Nixon learns to say 'Danke'
By UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL Published: May 22, 1972
SALZBURG, Austria — President Nixon ate lunch on an Austrian mountain Sunday, but his thoughts and speech wore already on another summit — the Kremlin talks which begin Monday in Moscow.
"I look forward to the most intensive negotiations I have ever participated in on substantive matters," Nixon told newsmen as he strolled through the gardens of the Salzburg castle where he is resting en route to Moscow.
The presidential party sandwiched in a quiet Sunday between the noisy antiwar demonstrators who greeted him Saturday night and the excitement of his week in Moscow. He spent the day studying briefs on his Kremlin talks, walking in the grounds of Klessheim Palace or handshaking his way through a crowd of 300 Austrians and Germans outside the palace gates.
Nixon got a brief language lesson from his German-born aide, Henry Kissinger, who told the President that the way to say "Thank you" is, "Danke."
He talked for an hour with Austrian Chancellor. Bruno Kreisky, then joined Kreisky for lunch at the Kobenzl, a restaurant 2,400 feet up Gaisberg Mountain, .commanding a breathtaking view of Salzburg and the Alps beyond.
Kissinger, in a wide-ranging briefing for newsmen, made it clear that the United States plans to keep bombing North Vietnam and blocking its harbors during the summit talks.
Kissinger added that one major issue still blocked agreement on a strategic arms limitation (SALT) treaty but said he was reasonably confident a treaty would be reached in Moscow. Nixon also will seek the chance to bring up the concern of U.S. Jews over the treatment of Jews in the Soviet Union, he said.
Kissinger stressed the big issue of war and peace — the U.S. belief that peace can only be achieved through Soviet=American restraint. Given this restraint, the Moscow summit could lead to a generation of world tranquility, he said.
The President and his wife arrived here Saturday night about jive hour after a battle between 100 police and 200 demonstrators at Salzburg Airport. As lie left the airport, he was jeered by screaming demonstrators held back by double lines of helmeted police.
If the President was shaken by that welcome to normally peaceful Salzburg, he did not show it Sunday as he emerged from 18th century Klessheim Palace, his home here, and mingled in bright sunshine with sightseers outside the gates.
Nixon laughed and joked with the crowd of Austrians and Germans outside the suburban palace.
Nixon and Kissinger spent 10 minutes mixing with the crowd, returning to the palace just in time to welcome Kreisky for talks.
But, in downtown Salzburg, a crowd of demonstrators, including Kreisky's 28-year-old son, Peter, ripped down an American flag outside the press headquarters for the presidential visit, then dodged and darted up side streets as riot police waded in with nightsticks flailing.
"How do you like Salzburg?" Nixon was asked as he shook hands with the crowd of 300 outside the stone gates of Klessheim, an 18th-century palace where the presidential party was spending 36 hours en route to Moscow.
"Oh, it is a beautiful city," Nixon said. "I was here many years ago." He visited Salzburg in 1956 as vice president and, with his wife, in 1963 as a private tourist.
The President, wearing a light blue suit with a wide black polka-dotted necktie, took a mini-camera from a 16-year-old Austrian girl wearing blue jeans, gave it to a U.S. security man, then posed for pictures with the delighted girl.
He bent over to shake hands with children and joke quietly with them. One mother began to weep with pride.
"Bravo," the crowd shouted.
At one point, Nixon turned to Kissinger and asked, "is this (Klessheim) a castle or a palace?"
"It's a schloss," said Kissinger.
"Well, that's it in Germany," Nixon said, "but I guess Austrian and German are not the same." Actually, "schloss" means palace and the Austrians speak German. There is no Austrian language.
A four-year-old boy presented Nixon with a tiny bouquet of buttercups. The President leaned down to pat him and then turned to Fuerth-born Kissinger and said, "How do you say thank you in German?"
"Danke," said Kissinger.
What Nixon said came out like "donkey" and Kissinger laughed.
The President was in an extremely amiable mood.
He was attracted to one good-looking young woman. Then, turning to Kissinger, he said, "She's pretty. She's not married. "
Then, teasing loudly, Nixon told the young woman that Kissinger — Washington's most famous swinger — had been to "China, Russia" and, he added with extra emphasis, "Hollywood."
He then turned to a policeman on a motorbike and said, "Thank you for your help. This is a great place to stay, isn't it?"
"Of American tourists who come to Europe, duly eight percent get to Vienna and Salzburg," he commented. "That, of course, is a great loss because Vienna and Salzburg are a must."
Then he quipped, "Tell the Austrian chamber of commerce and I'll get five per cent."