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Helmut Kohl (1930) Options
Daemon
Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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Helmut Kohl (1930)

Kohl was chancellor of West Germany from 1982 until 1990, when he became the first chancellor of a reunified Germany, serving in that capacity until 1998. The conservative chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) led his party to two convincing victories in West Germany in the 1980s. During his administration, West Germany prospered and became increasingly influential in world affairs. Kohl's reputation was severely tarnished by what financial scandal that came to light in 1999? More...
IMcRout
Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014 2:48:16 AM
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Glückwunsch, Birne.
curmudgeonine
Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014 8:36:37 AM

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Kohl's life after political office in the beginning was dominated by the CDU-party finance scandal. The party financing scandal became public in 1999, when it was discovered that the CDU had received and kept illegal donations during Kohl's leadership.[11]
monamagda
Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014 1:03:10 PM

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Helmut Kohl: I acted like a dictator to bring in the euro.
Helmut Kohl, Germany's former chancellor, has admitted that he acted like a "dictator" to bring in the single currency to the country, otherwise he "would have lost" had he held a referendum.
Marguerite
Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014 4:18:44 PM

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What a long, endless article. Can anyone tell me the bottom line on Helmut Kohl?
Haz
Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014 4:20:27 PM

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The party financing scandal became public in 1999, when it was discovered that the CDU had received and kept illegal donations during Kohl's leadership.

I like that Herr Kohl was said to be "the greatest European leader of the second half of the 20th century" by U.S. Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. All these despots love slapping each other on the back.

I know that they would say the same about Margaret Thatcher (called Thatcher, Thatcher the Milk Snatcher after she stopped free milk for infants in school).
kenturner1
Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014 5:44:43 PM

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Ok. Thanks!
IMcRout
Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014 5:49:12 PM
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Marguerite wrote:
What a long, endless article. Can anyone tell me the bottom line on Helmut Kohl?


Like with most things or people in life there is no black and white, Marguerite.
He did a number of 'bad' things, had a tendency not to tackle problems but wait until they resolved themselves ('sitting them out', we said in German, although the phrase does not quite mean the same in German what it means in English) but he was fortunate enough to be in power at the right moment, i.e. at the time the East Germans took the problem into their hands and succeeded in ousting their government. He made a few good decisions, mainly forced by circumstances rather than foresight, which eventually led to the reunification of Germany, in spite of some reluctance, both inner German and on the side of our neighbours.

As you may read between the lines, he was not my favourite politician and he was certainly not looked at favourably by many people. His hesitancy, some of his stock phrases ("In this our country") as well as his inability to speak a foreign language made him a kind of laughing stock and the butt of many jokes, at least among better educated people. Yet there was a majority who kept voting for him until he no longer was able to keep his competitors in check and his own party drew the line and forced him to retire.

So my bottom line would probably be, 'a mediocre politician who was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time, which enabled him to fill a few lines in some history books.'

Here's one of the many cartoons about him as Birne (pear).



[image not available]
Marguerite
Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014 11:46:01 PM

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Thanks, IMcRout, for supplying your take on Helmut. Luck has a lot to do with advancement in life. Just showing up is half the battle and I am sure Helmut just showed up.
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