The Story Of Heinz Alfred Kissinger, the 56th Secretary of State Of The United States Of America
Magazine, The Immigrant Experience
More than 45 million immigrants are living in the US. Government and the natives don’t like the idea of foreign nationals crossing into their country. However, these immigrants add value to American society and have proved themselves to be ‘more American than any American.’
Just as in the case of Heinz Alfred Kissinger, the 56th Secretary of State, for whom his military comrade said: “He was more American than I have ever seen any American.”
Kissinger was born in Fürth, a city in Bavaria, in 1923. Soon before Kristallnacht, his family fled to Washington Heights, a German-immigrant neighborhood sometimes referred to as a Fourth Reich. Their language at home was English, so Heinz became Henry.
The only notable qualities of his youth were his enjoyment of Italian defense soccer tactics and a tendency to provide advice on his friends’ amorous schemes. When he was a teenager, he worked at a shaving comb factory before school and aspired to be an accountant.
Kissinger entered the United States military in 1942. Army. The principal influence on Kissinger’s formative years was a German-American private he befriended at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana.
Kissinger enrolled at Harvard on a G.I.Bill in 1947. He was interested in studying English and political science. Here he met William Yandell Elliott, his second mentor, who was a famous history professor.
He was a faculty member at Harvard University from 1954 to 1971, where he is remembered for his services at the Department of Government and the Center for International Affairs.
From 1957 to 1960, he was Associate Director of the Center. From 1955-56, he worked as Study Director of the Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy at the Council of Foreign Relations; from 1956-58 as Director of the Special Studies Project at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; and from 1951-71 as Director of the Harvard International Seminar.
Besides teaching at Harvard, he served as an adviser to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson on foreign policy matters. Finally, in 1969, Kissinger left Harvard and joined President Richard Nixon as the national security advisor.
Serving in that role from 1969-75, and then as secretary of state from 1973-77, Kissinger would prove one of the most dominant, influential, and controversial statesmen in American history.
Kissinger was the most resilient, dominant, controversial, and influential statesman in American history while serving as national security advisor from 1969-1975 and then as secretary of state from 1973-1977.
During the summer and October of 1997, Kissinger paid two visits to China. As a result of his trips, Nixon, Zhou, and Chairman Mao Zedong convened the historic 1972 summit, ending 23 years of diplomatic isolation and hostility between the two countries. China and the United States also formed a tacit strategic anti-Soviet alliance as a result. As a result of Kissinger’s diplomacy, there were exchanges of goods and ideas between the United States and China and liaison offices in both capitals, though the full normalization of relations would not be complete until 1979.
In 1973, Kissinger received a Nobel Peace Prize under controversial circumstances, with two committee members resigning in protest against his peace negotiations in Vietnam.