World leaders said goodbye to Helmut Kohl - the architect of the reunification of Germany and the leader of the driving force for EU integration. The Russian delegation was represented by Dmitry Medvedev, who urged European leaders to move towards the goal of creating a "common home". The ceremony of farewell was ignored by the son of Kolya Walter. He deliberately refused to attend his father's funeral.
On Saturday, in the building of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, world leaders said goodbye to the former head of the German government, Helmut Kohl. The coffin was displayed in the parliament hall and covered by the flag of the European Union. During the more than two hours of the ceremony, the sounds of the German anthem and excerpts from Beethoven's ninth symphony "Ode to Joy", which is used as an anthem of the European Union, were heard.
The guard of honor in the hall was carried by the soldiers of the special guard of the Bundeswehr and the servicemen of the Eurocorpus, an independent interstate military structure of the EU.
After the farewell ceremony, the coffin by helicopter was sent to the town of Speyer in the land of Rhineland-Palatinate (on the border of France and Germany), where a memorial service was held in the imperial cathedral, after which the body of the chancellor was buried in the city cemetery.
On the death of the legendary politician became 16 June. Kohl died in his home in his native Ludwigshafen at the age of 87 years.
The Russian delegation at the funeral was headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. He went up to the funeral room, where he commemorated Kolya's memory with a minute of silence. Following the head of the government came the widow of the first Russian president, Nain Yeltsin. Then the prime minister left a note in the book of condolences.
In a farewell speech, Medvedev called Kolya one of the architects of the existing world order and the leader through which the ages change. Medvedev recalled that contemporaries did not believe in the possibility of the changes promised by Kohl, but "today we speak about those events differently:" It was impossible to do it differently. " "He knew how to choose the only true path, the one on which history went," Medvedev said.
As Tass reports, the prime minister recalled that Kohl had for many years gone on to ensure that Europe was never divided: "by the lines of trenches, by neither borders, nor by hostile ideologies," and "the great politician, Helmut Kohl understood very well that only so, Overcoming the split of the whole of Europe, he will be able to unite his native country. " Medvedev noted Kohl's efforts in strengthening Russian-German relations and assured that in Russia Kolya "will be remembered as our friend, wise and far-sighted politician, a very open and sincere person."
Medvedev said that the contradictions on the European continent do not bring him closer to the goal of creating a "common home", and called on world leaders to move towards this. "The Berlin Wall has long been dismantled for souvenirs. But its ideological fragments are still scattered around the world. We must admit that today, because of our contradictions, we are, unfortunately, far from the dream of a common home, "Medvedev said, adding that it is our common, safe and prosperous Europe that is our common goal.
At the end of the farewell ceremony, Medvedev briefly communicated with some of its participants, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, former Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi. Some guests asked to make a photo with Medvedev for memory.
The American delegation at the funeral was headed by the director of national intelligence Daniel Coates, who was the ambassador to the FRG from 2001 to 2005. The delegation included former US President Bill Clinton. He recalled that Kohl sought a world in which priority is given to cooperation, not conflicts. "You have lived a good life. And we, who had the opportunity to accompany you along the way, love you for it, "Clinton said.
According to him, Kohl gave "us a chance to be involved in something more than ourselves, more than our official powers and more than our fleeting careers."
In total, about 1,4 thousand guests were invited to the ceremony in the composition of about 40 delegations from different countries and international organizations.
Helmut Kohl served as Chancellor of Germany for a record 16 years (from 1982 to 1998 year). Yet no politician has been at the head of the government of Germany for such a long time. The current Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Angela Merkel, has held this post since 2005. The leap in her political career was due to Kolya, in which she worked as a minister at one time.
In 1990, under Kohl, the Berlin Wall fell and the reunification of the FRG and the GDR. Successful negotiations with the powers that won World War II led to the unification of Germany. On behalf of the USSR negotiations were conducted by Mikhail Gorbachev and his role in the fall of the wall is also considered very significant. After this, Kohl was entrusted with the unofficial title of "Chancellor of German Unity". In recent years Kohl was chained to a wheelchair and, in fact, lived in seclusion. He considered himself a devoted party member who unceremoniously turned his back on him after a scandal with receiving from an anonymous source 2 million marks (about 1 million dollars) of donations for the election campaign.
We will add that at the farewell ceremony and the funeral, one of the sons of Kolya Walter was absent. He was against the decision of the widow Kohl (second wife Mike Kol-Richter) to bury her husband in the cemetery in Speyer. Walter Kohl called for a farewell ceremony with his father in Berlin at the Brandenburg Gate and bury him in the family crypt in Ludwigshafen am Rhein next to his first wife. However, according to Ms. Kol-Richter, her husband himself decided to be buried in the cemetery of Speyers Cathedral.