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Rusk O, Interview with Dean Rusk, circa 1985

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:19 - Life at University of Oxford

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Partial Transcript: Maybe we could talk about some of the details of what life was like.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses his time at the University of Oxford, including his study habits and the historical and political events that shaped his interests and collegiate life.

Keywords: Adolf Hitler; Japanese invasion of Manchuria; League of Nations; University of Oxford; World War II

00:06:47 - Studying in Germany in 1933

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Partial Transcript: And I was a student in Germany when Hitler seized power.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk remembers studying in Berlin, Germany when Adolf Hitler seized power, and describes the effect of the Nazi Party on the people of Germany. He further explains the socialization of German youth during the Nazi Party's campaign.

Keywords: Adolf Hitler; Berlin, Germany; HJ; Herbert Kammerrer; Hitler Youth; Mein Kampf; Nazi Party; SS Cavalry Brigade; Weimar Republic; World War II; crowd psychology; herd mentality

00:10:17 - Theoretical infiltration of Nazi Party into U.S.

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Partial Transcript: I went to Berlin to study international law with Professor Bruns at the Hochschule fur Politik.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes the influence of the Nazi Party on universities in Germany, and describes an instance in which a professor gave a seminar concerning the possibility of infiltrating the United States with Nazi propaganda.

Keywords: Deutsche Hochschule für Politik; Hochschule fur Politik; Nazi propaganda; Treaty of Versailles; University of Berlin

00:13:02 - Trip to Paris, France

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Partial Transcript: I was asking you about your trip to Germany and remarked that I think most Americans feel closer, at least more Francophile than Germanophile, and they would go to France in your position rather than Germany.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk contrasts his strict upbringing with the environment in Paris in the early 1930s. He tells a humorous story about buying "French postcards" on his first vacation to Paris, France. He talks about where he stayed in in the West Bank.

Keywords: Francophile; Germanophile; Notre Dames; Place de la Concord; West Bank

00:16:07 - Cecil Peace Prize essay / Studying the development of the British Commonwealth

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Partial Transcript: But then when I--I first went to Germany, to Hanover

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks about studying in Germany while he was a student at Oxford, including writing a paper comparing the British Commonwealth of Nations with the League of Nations that won him the Cecil Peace prize. He also talks about studying the development of the British Commonwealth and empire.

Keywords: British political system; Cecil Peace Prize; Commonwealth of Nations; Judicial Committee of the Privy Council; League of Nations; Lester B. Pearson; Michael Stewart; Mills College; St. John's College; Statute of Westminster; Virginia Foisie; W.C. Costin

00:22:00 - Antisemitism / Experiences in Germany in the years leading up to World War II

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Partial Transcript: And, of course, the Nazis were clearly in a dominant position there. But the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum continued open.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes his experience living with the Kammerrer family in Germany before the start of World War II. He describes episodes of discrimination and antisemitism and the rise of the Nazi party, including attending a Hitler rally.

Keywords: Adolf Hitler; Kaiser Wilhelm Museum; Nazi Germany; Nazi Party; Neubabelsberg; Potsdam; Templehof Airfield; World War II

00:28:46 - Culture and morality in Oxford

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Partial Transcript: Were you interested in the art? Did you become interested in the art museums and in the Louvre?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses his experiences with museums of Oxford, England, as well as the social and cultural shift from North Carolina to England.

Keywords: Rockefeller Foundation; art; culture

00:31:40 - Far Eastern affairs and G-2

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Partial Transcript: Let me reflect a little bit on my involvement with Far Eastern matters related to this question of China-Burma-India theatre [CBI].

Segment Synopsis: Rusk explains his role in the G-2 military intelligence task to gather and maintain information on British involvement in Asia.

Keywords: China-Burma-India theatre; Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth; Commonwealth Club; Indian Ceylon; Institute of Pacific Relations; Japanese invasion of Manchuria; Joseph Stilwell; Manchuria; Mills College; Robert F. Goheen; Third Infantry Division; University of California; University of Oxford; military intelligence

00:38:36 - "Asian expert" for the War Department

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Partial Transcript: Backing up a little bit: who did you work for or directly under at G-2?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes his time at Fort Leavenworth and his transition into the role of what he playfully calls an "Asian expert" for the War Department.

Keywords: Burma Road; Chester Nimitz; Chiang Kai-shek; Clair Chennault; Douglas MacArthur; Fort Leavenworth; George Marshall; James Compton; Joseph Alsop; Mills College; Soong May-ling; Winston Churchill

00:45:37 - Cultural dissonance, India and U.S.

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Partial Transcript: Do you have any memories? You flew to Delhi. Was this striking? This was the first time you had been in India.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses his experience traveling from China to India, and the obstacles of cultural dissonance between Indian people and American soldiers.

Keywords: Franklin D. Roosevelt; India-Burma-China Theatre; Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

00:50:15 - Joseph Stilwell

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Partial Transcript: What was it like to work for Stilwell? Did you see Stilwell daily and was he easy to work for?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks about General Stilwell's guidance of the China-Burma-India Theatre and the obstacles of leading Chinese troops.

Keywords: Burma Road; Chiang Kai-shek; China-Burma-India Theatre; Frank Merrill; Japan and China; Merrill's Marauders; New Delhi; Yunnan Province

00:57:42 - Daily responsibilities as Chief of Staff for War Plans

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Partial Transcript: What was your daily work like? Did you have sort of regular hours when you were in Delhi: at least get up in the morning and come to work?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes his responsibilities as Chief of Staff for War Plans.

Keywords: ALCAN Highway; Alaska Highway; Burma Road; DC-3 C-47; DC-3s; Douglas C-47 Skytrain; Douglas DC-3; G-2; Louis Mountbatten; military intelligence