Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection


Don Nicoll

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 352


Anita Holst-Jensen was born in Chemnitz (KarlMarxstadt), East Germany on March 16, 1945 to Rasma Rasmanis and Arvids Lusis. Her mother emigrated from Latvia in September of 1944. Jensen was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany, where she lived for her first four years. The family eventually immigrated to Australia in 1949, settling in Victoria. Jensen did all of her schooling in Australia, and went to University in Melbourne. She married Henning Holst- Jensen, and in 1966 they moved to Perth, Denmark. When immigration into the United States became available in 1968, they moved to the Washington area. Jensen took a job with Investors Overseas Services, later Equity Funding. In 1970, she went to work in Senator Ed Muskie’s office. She worked in his office until he became Secretary of State. She stayed on in the office of George Mitchell for his fourteen years of Senate service and became more involved with speech writing and research.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: finding a place to live out of displaced persons camps after World War II; Kennedy’s Immigration Reform bill; recruiting European help for American corporations; Investors Overseas Services scandal; going to work for Ed Muskie; the Senate offices in 1970; answering mail and constituent correspondence; Dan Lewis and Tyrone Brown; Maynard Toll; 1976 State of the Union response; relationship with Leon Billings; backlog of mail in the Senate offices; US-China trade relations; clothespins and China; campaign staff vs. Senate staff; personal relationship with Muskie; foreign perspective of the American system of government; apprehension about moving to America while living in Denmark; differences between the American and Australian systems; Gayle Cory; gender relations in the Senate during the 1970s; Gus Garcelon; relationship with Jane Fenderson; Maynard Toll as Administrative Assistant; reproductive rights; debates with Ed Muskie; Madeleine Albright’s relationship with Muskie and other staff; working for Senator Mitchell; issues of Senator Mitchell’s first two years; impressions of Senator Muskie; change in Washington, D.C. from the 1970s to the 1980s and 1990s.

Use Restrictions

Copyright Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.