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Helmut Kohl

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Helmut Kohl
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Helmut Kohl


Order: 32nd Chancellor of Germany
(6th of the Federal Republic)
Term of Office: October 1, 1982October 27, 1998
Predecessor: Helmut Schmidt
Successor: Gerhard Schröder
Date of Birth: April 3, 1930
Political Party: CDU
Profession: historian

Dr. Helmut Kohl (full name Helmut Josef Michael Kohl) (born April 3, 1930) is a German conservative politician and statesman. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 (West Germany only between 1982 and 1990).

He was born in Ludwigshafen, Germany, to a Catholic and conservative family, Kohl participated in the late stage of WWII as a teenage soldier. He joined the Christian-Democratic Union (CDU) in 1947. He then went on to earn a philosophy doctorate (ph.d.) degree in history. From 1969-1976 he was Minister President of the Rhineland-Palatinate state, after which he became a member of the Federal Parliament to be the leader of the CDU opposition against the government led by the Social Democratic Party (SPD) of the time. He was the CDU's candidate for Chancellor in the 1976 federal elections, which the SPD won.

On October 1, 1982, he succeeded Helmut Schmidt as Chancellor by means of a Constructive Vote of No Confidence, the only one in post-war German history that was successful to date. Especially in the earlier days of his tenure, Kohl faced stiff opposition from the German political left. His adversaries frequently referred to him by the widely known disparaging nickname of "Birne" (German word for pear; after unflattering cartoons showing Kohl's head as a pear). Such initially common public ridicule however subsided somewhat over time and in the later years of Kohl's tenure the moniker was rarely used anymore. Kohl holds the record of being the longest-serving Chancellor of Germany since Otto von Bismarck, until being succeeded by Gerhard Schröder on October 27, 1998 after a landslide victory of the SPD in the 1998 federal elections.

Helmut Kohl also was the leader of the CDU party from 1973-1998.

He was married to the late Hannelore Kohl and has two sons from that marriage.

Kohl is widely recognized even by some of his political adversaries for managing the process of German reunification that started with the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, and formally completed on October 3, 1990. While not all has been well economically in Germany during and since his government, most people would agree that he managed to convince international leaders that a unified Germany would represent no threat to its neighbors by tying German reunification with the tighter integration of Germany into the European Union.

Helmut Kohl and  in , 1984
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Helmut Kohl and François Mitterrand in Verdun, 1984
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Helmut_Kohl_in_Krzyzowa.jpg
Helmut Kohl in Kreisau/Krzyzowa, 1989

Kohl's political heritage has been damaged by a massive party financing scandal starting in 1999, when it was discovered that the CDU had received and maintained illegal funding under his leadership. Investigations by the German Parliament into the sources of illegal CDU funds, mainly stored in Geneva bank accounts, revealed two sources: 1. Sales of German tanks to Saudi Arabia (kickback question), 2. Privatisation fraud in collusion with the late French President François Mitterrand who wanted 2,550 unused allottments in the former East Germany for the then French owned Elf Aquitaine. In December 1994 the CDU majority in the Bundestag enacted a law that nullified all rights of the current owners. Over 300 million DM in illegal funds were discovered in accounts in the canton Geneva. The fraudulently acquired allotments were then privatised as part of Elf Aquitaine and ended up with TotalFinaElf after amalgamation. The land package then entered what is now TOTAL SA.

Kohl himself claimed that Elf Aquitaine has offered (and meanwhile made) a massive investment in East Germany's chemical industry together with the takeover of 2,000 gas stations in Germany which were formerly owned by national oil company Minol. Elf Aquitaine is supposed to have financed CDU illegally as ordered by François Mitterrand, as it was usual practice in African countries.

In 2003 it became known that Helmut Kohl was paid 300,000 € (then 600,000 Deutsche Mark) by private television mogul Leo Kirch for an advisory contract. Rather delicate, reckoning the fact that only through reforms championed by Helmut Kohl in the Eighties Leo Kirch had been put into the position to build his private television empire.

On December 28, 2004, Kohl was air-lifted by the Sri Lankan Air Force after having been stranded in a hotel by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.

In 2005, Kohl was awarded the Point Alpha Prize for his role in reunifying Germany. He was joined by former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Contents

See also

Kohl's First Ministry, 4 October 1982 - 29 March 1983

  • Helmut Kohl (CDU) - Chancellor
  • Hans-Dietrich Genscher (FDP) - Vice Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Manfred Wörner (CDU) - Minister of Defense
  • Friedrich Zimmermann (CSU) - Minister of the Interior
  • Gerhard Stoltenberg (CDU) - Minister of Finance
  • Hans Engelhard (FDP) - Minister of Justice
  • Otto Graf Lambsdorff (FDP) - Minister of Economics
  • Norbert Blüm (CDU) - Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
  • Josef Ertl (FDP) - Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Forestry
  • Werner Dollinger (CSU) - Minister of Transport
  • Oscar Schneider (CSU) - Minister of Construction
  • Heiner Geissler (CDU) - Minister of Youth, Family, and Health
  • Heinz Riesenhuber (CDU) - Minister of Research and Technology
  • Dorothee Wilms (CDU) - Minister of Education and Science
  • Jürgen Warnke (CSU) - Minister of Economic Cooperation
  • Christian Schwarz-Schilling (CDU) - Minister of Posts and Communications
  • Rainer Barzel (CDU) - Minister of Intra-German Relations

