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Helmut Kohl, Architect of German Unification, Dead at 87

26 Juin 2017

Former chancellor Helmut Kohl sits on his wheelchair before the start of an event to celebrate the 150th anniversary of German chemicals company BASF at its headquarter in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, western Germany, on April 23, 2015. In the statement released Friday, Bush stated that through their work together, "Helmut was a rock - both steady and strong".

Their suspicion was hardly surprising in the light of the second World War. but Mitterand cited an old joke, "I like Germany so much I'd prefer to have two of them", and Thatcher was reported to have said "we have to stop the German bully".

Kohl's trip with then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan to a war cemetery in Bitburg where SS troops were buried alongside ordinary German soldiers generated worldwide indignation.

"I cited a 1970s-era North Atlantic Treaty Organisation statement and said that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation supported reunification".

With his diplomacy, resolve, and readiness to commit huge sums to the ending of his country's division, Mr. Kohl was remembered by many as a giant of epochal times that redrew Europe's political architecture, dismantled the minefields and watchtowers of the Iron Curtain, and replaced the eyeball-to-eyeball armed confrontation between East and West with an enduring, if often challenged, coexistence between former sworn foes.

German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, shown in 1989, oversaw the reunification of his country after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Kohl's birthplace and long-term home of Ludwigshafen and the nearby town of Speyer, where he spent time as a child, are under consideration.

"The Catholic Church in Germany, said Cardinal Marx, was pained at news of Mr Kohl's death but was grateful for his Christian witness". The Times notes that Kohl left Parliament the year after paying these fines.

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Four years later, Kohl was the CDU candidate for chancellor.

In another battle after his departure from power, Kohl fought and won a lengthy legal fight to prevent the release of most of the files held on him by East Germany's secret police.

- 1994: Kohl's last national election victory. Kohl's wife committed suicide in 2001. In 2008, Kohl married Maike Richter, an economist some 35 years his junior.

Though slowed by illness in his later years, Kohl still made occasional eye-catching interventions on the political stage. "His name will forever be associated with the deepening of the European Union and the creation of the common European currency". But in 1999, when it emerged Kohl had been misusing funds to give his friends kickbacks, Merkel stunned Germany by denouncing him in a front page article for a top conservative newspaper.

He was also instrumental in developing relations between Germany and Russia, Naina Yeltsina, the widow of first Russian President Boris Yeltsin, told the media.

"He will be wanting us, because he was Europe and me personally a true confidant and ally".

"Helmut Kohl therefore became a stroke of luck for us Germans", she said.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde says Kohl was a visionary who worked to build "a peaceful and prosperous Europe".

Helmut Kohl, Architect of German Unification, Dead at 87