Gerd Meuer mit Nobelpreisträger Wole Soyinka
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How I did NOT shake hands with J.F. Kennedy – and why

During the 1962 summer vacation at university I went to Nigeria fort he very first time. Immediately after I went to study at the University of CAEN, Normandy, France.
There, in spring 1963, I received a telegram from thebrand-new German ministry of Cooperation, whose chiefthen was one Walter Scheel, who later was elected Germany’s president.
In that telegram the ministry asked me to please send my personal details immediately, which I did. They needed those details in preparation for the forthcoming visit of American President J.F. Kennedy. A short time before the US had invented the PEACE CORPS and people in the Germanministry, instead of presenting J.F. K. with some porcelaine or other goody, wanted to present him something  immaterial, i.e., the equivalent of a German Peace Corps.
In 1962 we students were the first and only ones who had ever been to a so-called Third World country, and so we were going to be presented to JFK as the – fake - German PeaceCorps people. 
All of my 79 colleagues were in fact thus presented to andgot a hand-shake with JFK – whereas I did NOT! 
When I got to Bonn, the then capital, I was told why: my dossier had arrived too late for the German and American secret services to study it fully. So all the others had the privilege of that hand-shake. And some of them still have their photograph with JFK prominently displayed in their sitting rooms.
All I got was a free boat-ride with the minister on the river Rhine, and I have been suffering from an inferiority complex ever since….
I told the minister on a trip through five African countries years later and we had a good laugh.