Today, May 2nd, it was announced that the youngest of the Nazi interrogators, John E. Dolibois has died at the age of 96. The former ambassador and native of Luxembourg had many “firsts” in his life. He went from Eagle Scout to college student at Miami University. where he met his beloved wife Winnie, who preceded him in death five years ago.
He became a truck driver in the Army, but soon his leadership skills and language abilities were recognized and he became the youngest strategic interrogator of Hitler’s inner circle. Much of that journey is outlined in his book Pattern of Circles.
After the army, he chose to return to the Miami campus where he became the first alumni director and coordinated the building of eight campus buildings during the 14 years stay.
President Ronald Reagan appointed him as ambassador to Luxembourg; he was the first naturalized American citizen to return to his native country as ambassador.
I had the distinct pleasure of getting to know John who graciously accepted a speaking engagement with the EmpowerU Program on November 11, 2013. Although he was a historical treasure and living legend, he was warm and engaging with a great sense of humor and a sharp recollection of the facts and very open about his life. We had a packed house at the American Legion Hugh Watson Post 530 and a truly patriotic evening.
I know from a Miami University spokesman, whom I had invited to hear John’s presentation that “there will be much sorrow and weeping when John dies as he is dearly loved at this university. If you interacted with him for any amount of time, you knew you were in the presence of a very special human being.
The EmpowerU family is grateful for his contribution to our program.