Helmut Kohl, Germany's reunification chancellor, dies aged 87

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 20, 2017

Helmut Kohl, one of the towering figures of European politics whose greatest achievement is considered the skillful reunification of a divided Germany, has died at 87. He led Germany for a record 16 years - first as chancellor of West Germany from 1982 to 1990 and then as chancellor of the reunited Germany until 1998. Often harsh and thin-skinned, Kohl also could display a quick wit and jovial earthiness.

As an outstanding politician, Xi said, Kohl has made great contributions to German reunification and European integration, and his historic legacies will be remembered by all.

The second transformation was the introduction of the Deustche mark into East Germany in July 1990.

"Helmut Kohl filled the European house with life - not only because he built bridges to the west as well as to the east, but also because he never ceased to design even better blueprints for the future of Europe", Juncker said.

He was born in the year 1930 to Catholic parents and he joined the Hitler Youth in the year 1940 just at the age of ten.

The mass-selling newspaper Bild reported that Kohl died at 9.15 a.m. yesterday morning in bed at his home in Ludwigshafen, in western Germany, with his second wife, Maike Kohl-Richter, at his side. As a 15-year-old, he was about to be pressed into service in an anti-aircraft gun unit when the war ended.

George W Bush Snr the former president of the United States of America once said about him the most important European leader of the 20 century. "I send condolences to the Kohl family and to the German people".

Kohl linked his dedication to a united Europe to his memories of a wartime boyhood.

Still, the "blooming landscapes" that Kohl promised East German voters during reunification were slow to come after the collapse of its economy, and massive aid to the east pushed up German government debt.

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