Helmut Josef Michael Kohl ( Ludwigshafen , April 3 1930 ) is a German conservative politician and statesman. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 (from 1982 to 1990 onlyWest Germany and from 1990 to 1998 of the reunified Germany ) and chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) from 1973 to 1998.

His 16-year tenure was the longest of any German chancellor since Otto von Bismarck and oversaw the end of the Cold War . Kohl is widely regarded as the chief architect of German reunification , and together with French President François Mitterrand considered the architect of the Maastricht Treaty , the European Union founded.

Kohl and Mitterrand jointly received the Charlemagne Prize in 1988. In 1996 he won the prestigious Prince of Asturias Price in International Cooperation. In 1998, Kohl was namedHonorary Citizen of Europe by the European Council for his extraordinary work for European integration and cooperation, an honor previously only been awarded to Jean Monnet .

Kohl was described as "the greatest European leader of the second half of the 20th century" by the U.S. Presidents George HW Bush and Bill Clinton .


 [ hide ] *1 Personal

Personally edit ]Edit

Kohl was the third child of Hans Kohl and Cäcilie Schnur was born in 1930. His family were bourgeois-conservative and Roman Catholic . His older brother Walter died in November 1944.Kohl himself was at the end of the war called, but did not end up fighting.

He grew up in the neighborhood Friesenheim in Ludwigshafen, visited the school in 1950 and began a study rights in Frankfurt am Main . In 1951 he went to the University Heidelberg and he changed his study (main subjects of history and political science).

After graduating in 1956, he worked as a research assistant at the Alfred-Weber-Institute of the University of Heidelberg. In 1958 Kohl promoted to Doktor result of his work on "The political development in the region Palatinate and the resurgence of the Parties after 1945 " [1] . He then became executive assistant at a foundry in Ludwigshafen. In 1960 he married Hannelore Renner (1933-2001) whom he knew since 1948. They would have two sons.

His wife Hannelore suffered allergic to light and killed on July 5, 2001 suicide because they could no longer tolerate. violent pains He remarried in May 2008 with 35 years his junior economist Maike Richter.

Politics edit ]Edit

Prime Minister and opposition leader edit ]Edit

[1][2]Helmut Kohl in 1969 in Ludwigshafen at a party congress

Kohl was already 16 years a member of the youth organization of the CDU. He made ​​a career in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where he first party leader in 1969 and successor to Prime Minister Peter Altmeier was. Kohl was also active at the federal level and tried to become chairman of the CDU in 1971, but was defeated by Rainer Barzel . After the unsuccessful attempt of the same Rainer Barzel to Chancellor Kohl in 1973 to become president.

As leader of the CDU / CSU opposition candidates bother Kohl in 1976 at the Bundestag elections against SPD Chancellor Helmut Schmidt . Despite more than 48 percent of his CDU / CSU he lost, because the liberal FDP coalition with the SPD remained shapes. Kohl got his prime ministership in order to become party leader in the Bundestag.

Chancellor of the old Federal Republic 1982-1989 edit ]Edit

[3][4]Kohl and his wife Hannelore, and Heiner Geissler at the CDU party election on March 6, 1983. When Geißler was Kohls party secretary.

In the elections of 1980 Kohl was the main candidate to leave the CSU chairman Franz Josef Strauss . Strauss lost compared to 1976, and Kohl managed to persuade a center-right coalition in 1982. FDP On October 1, 1982 the Bundestag chose a constructive vote of no confidence Kohl succeeding Schmidt. Since the beginning of his chancellorship not elections but a coalition change of the FDP was, Kohl left redial in March 1983, and won.

Kohl wanted in politics again see more patriotism and traditional values, a geistig mora metallic Wende (a reversal of mental and moral). He emphasized liberal economic solutions to the downturn, which was followed by the 2nd oil crisis of late 1979 performance should be back wages , according to the slogan of the 1983 election. However, he had a hard time to realize that, because of opposition in his own party, but also of the SPD. The Federal Council , a body that should consent to certain laws Kohl mostly had no majority.

In the field of foreign politics Kohl was committed to European integration and the ongoing reconciliation with the Western states, who had fought. Against Germany in the Second World WarKnown are the pictures with him and the French socialist François Mitterrand in 1984 in Verdun. In a similar meeting with Ronald Reagan in Bitburg in 1985 was resented him that the soldiers' cemetery there too SS members layers. Among the critics heard include Günter Grass, who much later became known that he had heard. himself in the SS

Kohl was strong for a deployment of American cruise missiles in Western Europe, was the Soviet Union not go into negotiations on limiting nuclear weapons. This he agreed with Schmidt, but unlike Schmidt got Kohl have a majority for this policy in his own party.

