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0 MLK Jr., The Wall, and Berlin Radio

  • Personal
  • by Kingsley H. Smith
  • 04/21/2022

Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a sermon in this East Berlin church on September 13, 1964. While visiting West Berlin (Federal Republic of Germany) King insisted on visiting East Berlin too (GDR - German Democratic Republic).

It was an unscheduled part of his trip to Germany.

He spoke to 20,000 West Berliners on "Church Day" in the Waldbühne and to 3,000 GDR East Berlin citizens in the St. Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church) and at the Sophienkirche (Sophia Church) in Berlin-Mitte.

In his East Berlin sermon, King said "No man-made barrier can erase the fact that God's children live on both sides of the Wall." 

And the Wall did come down in 1989. I'm standing at a marker at the gate of Sophienkirche. I’ve taken multiple trips to Berlin: 2010 and 2014.

The city and a special Berlin radio station I worked for gets a special chapter in my book Powerhouse Radio: Rough Roads, Radiance, and Rebirth to be released in late 2023 or early 2024.

Kingsley H. Smith at Sophienkirche in Berlin

All radio stations have bumper stickers, mobile apps, and mugs! Below I'm holding a tenth anniversary mug symbolizing the community service engendered to the station's listeners in Berlin and beyond. On this FM station, the format was mostly talk.

Kingsley H. Smith holding a 104.5FM Berlin Mug

We did program eight hours of jazz on the weekends. Not smooth jazz, but traditional jazz Europeans like, to perk up their hungry ears yearning for more. Want to experience a deeper dimension of my Berlin broadcasting expedition?

Check out this audio:


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MLK Jr., The Wall, and Berlin Radio
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