Photograph of Wolfgang J. Lehmann (far left) in Austria in the early 1950s, sitting with former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt (far right) and fellow embassy staff member B.J. McGuigan (center) for a press conference.

Evacuation under pressure

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Wolfgang J. Lehmann served as a Foreign Service Officer from 1951 to 1983, experiencing significant events in diplomatic history during the cold war era. The Diplomacy Center recently collected several artifacts representing his distinguished career that spanned eight presidential administrations.

Lehmann’s Foreign Service assignments included: Political Officer U.S. Embassy Vienna; supervisor of the U.S. Refugee Relief Program; Public Affairs Advisor for European Affairs at the Department of State; Political Advisor to the U.S. European Command in Germany; Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Saigon; Consul General, Frankfurt, Germany; and Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence.

Examples from his collection include this engaging photograph of Lehmann (far left) in Austria in the early 1950s, sitting with former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt (far right) and fellow embassy staff member B.J. McGuigan (center) for a press conference. In Saigon, he managed the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy under fire during the last days of the conflict in Vietnam. His day planner from 1975 records the 2 days of the evacuation, April 29th and 30th. A few days later, he received a copy of this telegram from President Gerald Ford, thanking the ambassador and his staff for the safe evacuation under tremendous pressure.

Telegram from President Gerald Ford, thanking the ambassador and his staff for the safe evacuation under tremendous pressure.

Telegram from President Gerald Ford, thanking the ambassador and his staff for the safe evacuation under tremendous pressure.

day planner with notes included, Tuesday and Wednesday

Wolfgang J. Lehmann’s day planner from 1975 records the two days of the evacuation from Vietnam, April 29th and 30th.