“They require allies who will listen to each other, learn from each other and, most of all, trust each other,” he said. “That is why America cannot turn inward … Europe cannot turn inward.”
He received raucous applause for saying the future meant “finally bringing this war to a close” in Iraq, but the loudest cheers erupted when he talked about climate change and railed against genocide.
For hours before Mr. Obama arrived, attendees listened to live reggae, drank beer and munched on bratwurst and steak sandwiches. Many in the crowd sported black and white Obama T-shirts with the slogan, “I want you to stop climate change.”
Officials said the crowd was among the biggest ever assembled to hear a speaker in Berlin and certainly the biggest since a half-million Germans assembled to hear President Kennedy give his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech in 1963. The “tear down this wall” speech from President Reagan in 1987 attracted 40,000, one German newspaper estimated. About 350,000 people attended a 1948 speech by Berlin Mayor Ernst Reuter, whom Mr. Obama quoted Thursday.
Business student Timothy Cooper of Berlin waved an American flag and wore Obama badges.
“I’m for Obama because he grew up with difficult circumstances but still made it to the top, and if he is able to do it, he can inspire us to achieve the same,” he said. “He has a very international background, which gives him the ability to unite people and understand a lot of views that McCain cannot.”
cStaff writers Nicholas Kralev in Singapore, Joseph Curl and Barbara Slavin contributed to this report. Contributors Dave Baxter and Dominic Hinde reported from Berlin.