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Merkel Lauds Helmut Kohl Saying She Learned Politics From Him

German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised her former mentor and predecessor, Helmut Kohl, saying that she learned “an awful lot” about politics when she served as a minister in his Cabinet.

Kohl was responsible for ensuring the political success of German reunification, Merkel told television station Sat.1, according to an e-mailed transcript of an interview to be broadcast later today. Merkel served under Kohl as families minister from 1991 to 1994, and then as environment minister from 1994 to 1998.

“Looking back from today’s standpoint, it wasn’t always so obvious that it would turn out to be so successful,” Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, said of the 1990 reunification of East and West. As a result, Kohl has earned his place in German history, she said.

“At the same time, I learned a lot from him about what the business of politics entails,” she said.

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