In June of 1963, President John F. Kennedy embarked on a visit to five Western European nations for the purpose of spreading good will and building unity among America's allies.
His first stop was Germany, a nation that less than 20 years before had been engaged in a quest for world conquest under the dictatorship of Hitler. Following Germany's defeat in the Second World War, the country had been divided in half, with East Germany under Soviet control and West Germany becoming a democratic nation.
East-West Germany soon became the focus of growing political tensions between the two new superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. Berlin, former capital of Hitler's Reich, became the political hot spot in this new 'cold' war. Although the city was located in East Germany, Berlin itself was divided, with East Berlin under Soviet control and West Berlin under American, English and French jurisdiction.