Helmut Kohl, Chancellor Who Reunited a Divided Germany, Dies at 87
Enlarge image (© Bundesregierung) Helmut Kohl, known as the Chancellor of Unity for his leadership during the fall of the Berlin Wall and the peaceful unification of Germany, passed away on June 16, 2017 at the age of 87. Kohl is Germany’s longest-serving head of government, serving as Federal Chancellor for more than 16 years, from 1982 to 1998. German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated on the death of Kohl, “He also changed the course of my life. I bow to his memory.”
Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said today on the passing of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, “He was a great statesman, a great German politician and above all a great European. Not only did he do such a lot for German reunification, but also for the integration of Europe. That is his great legacy. That is how we will remember him. Our thoughts are with his family und his children. A truly great German has passed.”
More than any other accomplishment, Kohl’s proactive leadership during the time of unification, informed by his own lifelong hope to see the wall between east and west torn down, is what he is remembered for. Along with being called the Chancellor of Unity, Kohl is called the Architect of a United Europe. While the end of the Cold War still seemed implausible in his lifetime, Kohl worked throughout his career on the effort toward European unification, finally leading the push for European monetary union with the euro.