Personal Military Photos and Memories (2 Viewers)

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That actually is a very funny and popular myth, but myth none the less. JFK actually said it grammatically correct.

While you are correct that a Berliner is a jelly filled doughnut, it also means someone from Berlin. JFK did not actually say it wrong, it just has a double meaning.

"Ich bin ein Berliner" is grammatically correct for "I am a person from Berlin", i.e. "I am from Berlin."

For example, I am from Stuttgart, born and raised. I would say "Ich bin ein Stuttgarter."

Had he said "Ich bin Berliner," it would not have been grammatically correct.

Additionally, people in Berlin do not call the jelly donuts Berliners.

You can read more about here:

There is a widespread false belief that Kennedy made an embarrassing mistake by saying Ich bin einBerliner. By including the indefinite article "ein," he supposedly changed the meaning of the sentence from the intended "I am a citizen of Berlin" to "I am a Berliner" (a Berliner being a type of German pastry, similar to a jelly doughnut), amusing Germans throughout the city. However, this is incorrect from both a grammatical perspective and a historical perspective.

While the phrase "Ich bin ein Berliner" can be understood as having a double meaning, it is neither wrong to use it the way Kennedy did nor was it embarrassing. According to some grammar texts, the indefinite article can be omitted in German when speaking of an individual's profession or origin but is in any case used when speaking in a figurative sense.Furthermore, although the word "Berliner" has traditionally been used for a jelly doughnut in the north, west, and southwest of Germany, it has never been used in Berlin itself or the surrounding region, where the usual word is "Pfannkuchen" (literally "pancake"). Therefore, no Berliner would mistake Berliner for a doughnut.

A further part of the misconception is that the audience to his speech laughed at his supposed error. They actually cheered and applauded both times the phrase was used. They laughed and cheered a few seconds after the first use of the phrase when Kennedy joked with the interpreter: "I appreciate my interpreter translating my German."

The misconception appears to have originated in Len Deighton's 1983 spy novel Berlin Game, which contains the following passage, spoken by Bernard Samson:


In Deighton's novel, Samson is an unreliable narrator, and his words cannot be taken at face value. However, The New York Times' review of Deighton's novel appeared to treat Samson's remark as factual and added the detail that Kennedy's audience found his remark funny:


Four years later, it found its way into a New York Times op-ed:


The doughnut misconception has since been repeated by media such as the BBC (by Alistair Cooke in his Letter from America program), The Guardian, MSNBC, CNN, Time magazine, and The New York Times mentioned in several books about Germany written by English-speaking authors, including Norman Davies and Kenneth C. Davis; and used in the manual for the Speech Synthesis Markup Language. It is also mentioned in Robert Dallek's 2003 biography of Kennedy, An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963.

Another reference to this misconception appears in David Foster Wallace's 1996 novel Infinite Jest, which contains the following passage:


In the Discworld novel Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett, special envoy Sam Vimes, tasked with ending a war between the bellicose nation of Borogravia and an alliance of its aggrieved neighbours, intended to express his support for Borogravia by saying "I am a citizen of Borogravia" in its native language. However, Polly Perks, the main character, corrects him, saying he called himself a cherry pancake.

The jelly doughnut myth was largely unknown to Germans until the social web enhanced cross-cultural exchange in the 2000s. At the death of Robert Lochner in September 2003, German media retold the story on the creation of Kennedy's phrase without mentioning the myth,while on the same occasion English media still added the myth as fact, as for example the New York Times informed by Associated Press.

The German Historical Museum in Berlin opened an exhibition in 2003 without providing a hint to the myth either. The myth entered the German Wikipedia article "Ich bin Berliner" in May 2005 brought over from the English version where it had been discussed since the creation of the article in October 2001.It was already marked as an urban legend at the time in 2005. The German version settled on a section title "misconception in the english-speaking world" (Missverständnis im englischsprachigen Raum) by January 2007.

The Kennedy Museum in Berlin picked up the story in November 2008 debunking the myth, while an English article in Spiegel International about the opening of the museum in 2006 did quote the myth as fact. A reference to the myth in the national newspaper "Die Welt" as of July 2008 shows that the knowledge about the misconseption in the US was well understood by then, referencing Wikipedia in the text.


