Helmut Kohl Dies at 87; World Mourns the Death of Former Chancellor and Father of German Reunification


Helmut Kohl, former chancellor and the architect of German unification passed away at the age of 87. On Friday, June 16, his political party, the Christian Democratic Union, announced his passing on social media.

Not long after former Chancellor Kohl passed, the CDU uploaded a photo of him on its official Twitter account and wrote, “We mourn.”

Kohl, who was the longest-serving post-war leader of Germany, died in his home in Ludwigshafen, which is located in the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate. He was the Democratic leader from 1982 to 1998 and served the country for most of his adult life.

Moreover, he led the CDU for about three decades from 1973 to 2000. He resigned and left his post after a scandal relating to the group’s finances erupted. This unfortunate event tarnished his reputation to some degree.

There was an inquiry regarding the party’s funding, but Helmut Kohl refused to reveal the names of the donors. He said that he promised not to give away their identities, and he is keeping his word. Until his last breath, the ex-chancellor declined to name the donors, stressing that he gave them his word.

Aside from being known for his work on reunification, another one of his major contributions to Germany was the introduction of Euro to the country. He successfully convinced doubtful Germans to give up their Deutsche Mark currency for a better one.

Helmut Kohl also gained more attention for his unlikely friendship with the French leader. Germany and France are often at odds, but Kohl had struck a close friendship with French President Francois Mitterrand.

Among all the fathers of German reunification, Kohl was the most notable leader. This is because he was able to achieve the long-dreamed unification after the fall of Berlin Wall in 1989. He did all that he could for unity despite the fact that he was opposed by powerful leaders, including Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

The remarkable political figure had been weak since sustaining injuries following a bad fall in 2008. Since then, Kohl was unable to walk on his own, and he was mostly confined to his wheelchair.

Meanwhile, after hearing about the death of Helmut Kohl, tributes from around the world started to come in from around the world. One of the first to express his sadness was former United States President George H. W. Bush. Through his spokesman, Bush issued a statement that was posted on Twitter.

Part of former President Bush’s message reads, “Barbara and I mourn the loss of a true friend of freedom, and the man I consider one of the greatest leaders in post-War Europe,”

[Featured Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]