WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS
Kissinger Speaks Like
Heís Just Off The Boat
HO can cut through Henry
Kissingerís thick Teutonic accent? Maybe thatís one reason
Richard Nixon tape recorded in the Oval Office ó so he
could take time later to decipher his secretary of stateís
Even Barbara Walters was
baffled. When she was on NBCís Today show, the first
interview she did outside the studio was Kissinger, the national
security advisor at the time.
"He had a very strong accent and I
sometimes had him repeat what he was saying," she related at a
World Jewish Congress dinner on November 11, at the
Walters said she asked Kissinger,
newly installed at the White House, "So how does it feel to be a
new kind of sex symbol in Washington?"
"I love it," Kissinger replied. "Now
when I bore people, they think itís their fault."
That cracked up the high profilers in
the grand ballroom, which included Leonard Lauder, Daily News
publisher Mort Zuckerman, Ingeborg and Ira Leon
Rennert, Ralph Lauren, and Israeli Ambassador to the
UN Ron Prosor who brought his son, Lior, and
Liorís wife Maya, who was seven months pregnant.
Walters once asked Kissingerís younger
brother, Walter Kissinger, why he never had an accent
like Henry. "Because I listened," he said.
Even Kissinger had trouble with oneís
speech. Not his own, of course. "When Yitzhak Rabin was
ambassador in Washington," he recalled, "I thought he was a
terrible speaker. He mumbled all the time."
Born in 1923 in Furth, Bavaria,
Kissinger has been in America since 1938 after fleeing Nazi
persecution. Heís been here 76 years and still speaks like he
stepped off the boat yesterday!
WJC president Ronald Lauder
bestowed the groupís Theodor Herzl Award on Kissinger. Lauder
said that President Nixon once mentioned to Prime Minister
Golda Meir how remarkable it was that both the United States
and Israel had Jewish foreign ministers, Abba Eban and
"Yes," Golda said. "But ours speaks
Lauder, New York-born 70 years ago,
speaks flawless English like the diplomat he is (having served
as U.S. ambassador to Austria 1986-87). Now he engages in
diplomacy for world Jewry.
He maintains that just as every
country in the world has a foreign ministry to represent them
around the world, the World Jewish Congress is "the foreign
ministry, the diplomatic arm, of the Jewish people throughout