The German press & politicians were too polite to embarrass JFK but it was clear that someone in his staff screwed up. When average Germans were snickering at that phrase it tells you something. I was there at Fliegerhorst when he said it. The press is re-writing history to conform to the way they wish it had happened... again. :)
 
The German press & politicians were too polite to embarrass JFK but it was clear that someone in his staff screwed up. When average Germans were snickering at that phrase it tells you something. I was there at Fliegerhorst when he said it. The press is re-writing history to conform to the way they wish it had happened... again. :)

I speak German fluently, and know the German language as I was born and raised there. What I told you is correct. Thank you…
 
So did the Germans who laughed. ;)

I'm they sure they laughed, but they did not care like you make it out to be, and Kennedy said it grammatically correct. But, you can continue to live and die on "Alternative Facts" like Rommel coming to visit the US if you choose. Your choice, frankly my dear, I don't give a damn… :D
 
As Army Brats we encountered lots of situations that we probably would not have as civilians. Some were wonderful and heartwarming, others were just the opposite. In 1948 this poor fellow lived in a hole in the ground between our American housing area of Grant Heights and Tokyo, right along the side of the main road. Americans would frequently stop and leave him food or clothing. I suspect he may have been a former soldier suffering from what we now recognize as PTSD. I wonder what ever became of him?
 

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Christmas 1961
It was the day before Christmas in Babenhausen, a small town south of Frankfurt and I had drawn "CQ"- Charge of Quarters. At noon I went on duty in our Corporal missile detachment's orderly room so now I was in charge of everything, including signing out everyone who was going off- post for visiting, partying, or Christmas shopping. One by one they came in that afternoon to sign out, most going into town but some going as far as Aschaffenburg or even Frankfurt but everyone was required to sign in by ten o'clock that evening.
I turned on the radio in the orderly room to listen to AFN Frankfurt playing Christmas carols. This was a big Zenith Trans-Oceanic that we all had clustered around to listen to live broadcasts of Project Mercury rocket launches. Being guided missile men we felt a special kinship to those at Cape Canaveral. Throughout the day on the hour AFN would announce "It is now Christmas in Guam" or wherever, advancing around the globe toward us in Germany.
Soon the sky was dark and as the evening wore on it became colder. In central Europe the climate in winter is cold and damp- the kind of cold that even my field jacket didn't keep out. Our unit work area was an old World War One cavalry building and the heating system was provided by a steam boiler but the German maintenance man went off duty early and without more coal the heat dwindled slowly away to nothing. I wished I had zipped in my field jacket liner but it was too late, that was back in my locker in our barracks.
Slowly the men began to straggle back to sign in. A few staggered in, a bit worse for wear from Michaelsbrau, the local brew. By ten o'clock everyone had returned, signed in, and headed for the barracks and bed. All over the kaserne things began to quiet down. No sound except the radio playing softly. Sitting at the First Sergeant's desk, I tried to stay awake. Sleeping on CQ duty is a serious offense but I also had to be alert enough to pick up the phone promptly if a call came in. Sure enough, the phone rang "157th Ordnance Detachment, Spec 4 Albaugh speaking" and the response was "This is an Alert, authenticate xxxxxxx". I guess someone up the chain of command was making sure that even on Christmas Eve we were ready to go to war. Our mission was to defend the Fulda Gap, named for a small town located on the East-West German border where a Soviet armored attack would probably pass through. At that time the Fulda Gap was the most dangerous place in the world; both East and West had an untold number of nuclear weapons trained on Fulda. Fortunately, the call was only a communications exercise- no real alert and I could hang up the phone and relax.
The time slowly passed, sitting there behind the desk in the semi-darkness trying to stay warm and awake. My feet were cold so I got up and walked into the workshop area where we had our 5-ton operations van, X-15, Captain Hamilton's jeep, and the arms room where our M14 rifles and a stock of fragmentation grenades were kept. We also were issued thermite grenades that even burned steel. If we fired all of our missiles, we would destroy everything and be used as riflemen.
I walked to the orderly room door and opened it to get a breath of fresh air to help stay awake. It had begun to snow! Big soft flakes of snow fell onto the rounded cobblestones outside and slowly melted, the wet stones reflecting the white light of a star that had been placed on the kaserne's water tower. There was no sound at all, everything was perfectly quiet as the snow fell. As I stood there alone in the doorway I thought of my family, thousands of miles away, probably still sleeping soundly in their warm beds, safe and sound. I prayed that it would always be so.
I turned to close the door and glanced at my watch. It was just past 12 midnight.

It was Christmas, the loneliest one I ever experienced.
 
