Skip navigation

Thursday February 2, 2012

'The most brilliant foreign-policy mind'

Klaus Goldschlag, one of the most distinguished postwar Canadian diplomats, died of pancreatic cancer at Belmont House in Toronto on Monday. He was 88.

Born in Berlin on March 23, 1922, Goldschlag escaped his homeland and came to Canada as a teenager with the help and sponsorship of Toronto businessman Alan Coatsworth. He graduated from the University of Toronto and Princeton and, after serving with the Canadian military, joined the Department of External Affairs in the late 1940s, serving as ambassador to Turkey, Italy and the Federal Republic of Germany.

"By common consensus, he was the most brilliant foreign-policy mind we had from 1960-1980, the generation after Pearson," said Allan Gotlieb, former ambassador to the United States. "He was a strategic thinker and a delightfully amusing and witty individual."

Goldschlag was named to the Order of Canada in 1983 in recognition of his achievements abroad and at home as deputy undersecretary of state for External Affairs and was the winner of the Public Service Outstanding Achievement Award. The citation commended him for providing advice to government that was "both highly original and practical, and has resulted in comprehensive solutions to complex international problems."

Predeceased by his wife, Shan, Goldschlag leaves three daughters, eight grandchildren and a son-in-law. A memorial service is planned for the spring in Ottawa. A full obituary is forthcoming.

Back to top