|Today was the funeral of one of the greatest Statesmen ever: |
Former German Chancellor HELMUT SCHMIDT.
Born on Dec. 23.1918 he was 97 years old when he passed away on Nov. 10.2015.
Helmut Schmidt was born as the eldest of two sons of teachers Ludovica Koch and Gustav Ludwig Schmidt (d. 1981) in Barmbek, a rough working-class district of Hamburg, in 1918. Schmidt studied at Hamburg Lichtwark School, graduating in 1937
He served as Chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982.
The government of the city-state of Hamburg is known as the Senate of Hamburg, and from 1961 to 1965, Schmidt was the Innensenator: the senator of the interior
Schmidt gained wide recognition when Hamburg was hit by a huge flood in 1962, Schmidt became known as a go-getter for his immediate actions with helping the victims of the flood and organizing rescue efforts.
His effective management during the emergency during which 300 people drowned, saved a further 1,000 lives and he swiftly managed the re-housing of thousands of the homeless. Schmidt used all means at his disposal to alleviate the situation, even when that meant overstepping his legal authority, including employing the federal police and army units (ignoring the German constitution's prohibition on using the army for "internal affairs"; a clause excluding disasters was not added until 1968). Describing his actions, Schmidt said, "I wasn't put in charge of these units – I took charge of them!"
Before becoming Chancellor, he had served as Minister of Defense (1969–1972) and as Minister of Finance (1972–1974). In the latter role he gained credit for his financial policies. He had also served briefly as Minister of Economics and as acting Foreign Minister. As Chancellor, he focused on international affairs, seeking "political unification of Europe in partnership with the United States". He was an energetic diplomat who sought European co-operation and international economic co-ordination. He was re-elected chancellor in 1976 and 1980, but his coalition fell apart in 1982 with the switch by his coalition allies, the Free Democratic Party.
He retired from Parliament in 1986.
1800 domestic and international guests attended his State Funeral at the “Michel” Cathedral in Hamburg, among them former U.S.-Foreign Minister Henry Kissinger.