“A piece of advice” for John F. Kennedy

by Ulrich Mack, Cologne, Germany, June 1963

“A piece of advice” for John F. Kennedy by Ulrich Mack, Cologne, Germany, June 1963

On June's 1963 Sunday morning, Kennedy and his entourage had landed at the Cologne/Bonn Airport in Germany. In Cologne, Ulrich Mack took this photo, resoundingly entitled A Piece of Advice for the American President. Mack numbers it among his personal favourites, recounting in an interview (on ntv.de): “John F. Kennedy was diving into the crowd, an unknown phenomenon in Germany until then. This photo shows a woman almost sticking her finger into his nose outside the Cologne Cathedral. She wanted to tell him what the American President should think. That’s was very German. She was a teacher.”

Ulrich Mack was one of the few privileged media representatives officially permitted to cover the entire trip of the most powerful man in the world to Germany, from June 23 to 26, 1963. Working for the magazine Quick, the German magazine with the highest printrun apart from Stern, Mack was never far from the action. The photographer, 28 years old at the time, was equipped with six Leicas – an impressive number. He had outfitted his M2 and M3 cameras with fixed focal distances of 28, 35, 50 and 90 mm, so as never to miss a motif. “After all, I had to be better than the others,” Ulrich Mack recalls.

Only a modest series of six photographs appeared in the Quick edition of July 7, 1963, entitled Kennedy and the Berliners – “Nothing in the World Can Separate Them Now.” In November of the same year, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

Reference: Hans Michael Koetzle/Ulrich Mack (eds.), Kennedy in Berlin, Munich 2013, p. 12-13.

Photo credit: © WestLicht Photographica Auction