An interview with the American magazine Newsweek caused a stir in 1986. Kohl was Mikhail Gorbachev a modern communist leader who knows what on PR, as Joseph Goebbels knew what on PR. Kohl later denied having made ​​such a comparison, but the tape of the interview they could prove it.

Despite the won 1987 elections in 1989 as Chancellor Kohl was not strong in his shoes. At the party congress that year a group of prominent politicians as was Lothar Späth and Heiner Geissler plans to choose from. another chairman The ill-prepared coup failed, Kohl fought hard to keep his post.

Chancellor of the reunification 1989/1990-1998 edit ]Edit

[5][6]Kohl on election campaign in Weimar(DDR), September 22, 1990

Shortly after the CDU party congress in September 1989 accelerated developments in the GDR . Then on November 9, 1989 the Berlin Wall fell Kohl was on a state visit in Poland and immediately flew to Berlin. Of the four Allies, who still had about the future of Germany, saying it was only U.S. President Bush for reunification. British Prime Minister Thatcher , French President Mitterand and the Soviet leader Gorbachev said they were dangerous German reunification for peace in Europe, perhaps they were afraid that a reunified Germany would diminish the status of their countries. But Kohl knew through his personal contacts ultimately achieve. Consent of all four

In domestic politics, the reunification was not uncontroversial, partly because of the high costs which belonged to the Federal Republic. Kohl was among those who wanted to get a membership of the renewed East German Länder of the Federal Republic, because when thousands of East Germans came to the West, every day and it was not sure how long Gorbachev remained in the saddle. On July 1, 1990 a economic union was established on 3 October accession. In the first Bundestag elections for the whole of Germany on 2 December won Kohl and put his coalition with the FDP on. Big loser was Kohls opponent, the SPD candidate Oskar Lafontaine who reunification originally had wanted (according to his speech at the SPD party congress in December 1989).

This was when the animosity between Kohl and Ruud Lubbers . The Dutch prime minister had demanded that the reunification should decide. European Congress Kohl was afraid of long discussions and financial requirements and could prevent this Congress. Later Kohl made ​​Lubbers long time could get. No office in international organizations

The GDR had an economic mess left behind. This is the German taxpayer will be costly; Kohls words about flourishing landscapes he saw in the near future, were usually derisively quoted later. Yet Kohl was the Bundestag elections in the nick of SPD candidate in 1994, Rudolf Scharping win.

In 1996, Kohl decided to candidate again. But in the 1998 elections was Gerhard Schröder , together with the Greens, more votes than the CDU / CSU and FDP. After 16 years, Kohl was forced to resign as Chancellor and he retired as chairman of the CDU. Like his predecessors, he took his parliament shelf still true but was not active in politics.

Life after politics edit ]Edit

Kohl's reputation was severely damage by the large party financing scandal in 1999, when it became known that the CDU had received under Kohl's leadership. Illegal contributions Research by the Bundestag to the sources of mainly Geneva parked accounts amounts revealed two sources: the sale of German tanks to Saudi Arabia and privatization fraud in an agreement with theFrench President François Mitterrand , who in 2550 unused allotments (shares) to the French state company Elf Aquitaine wished. In December 1994, a CDU majority in the Bundestag for a law that took away the rights of the original owners. caused More than 300 million DM in illegal funds was discovered on accounts in the canton of Geneva. Obtained by fraud allotments were privatized and ended up at TotalFinaElf . In addition, many heavy weapons (tanks and aircraft) of the elevated East German army were the illegal Croats delivered during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia , which the Serbs also lost and eventually made ​​peace.

In 2003, it was announced that TV mogul Leo Kirch had paid for a DM 600,000 to Kohl advisory contract (consultancy contract). A delicate matter, since Leo Kirch commercial television empire has to reforms in the eighties which Kohl was a strong supporter. Mainly due

In September 2012 Kohl was put in the spotlight since he was 30 years ago, Chancellor (October 1), and this remarkable example by Angela Merkel , who certainly not good friends were more recent years. He also got a stamp on it with him in honor of his 30-year chancellor.

Acknowledgements edit ]Edit

[7][8]Kohl in 2000, Russian President Boris Yeltsin

During his watch, Kohl was the victim of an extraordinary amount of jokes and parodies. He has a slight accent Palatinate and served as provincial and unintelligent.

Despite the scandals Kohl still regarded politician who contributed. Much for German and European unification He has been honored with numerous honorary degrees and received countless other honors. In 1998 he was asked by the European Council declared Honorary Citizen of Europe . Until now, this award was only continue to Jean Monnet granted. Honorary Chair of the CDU party financing scandal, he was due to be returned in 2000.

Trivia edit ]Edit

  • Kohl was both the youngest Prime Minister of the Federal German state as well as the youngest chancellor ever.
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