Helmut Kohl

Chancellor of West Germany and reunified Germany (1930–2017)

Helmut Josef Michael Kohl (3 April 1930 – 16 June 2017) was a German statesman and politician of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) who served as Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 (of West Germany, 1982–1990; and of reunified Germany, 1990–1998) and as chairman of the CDU from 1973 to 1998. Kohl's 16-year tenure is the longest of any German Chancellor since Otto von Bismarck, and oversaw the end of the Cold War, the German reunification and the creation of the European Union.

Helmut Kohl (1996)


  • Entscheidend ist, was hinten rauskommt.
    • Translation: The crucial thing is what comes out at the end.
    • In a press conference on August 31, 1984; cited in DER SPIEGEL (September 3, 1984)
  • Die jungen Leute in Deutschland haben kein Problem mit dem Judentum. Ich gehe ja auch manchmal mit meinen beiden Jungs über den jüdischen Friedhof in Oggersheim.
    • Translation: The young people of Germany have no problem with Judaism. I too, with my two sons sometimes walk across the Jewish cemetery in Oggersheim.
    • In Tel Aviv in front of 900 Israelian politicians (January 1983)
  • Die neue Armut ist eine Erfindung des sozialistischen Jet-sets
    • Translation: The new poverty is an invention of the socialist Jet-set.
    • STERN (July 24, 1986)
  • Erträge und Kosten müssen im richtigen Verhältnis zueinander stehen.
    • Translation: Revenue and cost have to be in the right relation to each other.
    • In a speech in Düsseldorf in 1986
  • Von deutschem Boden muss in Zukunft immer Frieden ausgehen.
    • Translation: In all future, only peace may come from German soil.
    • Lecture in front of the Frauenkirche (December 19, 1989)
  • I am not the one trying to speed things up. We are being driven.
    • Note: On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. The idea of German reunification, often discussed but considered unrealistic, once again became a subject of heated debate. Reunification now appeared inevitable, but scarcely anyone ventured to prophesy how soon it would come. German chancellor Helmut Kohl remarked those words when was accused of pushing unification plans too fast.
    • Awake! magazine, 12 - 22 - 1991; in its article The Dream of European Unity.
  • Durch eine gemeinsame Anstrengung wird es uns gelingen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern und Sachsen-Anhalt, Brandenburg, Sachsen und Thüringen schon bald wieder in blühende Landschaften zu verwandeln, in denen es sich zu leben und zu arbeiten lohnt.
    • Translation: By a common effort, we will soon succeed in tranforming Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Sachsen-Anhalt, Brandenburg, Sachsen and Thüringen into blossoming landscapes, where it is worth to live and work.
    • In a television speech about East Germany after the Reunification. (June 1990)
  • Eine erfolgreiche Industrienation, das heißt eine Nation mit Zukunft, lässt sich nicht als kollektiver Freizeitpark organisieren.
    • Translation: A successful industrial nation, meaning a nation with future, can not be organized as a collective holiday resort.
    • In a parliamentary speech (March 1993)
  • Das ist eine klassische journalistische Behauptung. Sie ist zwar richtig, aber sie ist nicht die Wahrheit.
    • Translation: This is a typical journalistic statement: It is correct, but it is not the truth.
    • ARD-Tagesthemen (February 22, 1994)
  • Die Existenzgrundlage unseres Landes geht kaputt, wenn erst die Schleusen für die Ausländer geöffnet sind.
    • Translation: The means of existence of our country will break down, once the watergates are open to the foreigners.
    • Lecture for businessmen from Schwabia (March 1994)
  • Wir werden die Arbeitslosigkeit und die Zahl der in Deutschland lebenden Ausländer um die Hälfte reduzieren.
    • Translation: We will cut in half unemployment and the number of foreigners living in Germany.
    • Taz (June 10, 1998), during the 1982 election campaign
  • Die Visionäre von gestern sind die Realisten von heute.
    • Translation: The visionaries of yesterday are the realists of today.
    • Discussion with his predecessor Helmut Schmidt in 'Die Zeit' (1998)
  • Wir gehen nach Berlin – aber nicht in eine neue Republik.
    • Translation: We will move to Berlin - but not to a new republic.
    • 50 JAHRE DEMOKRATIE DANK AN BONN" (July 06, 1999)
  • Die deutsche Einheit und die europäische Einigung sind zwei Seiten ein und derselben Medaille.
    • Translation: The German Reunification and unification of Europe are two sides of the same coin.
    • In a speech on the 15th party congress of the CDU, in Frankfurt an Main (June 17, 2002)
  • Das ist der schlimmste Präsident seit Hermann Göring.
    • Translation: This is the worst president since Hermann Göring.
    • On President of German Parliament Wolfgang Thierse, according to DER SPIEGEL during lunch with colleagues (August 29, 2002)
  • I knew that I could never win a referendum in Germany. We would have lost a referendum on the introduction of the Euro. That's quite clear. I would have lost and by seven to three…. If a Chancellor is trying to push something through, he must be a man of power. And if he's smart, he knows when the time is ripe. In one case – the Euro – I was like a dictator ... The Euro is a synonym for Europe. Europe, for the first time, has no more war.
    • 2002 interview for the PhD. of Jens Peter Paul, a German journalist
  • We Germans have learned from history. We are a peace-loving, freedom-loving people. For us, love of our native country, love of freedom, and the spirit of being a good neighbor always belong together.

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