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Martin Joseph Hillenbrand

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Athens - Martin Joseph Hillenbrand, 89, died Wednesday, February 16 at his home in Athens, Ga.
Dr. Hillenbrand was born August 1, 1915 in Youngstown, Ohio, to Joseph and Maria Hillenbrand, and spent his boyhood in Chicago, Illinois. He was graduated from the University of Dayton in 1937, from which he also received a Doctorate of Letters (honoris causa) in 1963. He received his M.A. (1938) and Ph.D. (1948) degrees from Columbia University, and pursued post-graduate studies at Harvard University (1949-50). He also received the degree of LL.D. (h.c.) from the University of Maryland (1973).
In 1939, he entered the U.S. Foreign Service, and was assigned as a vice consul to Zurich, Switzerland. In 1940, he was sent to Rangoon, Burma, where he met and married (1942) Faith Stewart, who would become his wife of 62 years; Mrs. Hillenbrand died in May of 2004. When the Japanese invaded Burma (1942), the Hillenbrands were transferred to Calcutta, India, and in 1944, to Lourenco Marques, Mozambique.
After the war ended, Dr. Hillenbrand served in Bremen, Germany (1946-50), Washington, D.C. (1950-52), Paris, France (1952-56), Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany (1956-58), and again at the Department of State in Washington (Director, Office of German Affairs, 1958-62, and Director of the Berlin Task Force, 1962-63).
In 1962, he was awarded the Department of Stateís Distinguished Service Medal, and promoted to the rank of Career Minister (the youngest Foreign Service Officer ever to attain that rank). He was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, Federal Republic of Germany (Deputy Chief of Mission, 1963-67), was appointed U.S. Ambassador (the first U.S. Ambassador) to the Hungarian Peoplesí Republic (1967-69), and Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (1969-1972). In 1972, Dr. Hillenbrand became the U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, where he served with distinction until 1976. Upon retiring from government service, Dr. Hillenbrand was awarded the Grand Cross of Merit (the highest civilian honor) by the German government.
In 1977, Dr. Hillenbrand began a second career as Director General of the Atlantic Institute for International Affairs, based in Paris, France, where he worked and resided until 1982. He then accepted the position of Dean Rusk Professor of International Relations at the University of Georgia (Athens, Ga.), which he held until 1997; when he retired for the second time, he became the Dean Rusk Professor Emeritus. While at the University of Georgia, Dr. Hillenbrand was Director of the Center for Global Policy Studies (1983-91), and codirector of the Center for East-West Trade Policy (1987-97). He was Chairman of the Fellowship Selection Committee of the Robert Bosch Foundation (New York, N.Y., 1983-92, Honorary Chairman, 1992-96). He served as a trustee of the Southern Center for International Studies (Atlanta, Ga., 1983-87, Chairman, 1987-90), and sat on the Board of Directors of Mercedes-Benz, North America (1990-94). Dr. Hillenbrand was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Foreign Service Association, the Diplomatic Advisory Committee of the American Council on Germany, and the American Academy of Diplomacy. He was the author of numerous books and articles, including: Power and Morals (1949), Germany in an Era of Transition (1983), Fragments of Out Time: Memoirs of a Diplomat (1998), coauthor/editor of The Future of Berlin (1980), and coeditor of Global Insecurity (1982).
Dr. Hillenbrand is survived by his three children, Ruth Quinet of Seattle, Washington, David Hillenbrand of Toronto, Canada and Savannah, Ga., and John Hillenbrand of Athens, Ga., who remember him for his kind and generous nature, his extraordinary ability to extemporize on virtually any subject, his intellectual curiosity, his love of travel and fine dining, and his enchanting smile. He was the loving grandfather of Derrick Quinet, Stuart Hillenbrand, and Joseph Hillenbrand.
A memorial service will be held at eleven oíclock A.M. on Monday, February 21 at the Catholic Center at the University of Georgia. Memorials may be made to the St. Maryís Hospice, P.O. Box 6588, Athens, Ga. 30604.
Bernstein Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements (www.bernsteinfuneralhome.com).
Published in Athens Banner-Herald on Feb. 20, 2005
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