Written and delivered by
Phillip E. Gutman, October
10, 1975 to QUEST CLUB
It has been said that man is the sum total of his heredity
and environment and these factors coupled with fate influence
whether man succeeds or fails. Henry Kissinger's heredity and
environment and the uncanny happenstance of his being in the
right place at the right time seem to have preordained him to
his significant place in history.
Heinz Alfred Kissinger was born in Furth, Germany, May 27,
1923. Heinz became Henry only after migrating to America.
Kissinger's parents had been married the previous year.
Louis, his father, then thirty-five, was a respected teacher-
adviser at a high school for privileged girls. Kissinger's
grandfather had been a schoolteacher, too. The traditions of
Judaism were strictly observed and handed down from father to
son. The Kissinger family devotedly attended the synagogue
together where they kept the Sabbath and the High Holy Days.
Kissinger's father has been described as being a really good
teacher, very open-minded but too good-tempered to be a harsh
disciplinarian. He was very polite and always giving advice willingly
Kissinger's mother was twenty-one when he was born. Paula
Stern Kissinger was the daughter of a middle-class German-Jewish
family, a master of traditional Jewish cooking, and the "practical"
member of the family.
Kissinger's brother, Walter Bernhard, was born one year after
Heinz's birth. All are still living today.
Home for the Kissinger's was a five-room second-floor flat.
Members of the Quest Club authorize the Allen County Public Library to digitize and publish past, present and future Quest Club papers for dissemination on the Allen County Public Library website (Board of Directors of Quest Club, Inc., Resolution of May 2010).