[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[May 13, 1998]
[Pages 753-754]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks at a Dinner Hosted by President Roman Herzog of Germany in Berlin
May 13, 1998

    Mr. President, Chancellor, members of the 
German and American delegations. First, Mr. President, let me thank you 
for your wonderful toast and for the spirit in which it was delivered. 
It has been a truly wonderful day to be in Berlin and to be in Potsdam. 
I am struck more than ever by the friendship that joins our two nations.
    Today I have been given many gifts, Mr. President, but to come here 
tonight to hear Bach on the saxophone is more than I could have ever 
dreamed. [Laughter] I thank you.
    I am delighted to be in this historic hotel where once one of my 
predecessors, Theodore Roosevelt, stayed. As I'm sure all Germans here 
know, who are students of America, Theodore Roosevelt was a lifelong 
admirer of the German people. As a young man he spent time in Dresden, 
and he later wrote, ``From that time to this, it would have been quite 
impossible to make me feel that the Germans were really foreigners.''
    The rebuilding of the Adlon is one of the many steps taken in recent 
years to build a new future upon the foundation of Berlin's and 
Germany's past. Here, close to the Brandenburg

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Gate and the Reichstag, we see a united Germany that will be a force for 
peace and prosperity in the next century. Tomorrow we will commemorate 
the airlift, the Luftbrucke, the bridge we built together almost 50 
years ago.
    But long before that, the people of Germany helped America to build 
bridges, too. The Brooklyn Bridge was designed by a German-American, 
John Roebling. And German-Americans have been building other kinds of 
bridges since the beginning of our country. After all, Germans helped to 
create our Nation through revolution, helped to preserve it through 
civil war, and they are still helping to advance our democracy in the 
twilight of the 20th century.
    One hundred years ago tomorrow, a distinguished American summed up 
the lessons of the century that was then drawing to a close. Carl Schurz 
served in the Cabinet of a President, as a United States Senator, and as 
a general in the Army. He was a close friend of Abraham Lincoln. He was 
also a German, one of many who came to the United States after the 
Revolution of 1848. I might say that as a result of that revolution, the 
State from which I come has towns named Stuttgart and Ulm, where we grow 
more rice than any other place in the United States. [Laughter] Carl 
Schurz lived quite a long life. And as he reflected back on it, he was 
proud to have stood for democracy on two continents, in two nations. He 
never forgot the friends he left in Germany or the two goals that 
animated the younger generation of 1848: representative government and 
German unity. In his speech to a gathering of old '48ers on May 14, 
1898, Carl Schurz swore that he would never stop working to spread 
liberty around the world.
    Mr. President, you have led Germany toward these same goals: 
liberty, representative government, and unity. In countless ways, you 
have worked for unity, reaching out to neighboring countries, building 
consensus, laying the ground work for a new and peaceful Europe. You 
have made democracy work at home.
    Mr. President, you recently wrote, ``Even a superpower needs 
friends.'' [Laughter] Truer words were never written. [Laughter] And so 
Mr. President, I thank you for the friendship that unites us personally 
and for the unbreakable friendship that joins our people.
    And ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to join me in raising a glass to 
President Roman Herzog and to the people of the Federal Republic of 

Note: The President spoke at 10:27 p.m. in the Ballroom at the Hotel 
Adlon. The transcript made available by the Office of the Press 
Secretary also included the remarks of President Herzog.