Former German chancellor Kohl dies at 87

Pauline Gross
June 20, 2017

"His legacy will live on", he said. The world has benefitted from his vision and efforts.

"A great German has died", Gabriel said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May paid tribute to "a giant of European history" and "the father of modern Germany". Under heavy pressure in 1989, he negotiated with the leaders of the United States, the former Soviet Union and secured a peaceful and stable Germany reunification, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported.

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

Kohl's passing comes as U.S. He celebrated the European Union's eastward expansion in 2004 with a speech declaring that "the most important rule of the new Europe is: There must never again be violence in Europe".

Born in Ludwigshafen am Rhein on April 3, 1930, Helmut Kohl was drafted to the German army in 1945 but not involved in combat, with the Second World War ending that year.

Kohl died Friday at 87.

Politicians from Germany and overseas paid tribute to the merits of the CDU politician about German unity and the convergence of Europe.

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal, extends his condolences to Kohl's family and the government and the people of Germany. When he finally got home, in early June, he found Ludwigshafen three-quarters destroyed but the Kohl family home still standing.

Macron added that Europe's open borders, shared euro currency and the beginnings of collective European defense "owe a lot to Helmut Kohl". The party leaders hinted that Kohl's tenure was more productive than his successors Gerhard Schröder and Merkel.

Russian President Vladimir Putin credited Kohl with "playing a key role in putting an end to the Cold War and with the reunification of Germany".

Kohl persuaded Bush to accept a larger, reunified Germany, and convinced Gorbachev to withdraw troops from East Germany.

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Helmut Kohl was forced to leave his post as honorary chairman of the CDU in 2000 after he was accused of using illegal sources to finance the party.

On July 16, 1990, it fell to Gorbachev as Soviet president and to Kohl, as chancellor of West Germany, to reach an agreement on the reunification of communist East Germany with the capitalist west. Kohl refused to identify the donors.

"He stood fast to the dream and aim of a united Germany even as others hesitated", she said in a televised statement from Rome.

President Trump said Kohl was a friend and ally of the United States.

With his second marriage, critics including Schwan said Mr. Kohl, who found speech hard after his fall, appeared to be in thrall to his second wife, Maike.

From a human perspective, I can only say that my meetings with Helmut Kohl have always been marked by mutual respect - both at the time when I was the prime minister of the GDR, and later as we were colleagues in the Bundestag.

Former US President George H.W. Bush said the world had lost "a true friend of freedom". "We value his contribution in strengthening India-Germany ties", Modi tweeted. In the statement released Friday, Bush stated that through their work together, "Helmut was a rock - both steady and strong".

Merkel says Kohl understood that there was a "historic chance" to overcome Germany's decades-long division and seized it. Chancellor Kohl, recalls Cardinal Marx was a regular guest of the Katholikentag.

Later, he was mentor to Germany's current chancellor, Angela Merkel, handing her her first ministerial post in 1991 and referring to her as his "mädchen" or girl.

For all his accomplishments as chancellor, Kohl's life was tinged by controversy and personal tragedy after he left office in 1998 as Germany's longest-serving leader since Bismarck.

Kohl's Christian Democratic Union party announced the news with a memorial message, reports CNN.

The colossally-built Kohl, of the Christian Democratic Union, was Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (or West Germany) from 1982 to 1990, and then of reunited Germany till 1998 after the German Democratic Republic merged with it after fall of its communist government.

Other reports by GizPress

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