Fritz Kraemer: Spiritual faith, vision and principles
Remarks by Joseph Schmitz, Inspector General U.S. Department of Defense
Like many others, Fritz Kraemer has had a profound influence on my life. It is an honor to play a small role in this celebration of both the man and, as he would have preferred, the principles for which he fought to the very end.
A year to the day after the terrorist attack on the Pentagon, immediately after the Pentagon ceremony honoring “America’s Heroes Lost September 11, 2001,” I had another unique honor associated with Fritz Kraemer. As I escorted Dr. Henry Kissinger through the Pentagon to his waiting car, I mentioned to Dr. Kissinger that I had recently queried one of his mentors, Fritz Kraemer, about what he thought was the most dangerous “domestic enemy to the United States Constitution.” Fritz had unhesitatingly answered, “Relativism”; and upon hearing this, Dr. Kissinger unhesitatingly replied, “I agree.”
This past Summer, when I informed Secretary Rumsfeld about the Fritz Kraemer book project, he enthusiastically offered a letter he had written to Sven Kraemer after his father’s passing the year before. The text of that letter is reproduced in the book we celebrate tonight. It’s classic Rumsfeld: “His courageous and brilliant career was an example to us all. I had the highest respect for him and valued my relationship with him greatly. I feel fortunate that I was able to benefit from his insight.”
I too feel fortunate to have benefited from the insight of Fritz Kraemer. Having inspected the book that we celebrate tonight, I am pleased to report that it captures not only the greatness of the man, but the profound spiritual faith, vision, and the principles behind the man. That is how old Fritz would have wanted it.