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Kissinger’s Mentor

In response to:

The Education of Henry Kissinger from the October 19, 1972 issue

To the Editors:

I notice that I. F. Stone refers to my old buddy, Fritz Kraemer, as a “German adventurer” [NYR, October 19]. He identified Kraemer as the “first patron”—mentor would have been closer to the truth—of the now celebrated Henry A. Kissinger, with both of whom I served in the dear departed Eighty-fourth Infantry Division. To the sentence which contained this curious description of Kraemer, Stone appended a footnote, leading the reader to believe that it was based on an article by Joseph Kraft in Harper’s, January, 1971.

So I went back to Kraft’s article to see whether he could possibly have written anything so maliciously nonsensical. I found that what Kraft had actually written was that Kraemer, as a young man, “had left Germany in the late Twenties for schooling and adventure in a dozen different countries” (p. 57).

How did “adventure” become “adventurer”? The metamorphosis seems to have taken place in the new book on Kissinger by David Landau, who made Kraemer into “a capricious European adventurer” (p. 18).

I can imagine nothing more ludicrous than to call Fritz Kraemer an “adventurer.” As for “capricious,” it is equally ludicrous. And is it right to call a man a “German adventurer” who left Nazi Germany voluntarily for reasons of conscience, who is an American citizen, who fought in this country’s army, and who occupied a responsible position in this country’s government for a quarter of a century?

Shame! These are low, dirty tactics, unworthy of I. F. Stone, and wholly unnecessary in order to attack another man’s policies or ideas, whatever they may be.

Theodore Draper

The Institute for Advanced Study

Princeton, New Jersey

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