Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Eric Fleisher
FLEISHEI was given an assignment to Germany where the Displaced Persons Commission needed people to investigate visa applicants. We were given provisional appointments pending later confirmation.
Q: How long did that last?
FLEISHER: I didn't do that very long. I did it for about a year. I felt that being in Germany - and I was newly married then - was very much like the occupation in Japan and I didn't want this occupation type of life as a career. My second interest was academic. I thought I would study medieval history. At that time, the best professor I knew was at the University of Lund in southerSweden. So, I went to Lund asked Professor Bohlin if I could become one of his graduate students. He accepted me. So, I asked to be released from the Foreign Service to complete my education and was told I couldn't do that. If I wanted to pursue that course I would have to resign and take my chances should I later wish to come back into the Foreign Service. So that is what I did and went on to the University of Lund. I soon discovered that I could not get a doctorate in medieval history without a great deal more proficiency in Latin, and my GI Bill of Rights would not cover that much time. So, I switched to modern history and wrote my dissertation on the early diplomatic relations between the United States and Sweden, “A Study in Diplomacy and Commerce, 1776-1828,” or from independence to free trade.
Q: And that lasted until 1953?
FLEISHER: To 1953, yes.
Q: And then you came back into the Foreign Service. How did thahappen.
FLEISHER: Well, I sent out a lot of applications to various universities and also one to the Foreign Service, which I didn't think was going to amount to anything because I'd left. I got an answer from the University of Minnesota that they were very interested in me, but it would be four years before that job would be available. I had a wife and a daughter and I needed a job then. But the State Department said that if I would go into the Refugee Relief Program, I'd get a provisional appointment and take it from there. So, that's what I did.
Q: So you got reinstated and joined the Refugee Relief Program. You were sent to the Netherlands?