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SONNENFELDT HELMUT SONNENFELDT September 13, 1926 - November 18, 2012 A memorial service to celebrate the life of Helmut Sonnenfeldt will be held on Monday, December 17, at 10:30 a.m. at Temple Sinai, 3100 Military Road, N.W., Washington, D.C. Hal Sonnenfeldt was born in Berlin, Germany, the son of Drs. Walther and Gertrud Sonnenfeldt. He left Germany in 1938 and attended secondary school and one year of university in England before he was able to rejoin his parents in the United States in 1944. After service in the U.S. Army, in the Philippines and in the Army's Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) in Germany, he earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees at Johns Hopkins University. He later served as a lecturer at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and for more than three decades as a member of the Johns Hopkins University Board of Trustees. Specializing in Soviet and European affairs at the U.S. Department of State (1952 -1977), Hal was posted to the White House as a Senior Member of the National Security Council from 1969 until 1974, when he was appointed Counselor of the Department of State. He served in that post until 1977. He participated in all the major negotiations with the Soviet Union and was actively involved in U.S. relations with European governments. Hal valued his 32-year association as a Guest Scholar at The Brookings Institution (1978-2010). He also enjoyed his work as the longest-serving member of the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel (1971-2010). He was awarded the Navy's highest civilian honors, and was also honored for his service by the U.S. Department of State and the governments of several European nations. Helmut Sonnenfeldt died peacefully at Brighton Gardens of Friendship Heights on November 18, surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife, Marjorie Hecht Sonnenfeldt; daughter Babette Sonnenfeldt Lubben (Gary); sons Walter H. Sonnenfeldt (Deborah) and Stewart H. Sonnenfeldt (Michelle); and grandchildren Eric and Ann Lubben, Alden, Abigail, Trent and Katherine Sonnenfeldt. Inurnment will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be directed to The Helmut Sonnenfeldt Fellowship Fund at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, at 1740 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20036.In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be directed to The Helmut Sonnenfeldt Fellowship Fund at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, at 1740 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20036.
Published in The Washington Post from Dec. 14 to Dec. 16, 2012