Kurt Waldheim

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Kurt Josef Waldheim was an Austrian politician and diplomat who went on to become the Secretary General of the United Nations and the President of Austria for one term. Before he went to the Vienna Consular Academy, Waldheim served in the Austrian Army for a while when he was young. During the Second World War, Waldheim said he was studying law at the University of Vienna, but in reality, he was a member of the German Army that was occupying Austria at the time. This made it impossible for him to be president of the country, since his past ties to the Nazis threatened to stop all diplomatic efforts. But before he became President, he was an Austrian diplomat who held a number of important jobs, including being Austria’s permanent representative to the United Nations. Waldheim was also Austria’s Foreign Minister before he became the Secretary General of the United Nations for two terms, totaling nine years. During his time in office, his diplomatic efforts in the Middle East and Africa stood out.

Early years and childhood

Kurt Waldheim was born on December 21, 1918, in an Austrian village called Sankt Andra-Worden to Watzlawick and his wife. This village is near Vienna. His Czech-born father worked as an inspector of schools for the Roman Catholic Church. When the Habsburg Monarchy fell, his father changed the last name of the family to Waldheim.

There isn’t enough information about Waldheim’s childhood and schooling. From 1936 to 1937, Waldheim worked for the Austrian Army for a year. After that, he went to the Vienna Consular Academy and graduated three years later.

In 1938, Austria was taken over by Germany, and Waldheim joined the National Socialist German Students’ League, which was linked to the Nazi party. After that, he joined the SA, which was a paramilitary branch of the Nazi party, and was later drafted into the German Army.

Kurt Waldheim’s Career

Waldheim was a squad leader in the German army in Russia in 1941. After getting hurt in battle, he went back to work the next year and spent the next three years in the Balkans. During the Second World War, Waldheim said he was in school for a law degree at the University of Vienna. However, war records showed that he was in fact in the German Army.

In 1945, Waldheim joined the Austrian Diplomatic Service. One of his first jobs was as Secretary of the Legation in Paris, France. Six years after he joined the diplomatic service, Waldheim worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Vienna for four years.

Waldheim was in charge of Austria’s UN delegation in 1955, and the next year, he was chosen to be Austria’s minister plenipotentiary in Canada. After that, he was sent as the Austrian ambassador to Canada, where he stayed for four years. After his time in Canada, Waldheim was put in charge of political affairs in Austria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 1964, he was named Austria’s permanent representative to the UN. Four years later, he was named Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, a job he held for two years. After that, he went back to his job as his country’s permanent representative at the UN.

As a member of the People’s Party, he ran for the presidency of Austria in 1971, but he didn’t win. The next year, he was named secretary-general of the United Nations, a job he held for a total of nine years, or two terms. During Waldheim’s two terms as UN Secretary General, peacekeeping missions were sent to Nicaragua, Bangladesh, Guatemala, and Cyprus, among other places. He also helped with peace talks in the Middle East.

In 1980, he went to Iran to talk with Ayatollah Khomeini about freeing American hostages, but Khomeini wouldn’t let him talk to him. He was also the first UN Secretary-General to visit North Korea. He did this the year before. A year later, China wanted a candidate from the third world to be the UN Secretary-General, so Waldheim could not get a third term.

On June 8, 1986, he was elected President of Austria. However, the news about his past as a member of the Nazi party, which was revealed in the Austrian newspaper “Profil,” was bigger. It was called the “Waldheim Affair,” and during his time as President, he didn’t get much done because his past was a sore spot in diplomatic circles.

After his five-year term was over, he did not put himself up for re-election. An investigation by the Austrian government found that Waldheim knew about Nazi war crimes, even though he had said he had nothing to do with them or knew nothing about them.

Awards & Achievements

In 1994, Pope John Paul II gave Kurt Waldheim an honor called the “Order of Pius IX.”

Personal History and Legacies

On August 19, 1944, Waldheim married Elisabeth Ritschel. They had been married for 63 years and 2 months. They had three children. Their names were Lieselotte, Christa, and Gerhard.

Waldheim died on June 14, 2007, in Vienna, Austria, from a heart attack.

Estimated Net worth

Kurt is one of the wealthiest politicians and is on the list of the most popular ones. Based on what we found on Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider, Kurt Waldheim has a net worth of about $1.5 million.