In later years, Henry Kissinger would minimize his Jewish heritage. When he discussed his childhood (which he did only rarely and reluctantly), he would describe it as `typical middle-class German,' adding only as an after thought that of course it was German Jewish....

He also minimized the traumas he faced as a child, the persecution and the beatings and the daily confrontations with a virulent anti-Semitism that made him feel like an outcast.... Kissinger's childhood friends regard such talk as an act of denial and self-delusion. Some of them see his escape from memory as a key to his legendary insecurities. The child who had to pretend to be someone else so that he could get into soccer games, they say, became an adult who was prone to deceit and self-deception in t he pursuit of acceptance by political and social patrons.

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