Christmas 1961
It was the day before Christmas in Babenhausen, a small town south of Frankfurt and I had drawn "CQ"- Charge of Quarters. At noon I went on duty in our Corporal missile detachment's orderly room so now I was in charge of everything, including signing out everyone who was going off- post for visiting, partying, or Christmas shopping. One by one they came in that afternoon to sign out, most going into town but some going as far as Aschaffenburg or even Frankfurt but everyone was required to sign in by ten o'clock that evening.
I turned on the radio in the orderly room to listen to AFN Frankfurt playing Christmas carols. This was a big Zenith Trans-Oceanic that we all had clustered around to listen to live broadcasts of Project Mercury rocket launches. Being guided missile men we felt a special kinship to those at Cape Canaveral. Throughout the day on the hour AFN would announce "It is now Christmas in Guam" or wherever, advancing around the globe toward us in Germany.
Soon the sky was dark and as the evening wore on it became colder. In central Europe the climate in winter is cold and damp- the kind of cold that even my field jacket didn't keep out. Our unit work area was an old World War One cavalry building and the heating system was provided by a steam boiler but the German maintenance man went off duty early and without more coal the heat dwindled slowly away to nothing. I wished I had zipped in my field jacket liner but it was too late, that was back in my locker in our barracks.
Slowly the men began to straggle back to sign in. A few staggered in, a bit worse for wear from Michaelsbrau, the local brew. By ten o'clock everyone had returned, signed in, and headed for the barracks and bed. All over the kaserne things began to quiet down. No sound except the radio playing softly. Sitting at the First Sergeant's desk, I tried to stay awake. Sleeping on CQ duty is a serious offense but I also had to be alert enough to pick up the phone promptly if a call came in. Sure enough, the phone rang "157th Ordnance Detachment, Spec 4 Albaugh speaking" and the response was "This is an Alert, authenticate xxxxxxx". I guess someone up the chain of command was making sure that even on Christmas Eve we were ready to go to war. Our mission was to defend the Fulda Gap, named for a small town located on the East-West German border where a Soviet armored attack would probably pass through. At that time the Fulda Gap was the most dangerous place in the world; both East and West had an untold number of nuclear weapons trained on Fulda. Fortunately, the call was only a communications exercise- no real alert and I could hang up the phone and relax.
The time slowly passed, sitting there behind the desk in the semi-darkness trying to stay warm and awake. My feet were cold so I got up and walked into the workshop area where we had our 5-ton operations van, X-15, Captain Hamilton's jeep, and the arms room where our M14 rifles and a stock of fragmentation grenades were kept. We also were issued thermite grenades that even burned steel. If we fired all of our missiles, we would destroy everything and be used as riflemen.
I walked to the orderly room door and opened it to get a breath of fresh air to help stay awake. It had begun to snow! Big soft flakes of snow fell onto the rounded cobblestones outside and slowly melted, the wet stones reflecting the white light of a star that had been placed on the kaserne's water tower. There was no sound at all, everything was perfectly quiet as the snow fell. As I stood there alone in the doorway I thought of my family, thousands of miles away, probably still sleeping soundly in their warm beds, safe and sound. I prayed that it would always be so.
I turned to close the door and glanced at my watch. It was just past 12 midnight.

It was Christmas, the loneliest one I ever experienced.
Manta22, wow! I couldn't stop reading until the end. Your story was so well written that I could feel the biting cold, the weariness, and sadly the loneliness on Christmas. I've had similar experiences in civilian life working for a tv network in New York. The thing that took the edge off of my experience was the fact that I was so busy going at times days on end with only a few hours of sleep in our live truck. I might have been thousands of miles away because no way I could leave. My point, I guess, is that I can empathize with you in a global sense. I can also appreciate the sacrifices that you made to keep our country safe. Thank you for your service, thank your family for supporting that service. Merry Christmas. I hope all of your holidays since then and going forward are special for you…and all of the members of our armed forces.
 
