Stef Wertheimer & Henry Kissinger

Commentary by Dr. Ursula A. Falk


A Dream Fulfilled

Like many refugees, escapees from the Nazi terrorists, European Jews from Germany, Russia and other dictatorships who managed to flee to America and Israel (formerly Palestine) with barely the clothes on their backs were human beings with abilities, with ambitions, with hopes, with dreams and with pride. They wanted to survive, raise their offspring and create a better life than they had experienced. Their earthly goods had been confiscated, including their homes, their occupations, and their livelihoods. Their voices had been stilled. They saw their brethrens beaten and persecuted, their friends abused and denuded, their families torn apart. With courage, faith and luck they came to the promised land. They could not speak the language of their new country, they did not seem to understand the American way or its people, they felt lost but they were free. Nothing else mattered; their lives had been spared. The Statue of Liberty was symbolic to them. It spelled hope and freedom, independence from their oppressors, their kin’s murderers. They now were free - they had a future! Although the jobs that they found were menial and backbreaking ones, their dreams were great. They were determined to succeed. Even from the most meager salaries they saved pennies to fulfill their dreams for themselves and their children. The air of freedom seemed to permeate their very souls. The younger members of the émigrés attended school and worked very hard to accomplish their potential and became successful businessmen, doctors, attorneys, professors, and social workers as well as engaging in other worthy occupations. One of the many such persons was described in a recent newspaper article and will here be cited:

Stef Wertheimer fled Nazi Germany at age ten with a conviction that industry was the way of building a Jewish State. He was a self taught man whose formal education ended at age fourteen after he was expelled for slugging a teacher who harassed a female classmate. From then on, he started developing the skills he later used in industry, working as an apprentice in an optical shop, later a camera repair shop and still later preparing bomb sights for the Royal Air Force during World War II and still later in Israel’s pre-state underground, making precision tools to manufacture guns and bombs. Ultimately he went into business for himself. He set up four industrial parks in Israel’s underdeveloped Galilee and southern Negev regions, nurturing more than one hundred fifty export oriented businesses. Stef Wertheimer – Israeli industrialist -  could not even afford a lathe when he began his cutting tools company in 1952 in a backyard shed. Today he and son Eitan have partnered with billionaire Warren Buffett ,who invested four billion dollars in their Iscar Metalworking Company.

Heinz Alfred Kissinger, better known as Henry Kissinger, was born on May 27, 1923 in Fuehrt, Germany, the son of a teacher. He escaped to the United States in 1938 and was naturalized a United States citizen in 1943. He received the BA Degree Summa Cum Laude at Harvard College in 1950 and his MA and PhD in 1952 and 1954. For 17 years he was on the faculty of Harvard University and ultimately became secretary of State and Security Advisor in the Nixon Administration, and later served in the Bush Administration. He won the Nobel peace price for being instrumental in arranging the cease fire in North Vietnam. He won innumerable other prizes and honors, wrote a number of books and reached the goals that he had set for himself. 

There are myriads of examples of people who were, through hard work, inner incentives and courage, to fulfill the dream of their lives!


Dr. Ursula A. Falk is a psychotherapist in private practice and the co-author, with Dr. Gerhard Falk, of  Youth Culture and the Generation Gap.

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