Obama picks Berlin site

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In the end, Barack Obama's campaign said “nein” to a speech beside the fabled Brandenburg Gate. Going ahead in the face of opposition from German leaders would have fed the “hubris” narrative.

So after two weeks of public debate, the campaign announced Sunday morning: “On Thursday, July 24, 2008, Sen. Barack Obama will visit Berlin, Germany. Obama will give a major speech on the historic U.S.-German partnership, and the need to strengthen transatlantic relations to meet 21st-century challenges in front of the Siegessaule at the Grosser Stern in Tiergarten Park. The event is free and open to the public, and tickets are not required.”

Obama will still have a striking backdrop for the largest event of his foreign swing. The Siegessaule is translated as “victory tower” or “victory column,” commemorating the Prussian victory in the Prusso-Danish War, or German-Danish War, of 1864.

One online guide describes it as “cocky-looking triumphal column.”

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