BerlinLadies and gentlemen, the American Academy in Berlin gave me an unexpected pleasure this spring in asking me to deliver a citation honoring George Shultz.
You will know or at least guess, George, that I was only too happy to undertake this duty. I am glad to have this very official opportunity, at the end of my life, to express to you in very personal terms my confidence in your steadiness, my trust in the constancy of your fundamental ethical convictions and my confidence in your fairness to each and every one of your interlocutors and negotiating partners.
In awarding you the Henry A. Kissinger Prize here on German soil today, the Board undoubtedly wishes to express its appreciation of your entire life´s work. Because George P. Shultz, American citizen, has served his country in many different ways: as a soldier in the Marine Corps in East Asia during the Second World War, as Professor and Dean in Chicago, as an adviser and Secretary in various departments in Washington DC, then as a businessman heading the Bechtel Group on the West coast, as Secretary of State for over six years and finally as a Professor once more.
Today you are a professor-at-large, responsible for the major, decisive questions facing the world - and especially for the necessary steps towards a nuclear-weapon-free world. As a politician you are a man of your party, but your supreme loyalty has always been to the welfare of your country. This Prize recognizes your life as an American patriot.
With just a few exceptions, I have been able to follow my friend´s career only from a great distance. During Hitler´s World War we stood on opposite sides. I had to become a soldier in 1937. Because of my father´s illegitimacy and my Jewish grandfather, I had not become a Nazi. With a lot of good luck and a large measure of fear, my family succeeded in keeping this secret right up until my father´s death. This notwithstanding, it was only in the fall of 1944 that I realized the Nazis were criminals.
But I had known since 1941 that Germany was going to lose the war. And I also knew that what we were fighting for was bad. George was fighting for the right thing, a good thing.
The end of Hitler’s World War was inevitable. But in the wake of the ensuing chaos in Germany and the division of my country into four zones of occupation, the Americans introduced monetary reform in the three Western zones in 1948, and this, in combination with the Marshall Plan, was a success. Above all, under American aegis, the three Western zones became the Bonn Republic in 1949.