Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Eric Fleisher
FLEISHER: No. So, I went there as press attache. It was not one of my better assignments because I was a round peg in a square hole. I was not really a press man, despite my newspaper ancestry. My father had had that job about 30 years earlier. A lot of people reminded me of that. They didn't say so directly, but I felt that they thought “You're not as competent as your old man was.” Anyway, it was not one of my better posts. But I had family there. My brother and sister lived there. My sister was at the time probably the oldest locally employed American in any of our embassies abroad. She was there for more than 50 years. She's just recently retired in the last couple of years. She ran the residence and handled protocol. So, it was nice to be with my family. It was the last couple years of my father's life. Personally, it was okay, but professionally...
Q: Did we have an ambassador by the time you arrived?
FLEISHER: No, we didn't, but we got one. That was Strausz-Hupe.
Q: Was there still a lingering hostility over Vietnam and Nixon wheyou got there?
FLEISHER: Well, not really.
Q: It had disappeared pretty much.
FLEISHER: Because it was something that had been fostered by the left-wing, and when the left-wing lost interest, the enthusiasm sort of dissipated. Not that they favored American policy. Just like other European countries, the Swedes had two views on the United States, one being admiration and the other, envy. That remains so today.
Q: Yes. What were the problems you had to deal with as press attache?
FLEISHER: Well, mainly Vietnam. It was still going on and I woulmake speeches supporting our policy.
Q: Did you travel around the country making speeches?
FLEISHER: Yes, I did. I used every opportunity I could. I knew I was speaking to a stone wall with the exception of the Conservatives at that time.