Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger dies at the age of 100


November 30, 2023, 07:16

He is considered the architect of the policy of détente in the Cold War and commented on world events until the end: former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger shaped American politics for decades. Now the German-born US politician has died at the age of 100.

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has died.As announced by his communications agency, the German-American died on Wednesday at his home in the US state of Connecticut. Kissinger is 100 years old. Kissinger, who was born in Fürth, Franconia, had a significant influence on US foreign policy for many years.

From 1969, the Republican initially served as President Nixon’s security advisor, and in 1973 he was appointed Secretary of State. Kissinger’s policy was based on the concept of balance and aimed at easing the tensions of the East-West conflict. Even after the Cold War ended, his advice was still sought by the US government. Former US President Donald Trump met Kissinger several times.

Kissinger fled the Nazis

Henry Kissinger was born on May 27, 1923 in Fürth, Bavaria as the son of a Jewish teacher born. In 1938 the family fled to America to escape the Nazis.

Henry Kissinger (left) and his West German colleague Hans-Dietrich Genscher in Bonn in 1975.
Image rights: image alliance/Martin Athenstädt

During World War II, Kissinger fought as a US soldier against Germany. Kissinger always remained connected to his hometown of Franconia, Fürth: in his old age, he attended SpVgg Greuther Fürth’s home games following their promotion to the first Bundesliga.

During the Vietnam War, Kissinger led secret negotiations with communist North Vietnam that resulted in a ceasefire agreement and the withdrawal of US troops. For this, Kissinger received the Nobel Peace Prize together with North Vietnamese negotiator Le Duc Tho. Kissinger restored it after communist North Vietnam took control of South Vietnam.

Criticism of Kissinger’s role in the Cold War

Kissinger has repeatedly faced harsh criticism. The bombing of Cambodia, Vietnam’s neutral neighbor, also occurred during Kissinger’s time as Nixon’s security adviser. Thousands of Cambodian civilians died. Additionally, at Kissinger’s instigation, the CIA secret service is said to have supported a coup against Chile’s socialist president, Salvador Allende, in 1973 because the US feared a second Cuba.

Towards the end, Kissinger openly commented on the global political situation: He expressed his understanding of Germany’s difficulties in finding its role in Europe after the Ukraine war. Another statement by Kissinger was interpreted as a call for Ukraine to cede Crimea and parts of Donbass to Russia. In short after that he puts it in perspective but these statements.

Topics in this program:RADIO MDR AKTUELL | November 30, 2023 | 06:00

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