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from more than a million books without charge. Excerpt: Helmut
Josef Michael Kohl (German pronunciation: born 3 April 1930) is a
German conservative politician and statesman. He was Chancellor of
Germany from 1982 to 1998 (of West Germany between 1982 and 1990
and of a reunited Germany between 1990 and 1998) and the chairman
of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) from 1973 to 1998. His
16-year tenure was the longest of any German chancellor since Otto
von Bismarck and oversaw the end of the Cold War and the German
reunification. Kohl is widely regarded as one of the main
architects of the German reunification and, together with French
President Franois Mitterrand, the Maastricht Treaty, which created
the European Union. Kohl and Franois Mitterrand were the joint
recipients of the Karlspreis in 1988. In 1998, Kohl was named
Honorary Citizen of Europe by the European heads of state or
government for his extraordinary work for European integration and
cooperation, an honour previously only bestowed on Jean Monnet. In
1996 he won the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award in
International Cooperation Kohl has been described as "the greatest
European leader of the second half of the 20th century" by former
U.S. President George H. W. Bush. Kohl was born in Ludwigshafen am
Rhein (at the time part of Bavaria, now in Rheinland-Pfalz)
Germany, to Ccilie (ne Schnur; 18901979) and her husband Hans Kohl
(18871975), a civil servant. He was the third child born into this
conservative, Roman Catholic family which, before and after 1933,
remained loyal to the Catholic Centre Party. His older brother died
in the Second World War as a teenage soldier. In the last weeks of
the war, Helmut Kohl was also drafted, but he was not involved in
any combat. Kohl attended the Ruprecht elementary school, and
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