4th Secretary-General of the United Nations, President of Austria (1918-2007)
Kurt Josef Waldheim (21 December 1918 – 14 June 2007) was an Austrian diplomat and politician who served as the fourth Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1972 to 1981, and the ninth President of Austria from 1986 to 1992.
- As the Secretary General of the United Nations, an organization of the 147 member states who represent almost all of the human inhabitants of the planet earth. I send greetings on behalf of the people of our planet. We step out of our solar system into the universe seeking only peace and friendship, to teach if we are called upon, to be taught if we are fortunate. We know full well that our planet and all its inhabitants are but a small part of the immense universe that surrounds us and it is with humility and hope that we take this step.
- You must not expect the United Nations to accomplish miracles. We are made up of sovereign nations. We can only accomplish what our member nations allow us to accomplish.
- quoted in the article The United Nations—How Strong a World Force?, in The Watchtower magazine, September 15, 1974.
- I do not expect miracles or spectacular successes - sound political progress is seldom based in either - but I am convinced that the United Nations provides the best road to the future for those who have confidence in our capacity to shape our own fate on this planet.
- We are men and women from many lands, representing a rich variety of cultures. And we have been brought together to work in a great common cause: the survival and progress of mankind. The concept of unity in diversity ... underlies our various pursuits at the United Nations.
- World-service speech, 1978
- Ich habe im Krieg nichts anderes getan als hunderttausende Österreicher auch, nämlich meine Pflicht als Soldat erfüllt.
- Selbstverständlich gibt es keine Kollektivschuld, trotzdem möchte ich mich als Staatsoberhaupt der Republik Österreich für jene Verbrechen entschuldigen, die von Österreichern im Zeichen des Nationalsozialismus begangen wurden.
- Translation: Of course, there is no such thing as collective guilt, but I want to apologise as head of state of the Republic of Austria for those crimes committed by Austrians under the banner of National Socialism.
- Rede des Bundespräsidenten Dr. Kurt Waldheim am Vorabend des 50. Jahrestages des „Anschlusses“ Österreichs an Hitlerdeutschland im Österreichischen Fernsehen
- Often quoted as simply "There is no such thing as collective guilt".
- I love him and Maria does too, and so thank you, Kurt.