The life and character of Berliners have been defined by a struggle for freedom. In 1963, President Kennedy declared that all free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. But centuries earlier, the rulers of the city offered freedom to the oppressed. Jews moved to the city from Vienna and eastern Europe, and were instrumental in creating the city as it now exists. During the Nazi years, however, Berlin's Jews were driven underground, many unable to leave the city they loved. When the Russians arrived at the end of the Second World War, Berlin's women found themselves at the mercy of rapists rather than liberators. Citizens became pawns in a global game through the Berlin blockade, and when the Berlin Wall was built, both East and West held themselves up as beacons of freedom. But only when it fell did Berliners attain the freedom that their early rulers had promised them.
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