Following the death of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, euronews journalist Lena Roche spoke to diplomat Joachim Bitterlich, who was once one of the leader’s closest advisers.
“He was a man who attached importance to his family, his team, he was a politician through and through. Also a German patriot and I would say a European patriot.
“What was dear to his heart, was first I would say to prepare Germany for the future, to whip it into shape. Second he always had German reunification on his mind. Always. He never gave up on that idea. And thirdly, we knew from the beginning that German reunification would only be possible if Germany was completely embedded in Europe.
“For Helmut Kohl the foundation was always Franco-German cooperation and friendship. And he was extremely lucky to find, in François Mitterand, a congenial partner.”