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IRI Saddened by Death of Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl

June 16, 2017

Washington, DC –  The International Republican Institute is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. We offer our sincerest condolences to the Kohl family, the Christian Democratic Union, the people of Germany and the citizens of Europe.

Like his friend Ronald Reagan, Chancellor Kohl was a determined promoter of freedom, democracy and unity at a time when half his nation and his continent were imprisoned behind an Iron Curtain of tyranny and oppression. He not only oversaw the peaceful and democratic reunification of his own country, but also advocated tirelessly throughout his Chancellorship and afterward the cause of a Europe whole, free and at peace.

“While we at IRI mourn his loss,” said IRI Europe Director Jan Erik Surotchak, “we also celebrate his irreplaceable legacy.  In the moment of crisis and opportunity that was November 1989, only Helmut Kohl had the vision and the courage to imagine Germany reunified and Europe united. For this, generations of European and Americans will be grateful.” 

To have lost him almost three decades to the day from Reagan’s famous ‘tear down this wall’ speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, only makes this moment of his passing more poignant.