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Samuel Reber III
(July 15, 1903 - December 25, 1971) U.S.A.

Samuel Reber



Samuel Reber III was born in East Hampton, New York, to a military family. His father, U.S. Army Signal Corps Colonel Samuel Reber II (1864 - 1933), was an 1886 graduate of West Point, and his mother Cecelia Sherman Miles (1869 - 1952) was the daughter of Lieutenant General Nelson A. Miles. He attended Groton School and graduated from Harvard University in 1925, where he rowed on the eight-man crew.

He a well-respected diplomat who spent twenty-seven years in the Foreign Service, including several years with the Allied High Commission for Germany. During his career, Reber was instrumental in revealing the weaknesses of Vichy France and, after World War II, in helping to shape the Austrian government.

In 1953, however, after Senator Joseph McCarthy charged that the U.S. State Department's upper ranks were stacked with communists and homosexuals, Reber was among those subjected to an investigation (including a polygraph interview), during which Reber admitted to having engaged in homosexual activity.

Because of Reber's high-profile, McCarthy threatened to reveal allegations of the diplomat's "moral turpitude", prompting Reber to resign on July 15, 1953, allowing him to claim he retired on his fiftieth birthday.

A senior investigator notified Secretary of State John Foster Dulles that "Reber has made a lot of admissions" about homosexuality. The polygraph operator determined that Reber had never had sexual relations with other State Department personnel, so he was not asked to name others. The rationale for his forced resignation became widely known within diplomatic circles and helped intimidate others.

Samuel Reber
Samuel Reber III, second from left, during a reception in his honor thrown by the Austrian government
Hotel Bristol, Vienna, Austria, 1949. Photo c/o imagno

The following year, Reber's brother, Major General Miles Reber, was called to testify at the Army-McCarthy hearings, and Senator McCarthy asked General Reber: "Are you aware of the fact that your brother was allowed to resign when charges that he was a bad security risk were made against him as a result of the investigation of this committee?"

As Time magazine reported, "General Reber sat in silence, gripping the edges of the witness table until his knuckles showed white. Finally, McCarthy, having made his point over radio and television, dismissed the entire question as unimportant, and grandly said he would withdraw it."

Reber later served as Executive Secretary of Goethe Haus in New York City. In 1958, the Federal Republic of Germany awarded him its Knight Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit.

Reber never married. He died in Princeton, New Jersey, aged 68.


Source: http://lgbt-history-archive.tumblr.com/ - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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