Enter the 2023 Annual Essay Contest!


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It's time for the Annual Essay Contest! Students from Grades 3-12 are invited to enter. This year's topics are JFK's “Ich bin ein Berliner,” Sister Cities and the Berlin Airlift.

The essay contest is open to students from Grades 3-12 and the deadline for entries is April 15, 2023. Students must choose and write about one of the following topics. Detailed rules and information about submission guidelines can be found below. We enourage all participants to read them.

Good luck!

Topic A

60th Anniversary of “Ich bin ein Berliner”

President John F. Kennedy gave his famous speech in front of Schöneberg Town Hall in Berlin 60 years ago. The phrase “Ich bin ein Berliner” emphasized the American support for West Berlin. The speech became one of the most famous speeches given during the Cold War and the few German words in it often repeated. The Cold War has since ended and the political geography in Germany, as well as Europe, has changed. Why did “Ich bin ein Berliner” resonate around the world in 1963? Did it mean different things to different populations or countries? Does this speech still have meaning in 2023? Why or why not?

Topic B

Sister Cities

Over 200 cities across the United States are connected to a German sister city. These official partnerships foster communication and connection in areas such as culture, business, technology, education, the environment and much more. Sister cities often have exchanges on all levels and the programs are designed for citizen diplomacy. Research what a sister city is and tell us about them. Is your city one of the cities with a German sister city or is there one near you? If so, tell us about it. Are there ways you can get involved? If you do not have a German sister city partnership near you, what German city would you like to see as a sister city in your area? Why?

Topic C

75th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift

The Berlin Airlift is often called the first battle of the Cold War. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the 15th month mission to keep over 2 million West Berliner supplied through air transport. Research and learn more about the Berlin Airlift. Why did the countries involved in the Berlin Airlift think it was so important to keep West Berlin supplied? Does this historical event still play and important role in today’s transatlantic relationship? Why or why not?

Additional content

The German Information Center USA fulfills the public diplomacy mission of the German Embassy in Washington, D.C. To encourage American students to get to know modern Germany, the German Embassy…

About the Essay Contest

Students must write about the following topics: Topic A 60th Anniversary of “Ich bin ein Berliner” President John F. Kennedy gave his famous speech in front of Schöneberg Town Hall in Berlin 60…

Detailed Rules and Guidelines

Winners will be determined by a panel of judges from the German Embassy Washington. Entries will be judged based on their content, style and grammar. Successful entries will: Follow the…

Criteria for Judging

Amazon.com gift e-certificates will be awarded to the national 1st place winners in each age group. 1st place – grades 3 – 5: $100 gift certificate 1st place – grades 6 – 8: $150 gift…


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