Helmut Kohl, father of German reunification, dies

Claudine Rigal
Juin 26, 2017

"Helmut Kohl was a great European and a very good friend", Juncker said, adding that the former was an objective observation while the latter was a very personal statement. "We mourn his loss today, even as we know his remarkable life will inspire future generations of leaders to dare and achieve greatly".

Helmut Kohl was a towering figure in German and European history.

"It is with sadness that I have learned of the death of former Chancellor of Germany, Helmut Kohl", he said in a statement.

Germany was divided into West and East Germany after World War Two.

"The crucial thing is what comes out at the end", he famously said in 1984.

After the war, he spent his entire political life in the new Christian Democratic Union of Konrad Adenauer and Ludwig Erhard. "His vision helped to usher the global community into the 21st century, to build bold and lasting relationships that endure to this day", Mr Clinton said.

Kohl had spoken to his biographers at length about his friendship with Bush, whom he met while the American was still serving as vice president under Ronald Reagan.

Merkel also called Kohl "stroke of luck of us German", since Kohl seized the historic chance and overcome difficulties to unify Germany. He entrenched Germany in a wider Europe, in the hope of achieving a unity and peace that the continent had never known before. And about the German situation they said: "if Helmut Kohl doesn't push it through, nobody else will", Kohl said. When he finally got home, in early June, he found Ludwigshafen three-quarters destroyed but the Kohl family home still standing.

Kohl, of course, did become chancellor.

He is also hailed for his contribution to European integration and the European single currency and market.

Kohl, who had been in poor health and confined to a wheelchair since 2009, died on Friday at the age of 87.

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili also offered his condolences to the German people.

EU Council President Donald Tusk "Helmut's death hurts me deeply. In Russia, he will be remembered as a principled advocate of friendly relations between our countries", Putin said.

Even Germany's Left party, the spiritual successor to the East German communists, said that Friday's focus should be on "mourning a great European".

When Bonn prosecutors launched an investigation into possible breach-of-trust charges in January 2000, Kohl was pressured to give up his party's symbolic honorary chairmanship - notably by Merkel, a longtime Kohl protegee.

From autumn 1989 to spring 1990 Hans Modrow was prime minister of the GDR and held the first talks with the FRG Chancellor Helmut Kohl about the reunification of Germany.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel paid tribute to a "great German statesman and above all a great European".

When Yeltsin passed away in 2007, Kohl called his death a heavy loss, saying that he remembered "with pleasure our honest and politically priceless meetings, during which he proved himself to be a reliable partner and a true friend". "United Germany and shaped the European Union of today".

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