Henry Kissinger became the most reviled and admired statesman of his time. Whatever his secret weapon might have been, it wasn't loyaltyby Ferdinand Mount / October 15, 2015 / Leave a comment
Published in November 2015 issue of Prospect Magazine
Fürth is a small, sooty industrial town in Franconia, next to Nuremberg. Its Jewish population had been as high as 20 per cent in the late 19th century, but by May 1923 when Heinz Alfred Kissinger was born, the Jews of Fürth were a smaller, closeknit community, fiercely patriotic and loyal to the Weimar Republic which was struggling with hyperinflation. The Kissingers were Orthodox and Heinz was a devout boy. A cousin remembers going for a stroll with him outside their “eruv,” the real or symbolic boundary encircling the Jewish community beyond which, on the Sabbath, they were not allowed to carry anything in their hands or pockets, and Heinz reminding him of this and the two boys taking their handkerchiefs out of their pockets and tieing them to their wrists.
Only a few miles from this peaceful, cloistered world were the searchlights of the monstrous rallies. By 1932, unemployment in Fürth had reached 50 per cent. A year later, Hitler came to power, and the communists in Fürth were all rounded up and taken to Dachau. In 1934, Julius Streicher was made an honorary citizen of Fürth; in his acceptance speech, he promised…