Good bye, Col. Dr. Fritz Kraemer !
At the age of 95, one of the last Prussians passed away on September 8 in Washington DC: Fritz Kraemer, retired colonel and geo-strategic advisor to the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army for over 30 years, an influential advisor to a number of different Secretaries of Defense, German emigré with two PhDs and one monocle , a freedom fighter, combating "provocative weakness" and fighting for "peace through strength". The Pentagon´s "éminence grise" is to be put to rest with Full Military Honors at the Arlington National Cemetery on October 8.
Throughout his long life, Fritz Kraemer acted as a dedicated "talent scout" and it was in this missionary-like role that he "discovered" and encouraged young people – like myself since 1979 – and held them in his thrall during numerous night-time meetings. His sonorous voice would resound as he preached his creeds to us, often swinging his stick (with a built-in rapier) wildly in the air:
- You must believe in and fight for the "absolute values"! It is important to follow a code of honor.
- Show physical courage, take risks!
- Temperament, enthusiasm, reliability and imagination are important factors for the personality, for success and for the cause. The value of the IQ, on the other hand, is overestimated.
- There is less danger of people causing harm to themselves and others through arrogance and pride than through a lack of pride and a sense of inferiority.
- It is important to state your opinion as you see it and stand up for it, rather than saying what you think your superior would like to hear.
- Don´t allow "brilliant fools" to seduce you and lead you astray!
- Character counts, not position and title.
- Don´t ever ask "What´s in it for me?" Instead, ask "What is good for my country?"
- The crucial faults of countless modern politicians are their latent superficiality, their incurable lack of receptivity to the transcendental and the metaphysical, their lack of inner cultivation and their bad taste in employees.
- One of the major problems of our time is provincialism in foreign policy (which Fritz Kraemer aptly termed the "include me out" mentality).
- In our modern, egalitarian democracies, you always need a small, determined minority, an elite, to put ideals into practice. Democracies don´t want high-flyers, but regular people, who are just the same as anyone else.
- If you meet someone who truly excels – a rare event – then encourage them, foster them and give them lasting support in every way!
- The willingness to assume responsibility is an intrinsic criterion of any true elite. It is not about rewards or privileges, but about being willing to take on greater burdens and serious responsibility, in contrast to the average citizen, according to the old saying "noblesse oblige".
- Loneliness is the price of excellence.
- Read Shakespeare! This is the only way to think up new and more creative ideas than the 50,000 people in front of you.
- Intellectuals have always preached that everything is relative and there are no absolute values. According to them, a brilliant person can analyze and understand every problem. This relativism has caused complete confusion, uncertainty and disorientation. The result is a spiritual emptiness; everything is possible, and yet nothing is.
- Only semi-brilliant people can afford to be impressed with their own brilliance. Truly brilliant people know that brilliance is worthless.
- The worst thing about a loss of faith is not the fact that someone has stopped believing but that they are ready to believe anything.
- There can be no diplomacy without the threat of power behind it. Nothing works without power.
- If you look at it objectively, plain violence and raw power are necessary to check wild, untamed fanatics.
- The lesson we must learn from the Second World War is: War is started by "provocative weakness", the lack of a credible deterrent and a balance of power.
After many hours of listening to our mentor, Fritz Kraemer – sometimes until 4 am in the morning – we felt as though an almost metaphysical power was flowing through our veins.
He left a very deep personal impression, forming the minds of his followers, through the strict look in his piercing eyes, his precise choice of words, the force of his dark, intense voice, the clarity of his thoughts, his incorruptibility, the modesty of his almost monk-like way of life, his universal knowledge accumulated from around the world in 95 years of first-hand experience.
But he will also be remembered for the encouragement he gave us young men, our characters still unformed, and for his endearing, courteous manner.
Fritz Kraemer gave power and inner stability and gave others the courage to follow his ideals.
When he was 17, Henry Kissinger was thoroughly enthralled by Dr. Fritz Kraemer, who took him with him into the 84th U.S. Infantry Division and made a strong impression on his mind. When Henry Kissinger was made U.S. Secretary of State under President Ford, their friendship was broken off. Why? In Kraemer´s view: Kissinger´s policy was "always flexible and open ", whereas his true convictions were "always absolute".
Alexander Haig also has this geo-strategist at the Potomac to thank for his political career up to Secretary of State. When Kissinger was looking for a military assistant, his mentor put down his name as the only candidate on the list for this post, sent it to the Secretary of Defense and wrote a very heart-felt letter of recommendation to Kissinger. Kraemer had noted the brilliance of the late Major Alexander Haig years before in the Pentagon.
When I spoke to him of the Worldsecuritynetwork.com project again some months ago, he encouraged me to further extend this non-profit newsletter on security and foreign policy for the international information elite.
Worldsecuritynetwork is imbued with some of Col. Fritz Kraemer´s spirit – and of this we are proud. In his honor, we publish today - for the first time - Kraemer´s ideas "On Elitism".
Thank you, Dr. Kraemer!
Good bye, Col. Fritz Kraemer!