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On behalf of the American people, I offer my deepest condolences to the people of Germany and to the family and loved ones of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl.  We were saddened to learn of his passing today in Ludwigshafen, his boyhood home.

The longest serving Chancellor in modern German history, Chancellor Kohl was a friend and ally to the United States as he led the Federal Republic of Germany through sixteen pivotal years.  He was not only the father of German reunification, but also an advocate for Europe and the transatlantic relationship.  The world has benefited from his vision and efforts.  His legacy will live on.