(HorizonPost.com) – Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who served under two Republican administrations, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 100, CBS News reported.
Born in Germany in May 1923, Heinz Alfred Kissinger and his family fled Nazy Germany in 1938 and settled in New York City where he changed his name to Henry.
After becoming a naturalized citizen in 1943, Kissinger returned to Germany with the US Army working as an interpreter. His unit helped to liberate the Ahlem concentration camp. Kissinger was also awarded the Bronze Star for his work in Army counterintelligence recruiting informants that helped arrest members of the Gestapo.
After the war, Kissinger enrolled at Harvard University, ultimately obtaining a doctorate and joining the faculty. In 1957, Kissinger was named associate director of the Harvard Department of Government and Center for International Affairs. During that time, he also served as a consultant to agencies in the federal government, including the State Department.
When Richard Nixon was elected in 1968, he named Kissinger as his national security advisor. In his second term, Nixon appointed him Secretary of State, the position he retained after Nixon resigned and Gerald Ford took office.
Henry Kissinger’s outreach to China and the Soviet Union reshaped the direction of the Cold War. It was he who negotiated the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treating and Strategic Arms Limitation Talks with the Soviets, helping to lower tensions between the two powers.
In the early 1970s, Kissinger opened backchannel talks between the United States and China, leading to formal diplomatic relations and paving the way for President Nixon’s historic 1972 visit to China.
Kissinger’s foreign policy was described as “realpolitik,” the practice of engaging with world powers based on practical objectives instead of moral ideals.
But Henry Kissinger’s legacy is also marred by controversy. He was accused of war crimes during the Vietnam War over the US bombing of Cambodia. Kissinger was also accused of backing Pakistan’s genocide in Bangladesh.
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