Kohl's Second Ministry, 29 March 1983 - 11 March 1987

  • Helmut Kohl (CDU) - Chancellor
  • Hans-Dietrich Genscher (FDP) - Vice Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Manfred Wörner (CDU) - Minister of Defense
  • Friedrich Zimmermann (CSU) - Minister of the Interior
  • Gerhard Stoltenberg (CDU) - Minister of Finance
  • Hans Engelhard (FDP) - Minister of Justice
  • Otto Graf Lambsdorff (FDP) - Minister of Economics
  • Norbert Blüm (CDU) - Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
  • Ignaz Kiechle (CSU) - Minister of Food, Agriculture, And Forestry
  • Werner Dollinger (CSU) - Minister of Transport
  • Oscar Schneider (CSU) - Minister of Construction
  • Heiner Geissler (CDU) - Minister of Youth, Family, and Health
  • Heinz Riesenhuber (CDU) - Minister of Research and Technology
  • Dorothee Wilms (CDU) - Minister of Education and Science
  • Jürgen Warnke (CSU) - Minister of Economic Cooperation
  • Christian Schwarz-Schilling (CDU) - Minister of Posts and Communications
  • Heinrich Windelen (CDU) - Minister of Intra-German Relations

Changes

  • 27 June 1984 - Martin Bangemann (FDP) succeeds Lambsdorff as Minister of Economics.
  • 15 November 1984 - Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) enters the ministry as Minister of Special Tasks
  • 26 September 1985 - Rita Süssmuth (CDU) succeeds Geissler as Minister of Youth, Family, and Health
  • 6 June 1986 - Rita Süssmuth (CDU) becomes Minister of Youth, Family, Women, and Health. Walter Wallmann (CDU) enters the ministry as Minister of Environment, Nature Conservation, and Reactor Security.

Kohl's Third Ministry, 12 March 1987 - 17 January 1991

  • Helmut Kohl (CDU) - Chancellor
  • Hans-Dietrich Genscher (FDP) - Vice Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Manfred Wörner (CDU) - Minister of Defense
  • Friedrich Zimmermann (CSU) - Minister of the Interior
  • Gerhard Stoltenberg (CDU) - Minister of Finance
  • Hans Engelhard (FDP) - Minister of Justice
  • Martin Bangemann (FDP) - Minister of Economics
  • Norbert Blüm (CDU) - Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
  • Ignaz Kiechle (CSU) - Minister of Food, Agriculture, And Forestry
  • Jürgen Warnke (CSU) - Minister of Transport
  • Oscar Schneider (CSU) - Minister of Construction
  • Rita Süssmuth (CDU) - Minister of Youth, Family, Women, and Health
  • Heinz Riesenhuber (CDU) - Minister of Research and Technology
  • Jürgen Möllemann (FDP) - Minister of Education and Science
  • Hans Klein (CSU) - Minister of Economic Cooperation
  • Walter Wallmann (CDU) - Minister of Environment, Nature Conservation, and Reactor Security
  • Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) - Minister of Special Tasks
  • Christian Schwarz-Schilling (CDU) - Minister of Posts and Communications
  • Dorothee Wilms (CDU) - Minister of Intra-German Relations

Changes

  • 22 April 1987 - Klaus Töpfer (CDU) succeeds Wallmann as Minister of Environment, Nature Conservation, and Reactor Security.
  • 18 May 1988 - Rupert Scholz (CDU) succeeds Wörner as Minister of Defense.
  • 9 December 1988 - Helmut Haussmann (FDP) succeeds Bangemann as Minister of Economics.
  • 21 April 1989 - Gerhard Stoltenberg (CDU) succeeds Scholz as Minister of Defense. Theo Waigel (CSU) succeeds Stoltenberg as Minister of Finance. Jürgen Warnke (CSU) succeeds Klein as Minister of Economic Cooperation. Friedrich Zimmermann (CSU) succeeds Warnke as Minister of Transport. Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) succeeds Zimmermann as Minister of the Interior. Gerda Hasselfeldt (CSU) succeeds Schneider as Minister of Construction. Hans Klein (CSU) and Rudolf Seiters (CDU) becomes Ministers of Special Tasks.
  • 3 October 1990 - Five East German Ministers - Lothar de Maizière (CDU), Sabine Bergmann-Pohl (CDU), Günther Krause (CDU), Rainer Ortleb (FDP), and Hans Joachim Walther (DSU) - enter the ministry as Ministers of Special Tasks.
  • 19 December 1990 - De Maizière leaves the ministry.

