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Kohl blasts portrayals of his private life

The Local · 28 Jun 2011, 15:20

Published: 28 Jun 2011 15:20 GMT+02:00

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“I feel the marketing of, and public displays about, my private live by third parties are inappropriate,” the 81-year-old said in a statement released on Tuesday, arguing that people were exceeding the boundaries of good taste.

Kohl, who served as chancellor between 1982 and 1998, appears to be referring to the furore surrounding recent book releases. A recent autobiography by his son Walter portrayed Kohl as a bad father.

Another by journalist Heribert Schwan called Kohl’s wife, Hannelore, a tortured soul who had been poorly treated by her husband.

The books have unleashed a torrent of mostly negative media coverage and tarnished Kohl’s image, portraying him as obsessed with politics and his legacy at the expense of his family life.

In his statement, the former chancellor said such portrayals were ''on essential points not in accord with the truth.''

Kohl's public image since he left office has also been damaged by the financial corruption scandal in which both he and his conservative Christian Democrats party were implicated.

The discussion about Kohl’s personal life comes at a particularly sensitive time for the former chancellor. July 5 marks the 10th anniversary of Hannelore’s death. She killed herself in 2001 after enduring years of a debilitating illness that left her in severe pain.

He also remains estranged from his son Walter.

Walter Kohl and Schwan reported that Helmut Kohl spent little time with his family, instead preferring to work in his office and take calls from government leaders.

Story continues below…

Although Hannelore entered her marriage with bright expectations, the relationship degenerated as Kohl entered national politics, Schwan wrote.

Eventually, Hannelore grew to despise the national spotlight, becoming largely a recluse before she took her own life.

DPA/The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:49 June 28, 2011 by ame64
Kohl is only upset becuase the truth is finally coming out about the kind of person he really is.

Its been known for years that he was a terrible husband, but it seems that most Germans are scared to say what they think.

He was and is a very self centerd man, now its just being put onto paper. If he was so hot on "privacy", why did he write his own biography?
20:25 June 28, 2011 by whpmgr
Ame64: Who will tell us factually that it has been know for years he was a terrible husband. I know for a fact, as he used to walk in the fields in Rheinland Pfalz, that he and his wife soemtimes took walks together. He even came to visit a friend of mine at his house.

Many things happen in the lives of a world leader, and under his term, teh Stasi and russians were doig great damage via help with the Red Army Faction (RAF) and also the lybians. He had a tough time and did great things for Germany. At times, a great leader must sacrifice his family, and if he did, the greater good was served at the expense of the wife and son. A country benefitted from this while two loved ones suffered from it. Germany is better off due to Herr Doktor Kohl. Stop trashing him with your ignorant rants based on nothing.

At least Schwan and the Son did have some perspective and research in their articles.

It is interesting that during the entire article above that the author referred to writings from the two authors, and quoted Kohl, but in the end, the author makes a factual statement and I wonder what it was based on? How doe the author know how Hannelore felt when she took her life?

"...Eventually, Hannelore grew to despise the national spotlight, becoming largely a recluse before she took her own life." This one statement at the end, shows that this author dispsed Doktor Kohl and wanted to make him look bad by blaming him fro her taking her own life....
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