Germany’s Helmut Kohl dies at 87
HELMUT Kohl, the physically imposing German chancellor whose reunification of a nation divided by the Cold War put Germany at the heart of a united Europe, has died at 87.
Kohl’s Christian Democratic Union party posted on Twitter: “We are in sorrow. RIP HelmutKohl.”
The former leader died on Friday at his home in Ludwigshafen.
Over his 16 years at the country’s helm from 1982 to 1998 — first for West Germany and then for a united Germany — Kohl combined a dogged pursuit of European unity. Less than a year after the November 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall, he spearheaded the end of Germany’s division into East and West, ushering in a new era in European politics.
“Helmut Kohl was the most important European statesman since World War II,” Bill Clinton, the former US president, said in 2011. He said Kohl answered the big questions of his time “correctly for Germany, correctly for Europe, correctly for the US, correctly for the future of the world”.