Monday, May 15, 2023
On May 27, God willing, Henry Kissinger will celebrate his 100th birthday. He has known power, riches, and tragedy during his long life. Judging by recent books and articles he has written, Kissinger’s mind still functions at a very high level even as his body necessarily weakens. He has been both a brilliant academic and a prudent policymaker, a theorist and a practitioner. And above all, Henry Kissinger, a German Jew who fled Nazi Germany (where at least 13 members of his extended family perished in the Holocaust) in 1938, has been an American patriot.
Kissinger’s patriotism first manifested itself during the Second World War when he served with the 84th Infantry Division of General William Simpson’s Ninth Army, and in November 1944 participated in the attack on Germany’s Siegfried Line. His unit crossed the Roer River in Operation Grenade in February 1945, then crossed the Rhine, and he subsequently performed counterintelligence work for which he earned the Bronze Star. These and other details of Kissinger’s army service are recounted in Niall Ferguson’s Kissinger 1923-1968: The Idealist, the first of a projected two-volume biography.
And war criminal-- don't forget that! I read HK's book on Metternich years ago and I thought it was terrible, but what do I know. Better than my book, I suppose, but I haven't written one. But he certainly is energetic. Big WEF supporter btw, as I take it is Ferguson.