Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Terrence George Leonhardy
When these women came in for citizenship services; they wanted to go back to Baltimore or New York for a visit after the war. I'd ask them, “Did you vote in the elections?” “Oh, sure I voted.” I'd say, “I'm sorry, you've lost your citizenship” Anyway, we had to go through the throes of taking their citizenship away but, eventually, they got special legislation through Congress restoring it. It was a kind of a difficult situation, however, and I was in that consular section for a couple of years. In total, I was there for four years until I was moved up to the commercial section. I had a very valuable Danish employee at the time, he was very knowledgeable about his country, his English was passable, and we used to bombard the Department of Commerce and the State Department with a lot of economic reporting. Then I was lucky in another respect. Shortly after I got there, there was another fellow who was an auxiliary officer. He didn't last very long but he came in for about a year, I think. And we were able to get a Danish cook who, with her husband, had had a restaurant in Weehawken, New Jersey, before the war. After her husband died, she came back to Denmark, and got stranded by the war. She knew all kinds of American recipes and she had good connections with people, with suppliers of food, and so forth. She also knew a ship chandler's wife who furnished food for all the ships and Danish merchant marines. So I was very lucky; she was just a wonderful person and she kept house for my apartment, and did the cooking and everything else. Well, she was just a...
Q: Well, who was the Ambassador then?
LEONHARDY: Oh, the first Ambassador we had was Monette Davis, that was the name I couldn't think a while ago. And he was in the Minister rank. Our first office was in the old Legation building, right near the National Palace and it was where Ruth Bryan Owen had been Minister to Denmark.
Q: The daughter of William Jennings Bryan.
LEONHARDY: And then Monette Davis was assigned as Consul General in Shanghai, I think, and then he was succeeded by a political ambassador, I can't think of his name, he was from Delaware [Editor: Josiah Marvel, Jr. took up his duties as Ambassador February 27, 1947]. His wife was the first wife of that famous financier, Jock Whitney. It was during this time that the Marshall Plan started, of course, and we had all this influx of people coming in to run that program. It's funny, the first head of the Marshall Plan was a guy named Marshall. Anyway, we moved from this small, old legation building which we couldn't even begin to fit into and we rented space in an office building that had been the Gestapo headquarters and had been blown up by the Resistance - a side of it had been blown off and was later repaired, and that's where we moved our office. We were there all the time; I was there all this...