Christmas 1961
It was the day before Christmas in Babenhausen, a small town south of Frankfurt and I had drawn "CQ"- Charge of Quarters. At noon I went on duty in our Corporal missile detachment's orderly room so now I was in charge of everything, including signing out everyone who was going off- post for visiting, partying, or Christmas shopping. One by one they came in that afternoon to sign out, most going into town but some going as far as Aschaffenburg or even Frankfurt but everyone was required to sign in by ten o'clock that evening.
I turned on the radio in the orderly room to listen to AFN Frankfurt playing Christmas carols. This was a big Zenith Trans-Oceanic that we all had clustered around to listen to live broadcasts of Project Mercury rocket launches. Being guided missile men we felt a special kinship to those at Cape Canaveral. Throughout the day on the hour AFN would announce "It is now Christmas in Guam" or wherever, advancing around the globe toward us in Germany.
Soon the sky was dark and as the evening wore on it became colder. In central Europe the climate in winter is cold and damp- the kind of cold that even my field jacket didn't keep out. Our unit work area was an old World War One cavalry building and the heating system was provided by a steam boiler but the German maintenance man went off duty early and without more coal the heat dwindled slowly away to nothing. I wished I had zipped in my field jacket liner but it was too late, that was back in my locker in our barracks.
Slowly the men began to straggle back to sign in. A few staggered in, a bit worse for wear from Michaelsbrau, the local brew. By ten o'clock everyone had returned, signed in, and headed for the barracks and bed. All over the kaserne things began to quiet down. No sound except the radio playing softly. Sitting at the First Sergeant's desk, I tried to stay awake. Sleeping on CQ duty is a serious offense but I also had to be alert enough to pick up the phone promptly if a call came in. Sure enough, the phone rang "157th Ordnance Detachment, Spec 4 Albaugh speaking" and the response was "This is an Alert, authenticate xxxxxxx". I guess someone up the chain of command was making sure that even on Christmas Eve we were ready to go to war. Our mission was to defend the Fulda Gap, named for a small town located on the East-West German border where a Soviet armored attack would probably pass through. At that time the Fulda Gap was the most dangerous place in the world; both East and West had an untold number of nuclear weapons trained on Fulda. Fortunately, the call was only a communications exercise- no real alert and I could hang up the phone and relax.
The time slowly passed, sitting there behind the desk in the semi-darkness trying to stay warm and awake. My feet were cold so I got up and walked into the workshop area where we had our 5-ton operations van, X-15, Captain Hamilton's jeep, and the arms room where our M14 rifles and a stock of fragmentation grenades were kept. We also were issued thermite grenades that even burned steel. If we fired all of our missiles, we would destroy everything and be used as riflemen.
I walked to the orderly room door and opened it to get a breath of fresh air to help stay awake. It had begun to snow! Big soft flakes of snow fell onto the rounded cobblestones outside and slowly melted, the wet stones reflecting the white light of a star that had been placed on the kaserne's water tower. There was no sound at all, everything was perfectly quiet as the snow fell. As I stood there alone in the doorway I thought of my family, thousands of miles away, probably still sleeping soundly in their warm beds, safe and sound. I prayed that it would always be so.
I turned to close the door and glanced at my watch. It was just past 12 midnight.

It was Christmas, the loneliest one I ever experienced.
Well written.
 
My first Christmas overseas was as a new 1Lt. I had been in country for only 4 months and had already spent 3 months in the field. I lived in a small village north of Fulda FRG. We had a major snow storm earlier in the week and the post was shut down. I was stuck in my basement apartment. I could only warm the place up to 60 F. My package from home did not arrive until January. The teenaged girl from upstairs brought me a foot tall Christmas tree and cookies. I had just picked up a stereo system and spent the day listening to AFN radio. I lived on the wrong side of the mountain to get American TV. That afternoon, I walked around a deserted city of Fulda. I found a Chinese restaurant and the food was good. Stop by the post and nothing was going on at the Troop and no sign of the platoon so I watched a little tv at the USO and went home. So different from the normal family craziness. Ho ho ho everyone.
 
PB: Which network are you part of? I did some time with the one on 66th and CPW..... I was ENG and Slant Track Maintenance.
67 & Columbus. 7 Lincoln Sq… ABC/WABC from '80 through 2007, long enough to earn a Tinkerbell. Not long enough to have gotten a Rolex or 3/4 healthcare in retirement. But who cares…the experiences and the amazing life that I had in the field…I would have paid them (shh don't tell anybody)
 
PB: Which network are you part of? I did some time with the one on 66th and CPW..... I was ENG and Slant Track Maintenance.
I was ENG, live truck, sat truck, etc.
 

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I was ENG, live truck, sat truck, etc.
LOL...Know the area well....I was in and out of ASCAP a lot. World News Tonight, 20/20, Nightline and GMA were my shows, along with a few specials. I was there from late 1981 to late 1982, when I got suckered into going back to Houston and into a bad situation at KTRK.
I've still got a few friends alive and kicking up there and at least one is active at NABET.
 
67 & Columbus. 7 Lincoln Sq… ABC/WABC from '80 through 2007, long enough to earn a Tinkerbell. Not long enough to have gotten a Rolex or 3/4 healthcare in retirement. But who cares…the experiences and the amazing life that I had in the field…I would have paid them (shh don't tell anybody)
LOL...Know the area well....I was in and out of ASCAP a lot. World News Tonight, 20/20, Nightline and GMA were my shows, along with a few specials. I was there from late 1981 to late 1982, when I got suckered into going back to Houston and into a bad situation at KTRK.
I've still got a few friends alive and kicking up there and at least one is active at NABET.
KTRK… the ABC station? Did you know Henry Florsheim? Do you remember the FLAN terror bombing in NY, New Year's Eve 1981-82? I was there, had a bomb go off just the other side of the wall where our truck was parked at 1 Police Plaza.
My wife was my reporter. What a night! I had lots of "what a nights". I loved the night shift…only 3 crews scheduled plus some held over on OT. Almost guaranteed to get the lead story. We had more crews and live trucks in NY than the other stations so … we serviced both local and network. Network at the time had 1 microwave truck that had to be put together every time it went out. That almost insured working for Network…East and West coast feeds.
 

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