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Remembering John C. Kornblum (1943 – 2023)

The American Academy in Berlin mourns the passing of trustee John C. Kornblum. We offer heartfelt condolences to his wife, Helen, his children, and to his extended family and friends.

John’s unwavering commitment to fostering transatlantic relations, coupled with his diplomatic finesse, made him an invaluable contributor to the American Academy in Berlin’s mission of fostering intellectual and cultural exchange between the United States and Germany.

John’s more than forty years of active presence in Europe made him one of the most experienced and effective American practitioners on Europe and Atlantic relations. A high point of his efforts was the June 1987 speech by President Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. He also played a defining role in many of the important events leading up to the end of the Cold War, including the Quadripartite negotiations on Berlin (1970-1973), German reunification in 1990, and enlargement of NATO in 1997, among others. His distinguished career culminated in his final diplomatic role as United States ambassador to Germany — the first American ambassador to serve in a united Germany in Berlin since 1941.

His legacy will forever resonate within the walls of the Academy, where his passion for dialogue and understanding left an indelible mark.

He will be greatly missed.

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