Dr Henry Kissinger, a former United States secretary of state and national security adviser who escaped Nazi Germany in his youth to become one of the most influential and controversial foreign policy figures in American history, has died.
He was 100.
According to a statement issued by his consulting firm Kissinger Associates, Kissinger passed away yesterday at his home in Connecticut.
The statement said Kissinger’s family will hold a private funeral, and a memorial service will be held later in New York, where Kissinger grew up after his Jewish family fled Nazi Germany.
Kissinger was the 56th secretary of state, an American scholar and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate who helped create the post-World War II world order and led the United States through some of its most complicated foreign policy challenges.
In 1945, Kissinger was awarded a Bronze Star from the US Army for meritorious service. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, the same year a Gallup Poll of Americans listed him as the most admired person in the world. He was also awarded the nation’s highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1977, and the Medal of Liberty, given to 10 foreign-born American leaders, in 1986.
However, despite his acclaim, Kissinger has been criticised through the years by human rights activists. In an article in the New York Times in 1976, it was written that South Africa ‘hailed the coming meeting’ between Kissinger and South African Prime Minister John Vorster as a ‘major breakthrough for the government after years of diplomatic isolation’.
Kissinger’s visit took place not long after the June 16 Soweto youth uprising and during an era of isolation as the world shunned the apartheid government’s human rights abuses.
Many of his critics took to social media to comment on his death.
He made it to 100 with all this hate? Intense.
— Cozypill (@la__cerebro) November 30, 2023
Never forget that Henry Kissinger famously said of the Marshall Islands, where the U.S. conducted nuclear testing “There are only 90,000 people out there. Who gives a damn?”
May that genocidal war criminal truly rot in hell.
— Gabriella (@hinetumakerita) November 30, 2023
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