"Sleep well, Helmut Kohl!"

"Sleep well, Helmut Kohl!"

Kohl's legacy: What to learn from the great European leader to keep the European dream alive.

July 02, 2017 | Rome, Italy. | Andreas Mazza, EUD NEWS.

My childhood in Germany was accompanied by the imposing presence of Helmut Kohl, historical visionary leader of Germany and Europe.

At 7 years of age (1982) I attended, for the first time, the election of Helmut Kohl as Federal Chancellor. For many years his figure followed me, struck and stupefied me, and shaped me.

Helmut Kohl was Chancellor of Germany from October 1, 1982 to October 27, 1998; up until October 3, 1990, day of the unification of the two Germanys, he was chancellor only to West Germany and then to the unified Germany. Helmut Kohl was also the President of the European Council.

A charismatic leader: he knew the way, he traversed the way, he showed the way. Fearless, courageous. He had a Vision and the courage necessary to realize that Vision: a vision of a reunited Germany – a reconciliation between two estranged brothers, an embrace between capitalism and communism.

The vision of a united Europe – the dream of a Europe in which the domination of individual nations would make space for a cooperation between "European brothers". The vision of a European family, built on ideas of peace, liberty, dignity, solidarity, and cooperation.

Helmut Kohl loved being in the community, among the people. While he had strong convictions and clear ideas, he loved listening to the opinions of the average person. He knew how to identify with people, regardless of his impetuous and sometimes dominant personality.

Helmut Kohl believed in what he did; he worked with passion and emotion. Capable of impassioning and convincing whoever listened to him, he could not be indifferent and no one could remain indifferent in his presence.

A strong man with great charisma. He perceived his people's suffering, intuited people's needs and loved taking his "flock" by the hand.

He was capable of great intuition and visions, of planning but also improvising, if necessary.

His life was characterized by great successes and immense victories but also by painful defeats and tragedies, such as his first wife's suicide, Hannelore, in 2001.

He was a strong man who, however, knew how to show his weaknesses, his sufferings and his soul.

At the end of the nineties, although he was plagued by numerous judicial incidents, he never gave up. He continuously fought to defend his image and dignity.

He was a staunch Christian but also a promoter of the liberal idea of religious freedom and integrity.

He was a man who knew how to give the European project a soul, a profound meaning. A great man before whom the greats of the world bow today, recognizing this figure and his historical importance...longing for his vision.

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