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The Sixth Floor Museum Presents a Witness to Kennedy’s Berlin Speech

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza (photo by Mr. Holga)

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza (photo by Mr. Holga)

J. Elke Ertle was just 17 years old when she joined thousands of other West Berlin residents to hear President John F. Kennedy address the crowd on June 26, 1963. Ertle, who immigrated to the United States a few years later, will discuss that historic day and the Cold War of the early 1960s during The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza’s June Living History program. Ertle will present at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, June 6, and again at 2 p.m., Saturday, June 7, on the Museum’s seventh floor.

Ertle was born in Germany and grew up in the British sector of West Berlin, five miles from the Berlin Wall and Brandenburg Gate. She turned 18 on November 21, 1963, and, like many others around the world, was deeply impacted by President Kennedy’s assassination the following day. She later wrote about her experiences in her autobiography, WALLED-IN: A West Berlin Girl’s Journey to Freedom. Ertle will remain after the program to sign the book, which is available for sale in both Museum stores.

Admission for the Living History program is $10 for the program only, or $5 with Museum admission. Advance tickets are recommended and available at The Living History Series links the past to the present through firsthand accounts from reporters, law enforcement officials, musicians and everyday citizens who witnessed the assassination or other historic events of the early 1960s. Each presenter in the monthly series has contributed to The Sixth Floor Museum’s ongoing Oral History Project.

The Sixth Floor Museum is located at 411 Elm Street in Dallas’ Historic West End. For more information,go to or call 214.747.6660.

The Sixth Floor Museum

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy; interprets the Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza; and presents contemporary culture within the context of presidential history. Located at 411 Elm Street in downtown Dallas, the Museum is open Monday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Audio guides for the permanent exhibit are included with admission and available in a variety of languages. For more information, visit or call 214.747.6660.

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