Construction of the Berlin Wall began on August 13, 1961. On June 26, 1963 , when President Kennedy famously proclaimed that he was a doughnut (yes, folks, a Berliner is a doughnut), I was not too far from there. Unfortunately, I was on the other side - the wrong side - of the Berlin wall and Iron Curtain. In my defence I would say that it was not my choice - I was born there.
I remember nazism, fascism, anti-semitism, Marxism, Stalinism, communism and even "socialism with a human face". Despite being old enough to remember Unter den Linden still in ruins, before it was rebuilt, I was born after World War Two ended and as such I did not experience nazism and fascism myself, but the first hand experiences of my parents and family left an impression on me. All the other -isms I experienced on my own and I have scars to prove it. In that sad part of the world you could not travel a hundred miles without seeing some depressing memento of those times. Auschwitz was less then a hundred miles from where I was born and the place where Oscar Schindler (Schindler's list) had his factory was less then fifty miles away.
So I was born in a far away place, but in my soul I was always an American. I always knew that when I grew up I had to go where I was sure I belonged - to America. I came to America completely legally, I did not sneak across any borders, did not break any laws, did not protest and act like America owed me something simply because I was here. I took care of the legalities and I became an American citizen.
I have seen another -ism: anti-Americanism. Anti-Americanism is based on the same principles as nazism, fascism, anti-semitism and communism. It is based on envy and hate. Nazis and anti-semites started with hating Jews (because they were more industrious and wealthy than Nazis), communists hated just about everybody else (especially "capitalists" because - again - they had more money and brains than the commies could ever hope for). The violence of Kristallnacht and the holocaust (complete with the stealing of property and ripping out of gold teeth) was soon to follow. Not to be outdone by the Nazis, the Communists created one huge concentration camp called the "Eastern Bloc." They stole absolutely everything, killed millions and created a police states that made the Nazi effort look like amateur hour.
Today's "anti-Americanism" is nothing less than the same old hateful ideology: the ideology of under-achievers against over-achievers. It always starts with simple envy, develops into dislike and hate and culminates in violence, regardless if it is propagated by local leftists and liberal no-goodniks or some middle-eastern hateful ideology, pretending to be a religion. Yes, folks, political correctness is just another name for communist censorship. Sticks and stones can break my bones - but words leave permanent damage. The ideology of anti-Americanism has already progressed from envy to hate and has now entered the stage of violence. Have you already forgotten 9/11?
President Kennedy said on that day that "All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words 'Ich bin ein Berliner.'" and all applauded and nobody cared that he said "ein" (that "ein" is the difference between somebody being from Berlin and a doughnut) because everybody knew what he meant and that he meant well.
My own paraphrase is that all free men, wherever they may live, are Americans. And, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words "Ich bin ein American!"