Secret White House Tapes

Meeting with Max Immanuel—September 27, 1949

About this recording

  • Max Immanuel
September 27, 1949
The recording begins with the conversation already in progress. Eisenhower and
Immanuel are discussing the fact that he is the president of an import-export business .
Eisenhower remarks that the United States is "trying to increase our imports and cut
down on our exports." When Immanuel asks Eisenhower about his travels in Germany,
they begin a discussion of the time Eisenhower has spent in Europe. He talks about
traveling in Bavaria after World War II and fishing .
The conversation then turns to a discussion of the situation in Germany. Eisenhower tells
Immanuel that Germany is in a position to deal with both the East and the West. He says
that Western Europe must not fall under Communist domination . He speaks of the
situation in Yugoslavia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. He tells Immanuel that if
any of these broke away for the Soviet Union "it would be a great thing for peace in the
world." Speaking of Europe in general, Eisenhower says "people of any generally
enlightened nation are about the same as they are in any other." He does, however, say
that after its time under Hitler, Germany needs to re-educate its people to think more like
the rest ofEurope.
The next topic of conversation is Eisenhower's family background in Germany. He tells
Immanuel that his family was driven out of Germany for religious reasons in 1630. They
moved to Switzerland then Holland and in 1720 moved to America. He remarks that
coincidentally his mother and father's ancestors left Germany at about the same time.
The last segment of the recording is difficult to understand, but Immanuel appears
concerned that another war is imminent. Eisenhower tells him "some day if you feel like
it write me a memorandum andjust summarize your views" and recommends that he
contact the United States Department of State .