The Personality of Waldemar Gurian

Review of Politics 17/1 (January 1955): 33-42. 

Reprinted in Men in Dark Times.


He was a man of many friends and a friend to all of them, men and women, priests and laymen, people in many countries and from practically all walks of life. Friendship was what made him at home in this world and he felt at home wherever his friends were, regardless of country, language or social background. Knowing how sick he was, he made his last trip to Europe because, as he said, “I want to say farewell to my friends before I die.” He did the same when he came back and stayed a few days in New York, did it consciously and almost systematically, without a trace of fear or self-pity or sentimentality. He who throughout his life had never been able to express personal feeling without the greatest embarrassment could do this in a kind of impersonal manner, without feeling, and therefore without causing, embarrassment. Death must have been very familiar to him.