Klingelton/Liberty Bell Ringtone (Berlin, Germany)

public domain image of German postage stamp

Did you know that there are technically two Liberty Bells? One in Philadelphia, PA (U.S.A.) and one in Berlin, Germany?

I didn’t. Until I happened to describe what I’d be doing in Berlin to Steffen Mueller, the kind fellow from whom I’m renting a lovely apartment. When I told him I’d be turning Berlin sounds into ringtones, I asked if he had any ideas. Lucky me! I received an email from him with a link to the Freiheitsglocke, or Liberty Bell, in Rathaus Schöneberg (the former city hall in West Berlin). Steffen said, “This sound can be heard each day at noon.”

One morning last week, as my first Berlin ringtone expedition suggested by a local, I ventured out to the city neighborhood of Schöneberg, to John F. Kennedy Platz to capture the sound of the bell.

This photo has been released into the public domain by its author ANKAWÜ at the German Wikipedia project.

Here’s what I recorded from the street, sitting on the steps of Rathaus Schöneberg:

Freiheitsglocke (Liberty Bell, Berlin).

I also found the following mp3 file on Wikimedia Commons. The audio file originates here. Because it’s a much cleaner recording of the bell (obviously not recorded from the street), I shortened the file to make the Klingelton (Liberty Bell Ringtone).

Thank you, Steffen Mueller, for suggesting that the sound of Berlin’s Liberty Bell be turned into a ringtone!


Upon it’s completion, the bell, produced in England, was delivered to New York. But before being given as a gift to West Berlin in 1950, it made a grand tour in the US. The Freiheitsglocke stopped in 21 towns, and US citizens in all states were encouraged to sign the “Declaration of Freedom” that would accompany the bell to Germany. 16 million citizens of the United States signed the declaration! When it was dedicated, more than 400,000 people attended. It’s said that approximately 100,000 people from East Berlin risked attending this event.

General Lucius D. Clay,  Military Governor of the U.S. Occupation Zone in Germany, gave a speech and pushed the button that rang the bell for the first time. Since the dedication, the bell has been rung on Christmas, New Year’s eve and on the following historical dates: June 17, 1953 uprising; the Hungarian uprising of 1956; the construction of the Berlin wall in 1961; the Reunificaiton of Germay in 1990; and on September 11, 2001 (Berliners paid their respects to the victims of the 9/11 attacks).


Leave a comment

Filed under Locally Toned (all posts), Ringtones

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s