60 Facts About Helmut Schmidt


Helmut Heinrich Waldemar Schmidt was a German politician and member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, who served as the chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982.


Helmut Schmidt had briefly been Minister of Economics and acting Foreign Minister.


Helmut Schmidt was an energetic diplomat who sought European co-operation and international economic co-ordination and was the leading force in creating the European Monetary System in 1978.


Helmut Schmidt 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 Schmidt retired from Parliament in 1986, after clashing with the SPD's left wing, which opposed him on defence and economic issues.


Helmut Schmidt was the elder of two sons of teachers Ludovica Koch and Gustav Ludwig Schmidt in Barmbek, a working-class district of Hamburg, in 1918.


Helmut Schmidt was a group leader in the Hitler Youth organisation until 1936, when he was demoted and sent on leave because of his anti-Nazi views.


Helmut Schmidt resumed his education in Hamburg after the war, graduating in economics and political science in 1949.


Helmut Schmidt began serving with an anti-aircraft battery of Luftwaffe at Vegesack near Bremen.


Helmut Schmidt was captured by the British in April 1945 on Luneburg Heath, and was a prisoner of war until August of that year in Belgium.


In 1958 Helmut Schmidt was promoted to Hauptmann of the Bundeswehr reserve.


Helmut Schmidt joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1946, and from 1947 to 1948 was the leader of the Socialist German Student League, the student organisation of the SPD.


Helmut Schmidt was elected to the Bundestag in 1953, and in 1957 he became a member of the SPD parliamentary party executive.


Helmut Schmidt alarmed some in his party by taking part in manoeuvres as a reserve officer in the newly formed Bundeswehr.


The government of the city-state of Hamburg is known as the Senate of Hamburg, and from 1961 to 1965, Helmut Schmidt was the Innensenator: the senator of the interior.


Helmut Schmidt used all means at his disposal to alleviate the situation, even when that meant overstepping his legal authority, including employing the federal police and army units.


Additionally, Helmut Schmidt decided to introduce the Bundeswehr universities in Hamburg and Munich to broaden the academic education of the German officer corps, and the situation of non-commissioned officers was improved.


Helmut Schmidt remained Minister of Finance and faced the prospect of rising inflation.


Shortly before the Oil Shock of 1973, which rattled Britain and United States, Helmut Schmidt agreed that European currencies should be floated against the US Dollar.


Helmut Schmidt remained in charge of finance until May 1974.


Helmut Schmidt became Chancellor of West Germany on 16 May 1974, after Brandt's resignation in the wake of an espionage scandal.


The worldwide economic recession was the main problem his administration faced, and Helmut Schmidt took a tough and disciplined line, in reduction of public spending.


Helmut Schmidt remained as Chancellor after the 1976 federal election, in coalition with the liberal Free Democratic Party.


Helmut Schmidt adopted a tough, uncompromising line with the indigenous Red Army Faction extremists.


Concerned about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the Soviet superiority regarding missiles in Central Europe, Helmut Schmidt issued proposals resulting in the NATO Double-Track Decision, concerning the deployment of medium-range nuclear missiles in Western Europe, should the Soviets not disarm.


At the beginning of his period as chancellor, Helmut Schmidt was a proponent of Keynesian economics, and pursued expansionary monetary and fiscal policies during his tenure.


Between 1979 and 1982, the Helmut Schmidt administration pursued such policies in an effort to reduce unemployment.


Whilst visiting Saudi Arabia in April 1981, Helmut Schmidt made some unguarded remarks about the Israel-Palestine conflict that succeeded in aggravating the delicate relations between Israel and West Germany.


On his flight home from Riyadh, Helmut Schmidt told his advisers that war guilt could not continue to affect Germany's foreign relations.


Helmut Schmidt was the first world leader to call upon newly elected French president Francois Mitterrand, who visited Bonn in July 1981.


In February 1982, Helmut Schmidt won a motion of confidence; however on 17 September 1982, the coalition broke apart, with the four FDP ministers leaving his cabinet.


The Helmut Schmidt administration introduced social policy legislation in the late 1970s, which increased family allowances and maternity leave benefits.


Increases were made in child benefits, which rose on a regular basis for most of the years that the Helmut Schmidt Administration was in office.


Contrary to the line of his party, Helmut Schmidt was a determined opponent of Turkey's bid to join the EU.


Helmut Schmidt opposed phasing out nuclear energy, something that the Red-Green coalition of Gerhard Schroder supported.


In 2007, Helmut Schmidt described the climate debate as "hysterically overheated".


Helmut Schmidt was particularly concerned about the superficiality of communication on the web.


Helmut Schmidt was the author of numerous books on his political life, on foreign policy, and political ethics.


Helmut Schmidt made appearances in numerous television talk shows, and remained one of the most renowned political publicists in Germany until his death.


Helmut Schmidt described the assassinated Egyptian president Anwar Sadat as one of his friends from the world of politics, and maintained a friendship with ex-president Valery Giscard d'Estaing of France.


Helmut Schmidt's circle included former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and former US Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger.


Helmut Schmidt was good friends with former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.


At the 4th G7 summit in 1978, the two discussed strategies for the upcoming Canadian federal election, and Helmut Schmidt gave him advice on economic policy.


In 2011, Helmut Schmidt made a pilgrimage to the Trudeau family vault in St-Remi-de-Napierville Cemetery, accompanied by Jean Chretien and Tom Axworthy.


Helmut Schmidt admired the philosopher Karl Popper, and contributed a foreword to the 1982 Festschrift in Popper's honor.


Helmut Schmidt was a talented pianist, and recorded piano concertos of both Mozart and Bach with German pianist and conductor Christoph Eschenbach.


In that recording, according to the CDs liner notes, Helmut Schmidt played the part written for Countess Antonia Lodron's youngest daughter Giuseppina, "almost a beginner" who commissioned the work.


In 1990 Helmut Schmidt joined Eschenbach, Frantz, Gerhard Oppitz and the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra in Deutsche Grammophon's recording of Bach's Concerto in A minor for four harpsichords, BWV 1065.


Helmut Schmidt was well known for lighting up during TV interviews and talk shows.


On 13 October 1981, Helmut Schmidt was fitted with a cardiac pacemaker.


On 25 January 2008, German police launched an inquiry after an anti-smoking initiative charged that Helmut Schmidt was defying the recently introduced smoking ban.


The initiative claimed that Helmut Schmidt had been flagrantly ignoring anti-smoking laws.


At the beginning of August 2012, Helmut Schmidt gave an interview on German television and revealed that at 93 years of age, he had fallen in love again.


On 2 September 2015, Helmut Schmidt underwent surgery for a vascular occlusion in his right leg.


Helmut Schmidt died in his Hamburg home on the afternoon of 10 November 2015, aged 96.


Helmut Schmidt was an astute observer and commentator, and it was with good reason that he had a reputation for dependability.


Helmut Schmidt's remains were buried there one day later, in the family grave alongside the remains of his parents and his wife, Loki.


Historian Michael Wolffsohn argues that Helmut Schmidt avoided explaining about what he had done between 1940 and 1945.


Helmut Schmidt recommends that the photo be displayed again, but with explanations.


Helmut Schmidt said the troops were never taught about the Geneva Conventions, and by standards of today, he would have to go to court "a dozen times".