German leaders, lawmakers pay tribute to Kohl at Berlin Mass

June 27, 2017
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, second from left, Bundestag President Norbert Lammert, third from left, and CDU politician Volker Kauder, third from right, attend a memorial service for late former Chancellor Helmut Kohl Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at the Hedwig Cathedral in Berlin. Kohl, the physically imposing German chancellor whose reunification of a nation divided by the Cold War put Germany at the heart of a united Europe, died Friday, June 16, at his home in Ludwigshafen. He was 87. ( John Macdougall/Pool Photo via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — German leaders and lawmakers are paying tribute to former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who spearheaded the country’s reunification during 16 years at the helm, in a requiem Mass at Berlin’s Roman Catholic cathedral.

The parliamentary caucus of Kohl’s conservative party organized Tuesday’s event at St. Hedwig cathedral. The current party leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier were among guests.

Kohl died June 16 at 87. There won’t be an official state funeral in Germany; the main event will be an official memorial at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Saturday, reflecting his commitment to European unification.

Kohl’s death has highlighted deep rifts in his family. News agency dpa reported that prelate Karl Juesten said in his sermon: “We all wish that they find reconciliation and peace with each other.”

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