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PostFamous Accents: Victor Borge, Henry Kissinger...and a Mercedes (Leo Goldberger, USA, 06/25/21 1:30 pm)
I'd hasten to say that I by no means feel critical of anyone with any sort of accent. It is just that I am curious about its persistence--despite the age--in many people. For example, I myself, eager to assimilate as quickly as possible, have none. Of course then there are those, like my old friend Victor Borge, who deliberately kept his accent to enhance his show business appeal--though quite able to drop the accent as well. I am likewise able to adopt a pronounced Danish one--while dropping any hint of English when visiting my home country.
But as to some embarrassing errors in my recent posting. I was wrong about the Porsche; it was actually a 1938 Mercedes that Kissinger confiscated from a Nazi. My source was Kissinger: a Biography by Marvin and Bernard Kalb (Little Brown & Co., 1974). While their book was a Book of the Month selection, it was cited as too fawning--yet in my view it is superior in providing all sorts of details about Kissinger's earliest personality and early years and educational progress in the USA (in the initial chapter, "The Greening of a Greenhorn"). In rereading that chapter I was refreshed on a variety of facts I had forgotten, such as his encounter with Fritz Kraemer (then himself only a Private) and his own eventual promotion to Sergeant and then Captain--while he even served some months in the Bergrasse district, Hitler's famous turf.
JE comments: The Mercedes fits the chronology--and it was a fancier ride than an early Porsche, which was very spartan. I wonder about the logistics and legality of a GI "confiscating" a vehicle in Occupied Germany.
Another random reflection: the Kalb Kissinger bio was published forty-seven years ago. Ol' Henry has lived another half of his life since then.