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June 5, 2015 5:18 pm

Kissinger: My Family Escaped the Horrors of the Holocaust by ‘Just a Few Months’

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger on Charlie Rose. Photo: Screenshot.

Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger on Charlie Rose. Photo: Screenshot.

Former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger told Charlie Rose on Wednesday that his family escaped the worst atrocities of the Holocaust by just “a few months.”

Speaking to the famed broadcaster at the Jewish Heritage Museum in New York, the former secretary of state under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford recounted his early childhood in Germany, shortly before the outbreak of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust.

He began by describing his father’s pride at having a “spectacular” career as a school teacher in a public school, with “a title,” as it was very rare for Jews to hold state jobs in the 1920s and 1930s.

“I had a sort of German Jewish middle class existence until the Nazis came … in ’33. And they began a systematic campaign of segregation, delegitimization, and it was sort of permissible for Hitler youth kids to beat up Jewish kids.”

Kissinger said he was forced to attend a segregated school, and described how there was no hiding for much of German Jewry living in smaller towns and cities, like his family in Kern, or his grandfather in a small village. “It was known who the Jews were,” he said.

“There were signs all over the place: Jews are not desired here … that was de facto segregation. The only time I violated this was to go to football games. I had a great passion for soccer,” he said with some levity.

Kissinger said his mother began to feel increasingly that her children would not have a future in Germany. He said “life had become increasingly unpleasant, but it was not yet violent.”

Ultimately, his mother’s insistence overcame his father’s reluctance to leave and in September 1938, the family left Germany to join Kissinger’s great-uncle in the United States, just a few months before Kristallnacht, in November that year.

“Then, of course, the Holocaust started,” he said.

Kissinger’s fate would eventually lead him back Germany with the U.S. army, where he helped lead denazification efforts.

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  • 3500o dolars gönderilerek borçlarımın <imf nezdinde sıfırlamnasını talep you send to me 35ooo dolars to me. because I am very bad ekonomic to you understand me.. ı am very bad ekonomic sendrom…..well come my adres is yeni mh.16/2 sokak çelimli sitesi B/6 Blok kat 2 no /7 nazilli/TURKEY….excuse me henry kissinger

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  • Symon

    I’ve visited this location and known holocaust survivors. If it’s acceptable for you to airbrush what Kissinger did, why should anyone care about the holocaust?

    The US government has apologised to Laos. This is a historical fact.

    • Symon

      Thank you very much for allowing my comment. I support Zionist aspirations but we are in such a complex fractured world with so many angles to consider. I hope that in some way this is a useful contribution.

  • Mr. Kissinger has always been a person I admired greatly – a hero or legend – especially with his clearly defined foreign policy strategy: “Do not get involved unless it is a strategic partner.” (Maybe I paraphrased.) What is our foreign policy today???

    Mr. Kissinger has ALWAYS beenTHE person I would like to have lunch or dinner with. Maybe it can still happen!? Another miracle? See miracle below:

    I am a Holocaust Survivor and was raised in Denmark. I have lived in the USA since 1962

    Thank you. Steen Metz

  • Rickel

    אסון רודף אסון, מוות מיותר שזועק זעקה אילמת. אם זו תרבות הדחיפות, אם זה אסון הטביעות ואם זו שפיכות הדמים המיותרת והמרושעת ברשתות החברתיות. ואם מישהו כאן לא יתעורר, ולא יקח על עצמו את האחריות הציבורית הדרושה, על מנת לשפר החינוך של צניעות בנות ישראל, בגיל צעיר, ע”פ דעת תורתינו הקדושה, זה יכול ליגמר חלילה בעוד שורה של אסונות מיותרים שצפויים לנו ח”ו. ברגע שאשה סוטות הן מדרכי הצניעות, ולא מקדשות את גופן לבעליהן בלבד, מרחיקות הן את הגאולה, ומרבות פריצות וניאוף בעם ישראל. וברגע שמתנהגות הן כיאה לבת מלך, ושומרות את יופיין לבעליהן. מרבות הן קדושה בעם ישראל, משרות ברכה בתוך ביתם, ומקרבות את הגאולה.

    ולא כאן המקום לפרט את כל הנקודות שטעונות שיפור משמעותי אצלינו בצניעות. אבל האדישות שפושה בציבור, לצד אנחות של “אוי ויי”, והנה, ממשיכים הלאה, כאילו כלום לא קרה כלום, ואז גם לא משפרים הצניעות, זה אסון גדול שצריך תיקון גדול. היופי שלך, זה הצניעות שבך! שכל אישה שהולכת בצניעות, היא כמו יהלום בתוך ערימה של חול!

