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In the UK, he is remembered for his differences over the EU with the late UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.Kohl had been frail and wheelchair-bound since suffering a bad fall in 2008.As a 15-year-old, he was about to be pressed into service in a German anti-aircraft gun unit when World War II ended.His oldest brother, Walter, was killed in action a few months earlier.Germany's former chancellor Helmut Kohl has died at the age of 87.Kohl, described as the father of German reunification and an architect of European integration, died in his house in Ludwigshafen.
Throughout his political career, Kohl was a passionate supporter of greater European integration and was one of the main architects of the Maastricht Treaty.
Only Otto von Bismarck, who first unified Germany in the 1870s, was chancellor longer, for 19 years.
He was a driving force behind the introduction of the European single currency, convincing sceptical Germans to give up the Deutsche Mark.
In 2011, in a series of interviews and statements, he spoke out against Merkel's policy of strict austerity to deal with the European debt crisis.
Though slowed by illness in his later years, Kohl still made occasional eye-catching interventions on the political stage.
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Germany's longest serving post-war chancellor from 1982 to 1998, he left active politics in 2002.