Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with George F. Muller
The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Foreign Affairs Oral History Project
GEORGE F. MULLER
Interviewed by: Thomas J. Dunnigan
Initial interview date: May 11, 1994
Copyright 1998 ADST
This is Thomas Dunnigan, interviewing George Muller on behalf of the Association for Diplomatic Studies.
Q: George you had an interesting background and an interesting way into the Foreign Service. Would you mind telling me something about that?
MULLER: Well, very briefly, I was born and raised in Vienna, Austria. After taking my high school Abitur, or Baccalaureate exam, I enrolled in the Vienna Consular Academy, which was then a well-known preparatory school for the foreign service. It was frequented by students not only from Austria, but also from many parts of the former Austro-Hungarian empire. (Two fellow students of mine who later joined the American Foreign Service were Hans Imhof and Anthony Geber.) I had always intended to pursue a diplomatic career and hoped to enter the Austrian foreign service, even though I was not in agreement with the direction Austrian politics were taking at that time.
I also enrolled at the University of Vienna in a course of law. In Austria you could do that, be at two institutions at the same time, because the exams were staggered.
Hitler annexed Austria in March of 1938. During the summer of 1938 I received a draft notice from the German army. Being strongly anti-Nazi, I requested a postponement of military service ostensibly on the grounds that I had to go to England to study English, to prepare myself for a career in the Foreign Service. This was granted.
With that excuse in hand, I left Vienna in August of 1938 never to return until after the war I saw clearly coming. I arrived in the United States in June of 1939.
I must say I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the Friends Service Committee in New York. They found for me not only a summer job in New Hampshire, with a professor of the Harvard Business School, but also a scholarship to the College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio, where I arrived in the fall of 1939.