "a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world."
Senator Obama's main themes were about countries and cultures coming together, and drew on the strong historic ties between the US and Germany. It was partly a paean to the city of Berlin where the cold war wall came down, partly a warning that the "greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another," and partly a call to Europe to do more to end the war in Afghanistan.
His 30-minute speech got immediate laughs as Obama, whom some Germans have hailed as this generation's John F. Kennedy, started off by saying, "I know that I don't look like the Americans who've previously spoken in this great city."