Page Nav




Classic Header



Henry Kissinger,Former secretary of state,legendary diplomat and foreign policy scholar, dies at 100

Henry Kissinger,Former secretary of state,legendary diplomat and foreign policy scholar, dies at 100 At the age of 100, Henry Kissinger, one...


Henry Kissinger,Former secretary of state,legendary diplomat and foreign policy scholar, dies at 100

At the age of 100, Henry Kissinger, one of the nation's most significant foreign policy intellectuals for over 50 years, passed away.

As per a statement released by his consulting firm, Kissinger Associates, Inc., he passed away on Wednesday at his Connecticut residence. It was not stated what caused the death.

As Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford's national security advisor and secretary of state, Henry Kissinger was instrumental in creating the framework that allowed for more controlled ties with the Soviet Union, China, and the major Arab countries. Simultaneously, he was closely linked to some of the most divisive U.S. foreign policy decisions in the last few decades, having supported heavy bombing assaults in Southeast Asia and repeatedly chosen to ignore them.

Even though Kissinger never again worked directly for an American president after Ford stepped down, his contributions were significant. His influence on U.S. superpower relations endures today, and to the end of his life, he was a highly sought-after commentator on world affairs.

Richard Haass, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, described Kissinger as "the leading scholar-practitioner of the post-World War II era." "There were other great secretaries of state and a long list of impressive historians, but no one who combined the two pursuits as Kissinger did."

After fleeing Nazi Germany as a teenager, Kissinger never lost his strong German accent, and his tough baritone voice and remarks on foreign policy issues catapulted him into international prominence.

David Rothkopf was a managing director at Kissinger's consulting company for a while. "I remember walking down the street in Manhattan with him, and he would attract a crowd like a movie star, a rock star," Rothkopf said. "Everybody, regardless of what they thought of Henry, wanted to see Henry, wanted to be with Henry."

Kissinger, an international celebrity and former ambassador, was praised everywhere, even in Germany, where he and his family had left in 1938.

Hitler had been in power for five years at that point, and the Kissingers had been persecuted by the Nazis just like any other Jewish family. When Kissinger was growing up in Germany, he used to cross the street anytime he heard a gang of lads approaching since he knew he would probably get beat up. Kissinger said this to an interviewer.

Before being recruited into the U.S. Army, the young Kissinger attended night classes and worked at a factory in America.

Pvt. Kissinger was one of the American soldiers who, after being sent to Germany, freed starving Jewish detainees from an Ahlem detention camp. Sixty years later, at a documentary film screening on Ahlem with a large number of camp survivors in attendance, he ran across several of them again.

In an unusually emotional statement, Kissinger declared, "There's nothing I'm more proud of than having been one of those who had the honor of liberating the Ahlem concentration camp."

Kissinger informed the Ahlem survivors that the people who attended the event meant more to him than anyone else, pointing out how frequently he spoke to different groups.

In that remark, Kissinger rejected the idea that his youth years in Nazi Germany had left him traumatized.

He shot back, "That's nonsense. They weren't killing people yet." A painful experience was meeting Ahlem. I have never had an event as frightening as that one."

Kissinger became a proponent of peace through strength as a result of his time serving in the American military in Germany.

He attended Harvard after leaving the service. He called his 300-page undergrad thesis "The Meaning of History." As he continued to teach at Harvard, his hawkish opinions gained him notoriety.

Richard Nixon became aware of Kissinger's work and appointed him as his national security adviser. He oversaw one of the riskiest phases in American diplomacy during the ensuing years. Kissinger set up Nixon's landmark visit to China in 1971.

Nixon retained Kissinger as his national security adviser but appointed him as secretary of state in 1973. Kissinger continued to serve as secretary of state but not as national security adviser when Gerald Ford assumed office following Nixon's resignation in 1974.

Kissinger had actually already left his imprint. He was more closely identified with the tough foreign policy stance he promoted than with the presidents he worked for. Indeed, several conservatives within his own Republican Party later attacked him for having pushed for d├ętente with Moscow.

That was practically unimaginable for a diplomat who always considered America to be the leading player in the global power struggle.

Elizabeth and David, his two children from his first marriage, and his wife Nancy Maginnes Kissinger are the only survivors of Kissinger.

No comments