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During the Berlin speech, Mr. Obama spoke repeatedly of the things “we” must do on terrorism, the environment and other global issues. The speech was filled with references to politics, from acknowledging American shortcomings to urging Germany to recommit to NATO success in Afghanistan.

“I speak to you not as a candidate for president, but as … a proud citizen of the United States and a fellow citizen of the world,” he told the crowd, which had gathered not far from where the Berlin Wall once divided the city.

Officials estimated that the crowd was one of the largest in Berlin’s history. Estimates ranged from the campaign’s guess of 200,000 to as many as 500,000 from the German Embassy in Washington.

The Obama campaign carefully crafted the event, which was helped by perfect weather, and said the footage might be seen in a political ad. Obama fans distributed a photo of the massive crowd next to a photo of a remarkably similar crowd at the 1963 March on Washington.

The reception from the Berlin crowd was as rapturous as the campaign could have hoped. During the speech, one fan held a sign reading, “Barack for Kanzler,” the German word for “chancellor,” and dozens of Europeans in the crowd said they could not wait to see President Bush leave office.

About 700 Berlin police officers reportedly were assigned to the event, which also needed a larger-than-usual force of U.S. Secret Service agents.

Mr. Obama 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.”