On the death of Helmut Kohl

“Visionaries are the real realists”

One of the greatest European politicians has passed away. We bow to what was probably the most adept architect of Europe and the German reunification, and would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to his family members.

From an international perspective, Kohl no longer embodied the unsightly but rather the unwavering German. It was he who made everyone see that Germany had learned its lessons from two World Wars. It was he who they believed that his commitment to a unified Europe came from his own deepest convictions. It was he who pushed for the European unification and integration in such a way that a war on this continent has become nigh impossible. In times of a Brexit and populism, there could be no stronger sign than the life work of Helmut Kohl.

“Peace and wealth for everyone”

Politics is no systematic, arithmetic system. He fought with all his might for a Euro with the aim to make the European unification irreversible. And he enforced the expansion of the European Union into the East. Even at the cost of overstretching its structures.

Whenever Helmut Kohl spoke of the “blossoming landscapes” in the East, he was clear about the fact that politics was only the prerequisite for a positive economic development in the countries that had been run down during the period of communism in Central and South Eastern Europe.

“Dr. Helmut Kohl – European SME Awards”

After all, he focussed on the rebuilding of the economic grouping of SMEs which had been dispossessed during communism and created the respective political prerequisites to do so. The IFM under the auspices of its former Board member, Prof. Dr. Eckhard Flohr and Prof. Dr. Arsene Verny, knew of the political power of his work and wanted to honour him in 2012 for this by awarding him a prize which carried his name. Unfortunately, he turned the awards down with the attached letter to the IFM which reached us on 28/12/2012 stating general principles. That’s a shame – no other European politician would have been more suitable to emphasise the importance of SMEs for a positive economic development in Europe better than Kohl.

Dear Dr. Helmut Kohl,

Rest in peace. You will take up a special place in the history books, where your services for future generations will be illustrated and recognised.

Karl-Heinz Stiegeman

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