Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with David J. Fischer
Q: Did you get involved in Protection and Welfare or anything likthat?
FISCHER: No, I don't remember that, I don't think so.
Q: Did you find yourself tangled up with German versus American laws on whose a citizen and whose not a citizen in the baby birth thing? Did this cause any problems?
FISCHER: I don't remember that. I don't think so. I met a woman here in San Francisco about six years ago who reminded me of something which I had totally forgotten. She came up to me somewhere I'm so grateful to you, etc. It turns out she did not have American citizenship according to the law because she had resided overseas one day too long or not one day enough or something. I said this is crazy and I issued her a passport. That's why she came up to me here. She was certainly very grateful that I had ignored the law and decided to act with common sense.
It was a rather humdrum. I tell people today who are interested in the Foreign Service, I use Frankfurt as an example of a post where the work was terribly dull. I'd gone to Harvard Law School and then issued birth certificates for six months of my life. For that matter, dealing with the visa applicants was hardly intellectually stimulating. But, what you could do outside that 9 to 5 job was wonderful. I did political reporting. The head of the Political Section in those days was a fellow by the name of Paul Kattenburg, Belgian born and who had been sent to Frankfurt because as an expert on Vietnam, he had told the Department things they didn't want to hear..
Q: Yes, we've interviewed Paul.
FISCHER: And Paul said if you want to do some political reporting, go ahead. So I ended up following the extreme right wing in Germany the so-called NDP, National German Party. They had a fairly big following in Wiesbaden.
Q: From your perspective where did the NDP fit? Were theextremists or were we looking for extremists?