    אם אישה תחשוב פעם או תגיד “בעלי רצה שאלך שלא בצניעות”, בעולם הבא יאמרו לך: “האם באמת הלכת בשביל בעלך, בבית, או בשביל שאחרים שיביטו בך, ואם זה בשביל בעלך, לא יכולת לקנות שמלה או בגד צנוע ויפה שימצא חן בעיניו ללבוש בבית?”. כי שם זה עולם האמת ושם אומרים רק את האמת! והעונש הוא כל כך גדול, שאי אפשר לתארו בכתב. ומה שלא עשו אושויץ הנעצים והציונים עשתה הפאה נכרית הלטאים של הבני תיייייירה. גדול מחטיא מהרג “ברוך שלא עשני אשה”!!! פאה נכרית מעגיל. כל אשה שלובשת פאה נכרית מקבלת גיהנום!!! ממש מ ז ע ז ע! הצרות בעם ישראל משום הפאה נכרית. ומהפאה נכרית מתחיל כל הצרות…

    לא לחשוב אפילו לרגע שלאשכנזיות מותר פאה, כי כל הפוסקים האשכנזים היודעים לפסוק הלכה נכונה (ולא כמו המיקל בכל דבר שבקדושה כמו איש הידוע פאלק מאנגליה, בספר שלו המחריב הצניעות הנקרא “עוז והדר לבושה” שהוא גם קיים בזה “ותשחק ליום אחרון” שהמציא הלכות מהעצבע, והוציא ספר המחריב הצניעות בפרט בחו”ל, הוא עשה צחוק מהצניעות הנכונה, בכל העולם החרדי, הוא המציא הלכות מהאצבע, ולא מן התורה, ולא מהשולחן ערוך, אבל אנחנו חייבים לתחזק בצניעות ע”פ פסקי השולחן ערוך!!! כמ”ש גם אסרו את הפאות של ימינו! ולמה שלא יחושו להחמיר בדבר כזה חמור. ואף בפאה וכובע ראוי להחמיר. אני חושבת שהגיע הזמן, שבעזרת השם לא יהיו עוד מקרים לא טובים,

    בוקר טוב עולם, זה הזמן להתעורר, המשיח בפתח.

  • Michael Winik

    Today some people claim that the HOLOCAUST never happened, that it is exaggeration, We prove that it did since we see the YAD VASHEM lists and from this lists we can deduce the destiny of our family, In addition the Hermann Graebe testimony at NUERNMBERG TRIALS accurately describes the horror of “liquidation” of RIVNE ghetto. My father’s family name is Winik. He was born on May 2, 1919. His parent’s house was at 48 Obwodowa street in RIVNE. My father passed away nearly two years ago in Kiryat Haiym in Israel. About a year ago we found the names of his parents (my grandpa and grandma) and my father’s little sister on the list of Jews of RIVNE ghetto in YAD VASHEM. This proves that they perished on 13 July 1942 ,at night, when the RIVNE ghetto was liquidated by the Nazis. All 5355 Jews were shoved into cattle carriages to Kostopil and shot! Going over the list of Jews in the RIVNE ghetto in the father’s room we found: • Risia Winik • Baruch Winik • Ruchale Winik (15 years old) • Miriam Reich • Eli Reich • Moses Reich (10 years old) • Deborah Whitman • Feiga Whitman (1 year old girl) 7 people and a 1 year old baby in a single room! The other members of my Father’s family, Yossi and Hasia, were most probably no longer alive. A photo of the RIVNE market indicates that the house had been bombed and they were already dead in the early days of the war. According to a witness from RIVNE, the Nazi bombing was very devastating. Shrapnels made holes of a size of a fist! The whole center of RIVNE was ruined. Another witness from RIVNE also points out the Nazi bombing devastation. My Father was the only survivor from his family of 6 only because he was drafted to the Red Army after the Ribbentrop-Molotov partition of Poland in 1939. Our main aim is to prevent another HOLOCAUST of happening again.

    • Symon

      I think the Simon Wiesenthal foundation is doing it the right way.

      The problem is as follows.

      The facts of South East Asia are consistent with another explanation than Kissinger’s public explanation.

      He has supported Pakistan a lot.

      The Swastika is a traditional religious symbol within hinduism and buddhism, especially Mahayana buddhism. This symbol was appropriated by the Nazis.

      The events in Bangladesh, on the one hand, and Vietnam and Laos on the other, are consistent with two explanations. Both explanations are very tragic, but assume opposition to the use of the traditional symbol.

      1) It was mistakenly thought that there was a connection between Eastern religions and Nazism (I’ve read Mein Kampf in translation; Hitler’s agenda appears very fundamentalist Catholic, as was the Fascist government of Italy who dropped Chemical weapons on Abyssinia)

      2) This possibility is too horrifying to completely outline on a thread like this. Consider the timing of the Kissinger family’s departure from Germany. Consider that there are very few things that the Nazis would not do to pursue their interests.

      The parts of the holocaust that are on record are those recording its implementation. Much more might not be recorded, especially when it comes to the intelligence community.

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