30. November 2023

Obituary of Henry Kissinger Obituary of Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger died on Wednesday at the age of 100.

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Henry Kissinger, born Heinz Alfred Kissinger on May 27, 1923 in Fürth, was an American political scientist, politician of the Republican Party, diplomat and geopolitical advisor of German origin. He died on November 29, 2023 in Kent, Connecticut.

The death of Henry Kissinger is a great loss for the whole world, but especially for us Germans. Henry Kissinger's personal history made him a bridge-builder between Europe and America. In his early years, he and his family had suffered discrimination and persecution against themselves and other Jewish citizens following the Nazi seizure of power in 1933. In 1938, he managed to emigrate to the United States with his parents Paula and Louis and his brother Walter. He became an American citizen and served as a soldier in Europe at the end of the war. As a young scientist at Harvard University, as a presidential advisor and later as National Security Advisor (1969-1975) and Secretary of State of the United States (1973-1977), as well as an influential consultant, strategist and elder statesman, he earned a high reputation around the world. Time and again, he promoted understanding for Germany and the European perspective. With the credibility of his biography and his voice, he made a significant contribution to restoring confidence in Germany after the political and moral catastrophe of the "Third Reich" and to giving the free part of Germany a test of strength after 1945.
With the establishment of the Henry Kissinger Endowed Professorship in 2014 and the establishment of CASSIS in 2019, the University of Bonn has provided an important impulse for the promotion of strategic thinking in Germany. The first holder of the Henry Kissinger Professorship was former US Ambassador James D. Bindenagel. Since 2020, the Henry Kissinger Professorship has been held as a regular professorship at the Institute of Political Science and Sociology by Ulrich Schlie. Henry Kissinger's work as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State of the United States has repeatedly been the subject of controversial discussions in public debate and also in academic research on contemporary history. This is nothing unusual in and of itself when it comes to the work of prominent statesmen and politicians. The Henry Kissinger Professorship, CASSIS and the Institute for Political Science and Sociology at the University of Bonn are addressing this discussion in their teaching and research and would like to set a further accent here in exchange with students and colleagues.


Prof. Dr. Volker Kronenberg        Prof. Dr. Wolfram Hilz        Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schlie        Dr. Enrico Fels

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