As soon as the Nazis attacked the Jews in the 1930s, Louis lost his teaching job. The boys were expelled from their school and forced to attend an all-Jewish secular school. They were targets of Hitler’s youth attacks, and the two brothers remained nearby – not so much for safety, Henry Kissinger said in a phone interview on Wednesday, But for support. “We were outnumbered,” he said.
Paula Kissinger arranged for the family to escape from Germany in 1938 when Walter was 14 and Henry was 15, they fled, first to London and then to New York. They settled in the Washington Heights area of Manhattan, a shelter for Jewish refugees from Germany at the time. At least a dozen members of his family were killed in the Holocaust.
Louis, his soul broken, finds him working as an accountant. Paula kept the family together, completing small parties and receptions.
The boys attended George Washington High School, arriving with minimal skills in English. “We both worked as soon as we were 16 and went to school at night,” Henry Kissinger recalled in the interview. He said he shared 96 years of experience, including sleeping on a couch in the living room of his small home.
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While Henry was asked to take care of his father and share his scholarly behavior, according to Walter Isakson, Walter was more like his mother, “rude, sociable, lively, practical, a better athlete and a down-to” -Meaning”, “Kissinger: A Biography” (1992). “Henry was always a thinker,” his father once said, while “Wally was more doer, more extrovert.”
“He likes to fly glider planes and ride motorcycles,” Henry Kissinger said, “neither of which my activities were liked.”
Another obvious difference was that Walter dropped his Bavarian accent, while Henry in particular retained him. When asked why this was the case, Walter interviewers used to say, “Because I listen to Kissinger.”