Kohl's Fourth Ministry, 18 January 1991 - 15 November 1994

  • Helmut Kohl (CDU) - Chancellor
  • Hans-Dietrich Genscher (FDP) - Vice Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Gerhard Stoltenberg (CDU) - Minister of Defense
  • Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) - Minister of the Interior
  • Theo Waigel (CSU) - Minister of Finance
  • Klaus Kinkel (FDP) - Minister of Justice
  • Jürgen Möllemann (FDP) - Minister of Economics
  • Norbert Blüm (CDU) - Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
  • Ignaz Kiechle (CSU) - Minister of Food, Agriculture, And Forestry
  • Günter Krause (CDU) - Minister of Transport
  • Irmgard Adam-Schwaetzer (CSU) - Minister of Construction
  • Hannelore Rönsch (CDU) - Minister of Family and Senior Citizens
  • Angela Merkel (CDU) - Minister of Women and Youth
  • Gerda Hasselfeldt (CDU) - Minister of Health
  • Heinz Riesenhuber (CDU) - Minister of Research and Technology
  • Rainer Ortleb (FDP) - Minister of Education and Science
  • Carl-Dieter Spranger (CSU) - Minister of Economic Cooperation
  • Klaus Töpfer (CDU) - Minister of Environment, Nature Conservation, and Reactor Security
  • Rudolf Seiters (CDU) - Minister of Special Tasks
  • Christian Schwarz-Schilling (CDU) - Minister of Posts and Communications

Changes

  • 26 November 1991 - Rudolf Seiters (CDU) succeeds Schäuble as Minister of the Interior. Friedrich Bohl (CDU) succeeds Seiters as Minister of Special Tasks.
  • 1 April 1992 - Volker Rühe (CDU) succeeds Stoltenberg as Minister of Defense.
  • 6 May 1992 - Horst Seehofer (CSU) succeeds Hasselfeldt as Minister of Health.
  • 18 May 1992 - Jürgen Möllemann (FDP) succeeds Genscher as Vice Chancellor, remaining also Minister of Economics. Klaus Kinkel (FDP) succeeds Genscher as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP) succeeds Kinkel as Minister of Justice.
  • 17 December 1992 - Wolfgang Bötsch (CSU) succeeds Schwarz-Schilling as Minister of Posts and Communications.
  • 21 January 1993 - Klaus Kinkel (FDP) succeeds Möllemann as Vice Chancellor, remaining also Minister of Foreign Affairs. Günter Rexrodt (FDP) succeeds Möllemann as Minister of Economics. Jochen Borchert (CDU) succeeds Kiechle as Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Forestry. Matthias Wissmann (CDU) succeeds Riesenhuber as Minister of Science and Technology. Carl-Dieter Spranger (CSU) becomes Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, rather than Minister of Economic Cooperation.
  • 13 May 1993 - Matthias Wissmann (CDU) succeeds Krause as Minister of Transport. Paul Krüger (CDU) succeeds Wissmann as Minister of Research and Technology.
  • 7 July 1993 - Manfred Kanther (CDU) succeeds Seiters as Minister of the Interior.
  • 4 February 1994 - Karl-Hans Laermann (FDP) succeeds Ortleb as Minister of Education and Science.

Kohl's Fifth Ministry, 15 November 1994 - 27 October 1998

  • Helmut Kohl (CDU) - Chancellor
  • Klaus Kinkel (FDP) - Vice Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Volker Rühe (CDU) - Minister of Defense
  • Manfred Kanther (CDU) - Minister of the Interior
  • Theo Waigel (CSU) - Minister of Finance
  • Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP) - Minister of Justice
  • Günter Rexrodt (FDP) - Minister of Economics
  • Norbert Blüm (CDU) - Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
  • Jochen Borchert (CDU) - Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Forestry
  • Matthias Wissmann (CDU) - Minister of Transport
  • Klaus Töpfer (CDU) - Minister of Construction
  • Claudia Nolte (CDU) - Minister of Family, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth
  • Horst Seehofer (CSU) - Minister of Health
  • Jürgen Rüttgers (CDU) - Minister of Education, Science, Research, and Technology
  • Carl-Dieter Spranger (CSU) - Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Angela Merkel (CDU) - Minister of Environment, Nature Conservation, and Reactor Security
  • Friedrich Bohl (CDU) - Minister of Special Tasks
  • Wolfgang Bötsch (CSU) - Minister of Posts and Communications

Changes

  • 17 January 1996 - Edzard Schmidt-Jortzig (FDP) succeeds Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger as Minister of Justice.
  • 31 December 1997 - The Ministry of Posts and Communications is abolished.
  • 14 January 1998 - Eduard Oswald succeeds Töpfer as Minister of Construction.
Preceded by:
Helmut Schmidt
Chancellor of Germany
1982–1998
Succeeded by:
Gerhard Schröder

bg:Хелмут Кол da:Helmut Kohl de:Helmut Kohl es:Helmut Kohl fr:Helmut Kohl ga:Helmut Kohl he:הלמוט קוהל nl:Helmut Kohl ja:ヘルムート・コール no:Helmut Kohl nds:Helmut Kohl pl:Helmut Kohl pt:Helmut Kohl fi:Helmut Kohl sv:Helmut Kohl zh:赫尔穆特·科尔

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