German Chancellor Helmut Kohl passed away aged 87

16 June 2017
Helmut Kohl

Longest serving Chancellor considered the architect of German reunification

Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl has died at the age of 87 on 16 June. In the book of condolence for Kohl Chancellor Merkel wrote: "We Germans owe him a great deal. I salute his memory..." German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel described him as a "great German statesman and above all a great European".

Kohl, the longest serving Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, is considered the architect of German Unity in 1990.

He was Chancellor from 1982 to 1998 and head of the CDU party.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesperson said in a tweet (in German): "In deep mourning for a great German and a great European".

In the book of condolence for Kohl at the Federal Chancellery Chancellor Merkel wrote: "We Germans owe him a great deal. I salute his memory..."

"The loss of Helmut Kohl is the loss of a great German and a great European," she wrote, and then went on to write: "He rendered exceptional service in reuniting our country and in unifying Europe."

German President Steinmeier also praised Kohl, and said speaking in Berlin: "We mourn the passing of a great statesman – but his achievements will endure."

Frank-Walter Steinmeier added, "It was particularly lucky for Germany that Helmut Kohl ruled the country at that crucial moment in history, with courage, vision and leadership."

Similarly, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a statement, Kohl was "a great German statesman and above all a great European". He added, not only did Kohl do much 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."

German Ambassador Dr Peter Ammon tweeted:

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Book of Condolence for Helmut Kohl

A Book of Condolence for Helmut Kohl was open at the Embassy

HM The Queen with Chancellor Kohl on 20 October 1992

HM The Queen with Chancellor Kohl on 20 October 1992

Helmut Kohl

Born on 3 April 1930 in Ludwigshafen

1959 to 1976 Member of the state parliament of Rhineland-Palatinate

1969 to 1976 State Premier of Rhineland-Palatinate

1973 to 1998 Federal Chairman of the CDU

1976 to 2002 Member of the German Bundestag

1976 to 1982 Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag

1982 to 1998 Chancellor

Died on 16 June 2017 in Ludwigshafen