Henry Kissinger

Kissinger in 2009, photo by David Shankbone

Birth Name: Heinz Alfred Kissinger

Date of Birth: May 27, 1923

Place of Birth: Fürth, Bavaria, Weimar Republic (now Germany)

Date of Death: November 29, 2023

Place of Death: Kent, Connecticut, U.S.

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Henry Kissinger was a German-born American diplomat, political scientist, geopolitical consultant, and writer. He was National Security Advisor, from January 20, 1969 to November 3, 1975, U.S. Secretary of State, from September 22, 1973 to January 20, 1977, the latter under both Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford; Chancellor of the College of William & Mary, from July 1, 2000 to October 1, 2005, and Chair of the 9/11 Commission, from November 27, 2002 to December 14, 2002. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1973. A supporter of the “Realpolitik” approach; he pioneered détente with the USSR, composed the opening of relations with the People’s Republic of China, helped end the Yom Kippur War, and negotiated the end of American combat in Vietnam, with the Paris Peace Accords. He created international geopolitical consulting firm Kissinger Associates, and wrote many books on diplomacy, history, and cross-nation relations. He has both been hailed for his foreign policy achievements; and criticized for his toleration of or indifference to war crimes by U.S. allies, and for his playing a leading role in the U.S. bombing of Cambodia.

He was Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 1972 (sharing the award with Richard Nixon).

Henry was born in Fürth, Bavaria, Germany, to German Jewish parents, Paula (Stern) and Louis Kissinger, a schoolteacher, who were from Bayern. His family name comes from Bad Kissingen, a Bavarian spa town. He was raised under the discriminatory measures imposed by the Nazis from 1933 to 1938; his family then left the country to escape Nazi persecution, arriving in London, England, and then New York City, New York. Henry became a U.S. citizen in 1943, and served in the U.S. Army during WWII. He taught at Harvard, and was a leading expert on nuclear weapons and foreign policy; as well as adviser to presidential campaigns, think tanks, and governmental agencies. Henry was married to philanthropist Nancy (Maginnes) Kissinger, until his death. He had two children with his former wife Ann Fleischer.

Henry’s paternal grandfather was David Kissinger (the son of Abraham Kissinger and Fanny Stern). David was born in Rödelsee, Bavaria. Abraham was the son of Meyer Löb/Loeb Kissinger and Schönlein/Schoenlein David-Stahl. Fanny was the daughter of Salomon Stern and Jette Oppenheimer.

Henry’s paternal grandmother was Celine Karoline “Lina” Zeilberger (the daughter of Yekutiel/Kusel Zeilberger and Sara Levi). Celine was born in Ermershausen, Bavaria. Yekutiel was the son of Lazarus Feist Zeilberger and Rachel/Rechel/Regina Schönemann. Sara was the daughter of Mendel Levi and Plesschen Plaut.

Henry’s maternal grandfather was Falk Stern (the son of Bernhard Stern and Pauline Block). Falk was born in Jochberg, Ansbach, Upper Bavaria, Bavaria. Bernhard was the son of Falk Stern and Babette Hartman.

Henry’s maternal grandmother was Peppi Breindel Behr (the daughter of Ascher Behr and Rachel/Regina Levite). Peppi was born in Mönchsroth, Bavaria. Ascher was the son of Lippmann/Lippman Ascher Baer/Behr and Breindel Elkan. Rachel was the daughter of David Loew Levi and Sarah Berliner.

Henry was a third half-cousin, twice removed, of British actor Ben Barnes. Henry was a third half-cousin of Ben’s maternal grandfather, Emil Becker. Henry’s great-great-grandfather, Meyer Löb/Loeb Kissinger, was also Ben’s great-great-great-great-grandfather. Meyer was married twice, to a pair of sisters. Meyer’s first wife, Marianne David-Stahl, was Ben Barnes’s great-great-great-great-grandmother. Meyer’s second wife, Schönlein/Schoenlein David-Stahl, was Henry Kissinger’s great-great-grandmother.

Sources: https://www.washingtonpost.com

Genealogy of Henry Kissinger – http://www.geni.com

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