Helmut Schmidt Dies

Helmut Schmidt Dies Helmut Schmidt Dies

Former West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who led the country for eight years at the height of the Cold War, died at the age of 96, his office in Hamburg said on Tuesday.

Schmidt was West Germany’s second center-left Social Democrat (SPD) chancellor from 1974 to 1982 and a leading proponent of European integration, Reuters reported.

Media reported that Schmidt caught an infection after having surgery to remove a blood clot from his leg about two months ago.

As chancellor, Schmidt tried to balance a conciliatory tone toward Moscow and Communist East Germany with a strengthening of West Germany’s standing within NATO and Europe. Schmidt, who had served as finance minister from 1972 to 1974, was in office at the time of West Germany’s ‘economic miracle’ although he tried to make some welfare cuts as the situation worsened.