Helmut Schmidt, German politician, Died at 96

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Helmut Heinrich Waldemar Schmidt was born on December 23, 1918, and died on November 10, 2015.

He was a German statesman and a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), who served as Chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982.

Prior to becoming Chancellor, Helmut had served as Minister of Defense (1969 to 1972).

As Minister of Finance (1972 to 1974), he gained credit for financial policies that consolidated the Wirtschaftswunder (economic miracle), giving Germany the most stable currency and economic position in the world.

Helmut 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”.

Helmut was an energetic diplomat who sought European co-operation and international economic coordination.

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.

Helmut retired from Parliament in 1986, after clashing with the SPD’s left-wing, who opposed him on defense and economic issues.

In 1986 Helmut was a leading proponent of European monetary union and a European central bank.

Helmut passed away at age 96 in November 2015.

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