Former German Federal President Roman Herzog has died. The seventh German President passed at the age of 82 on January 10. Herzog held that highest German office in state from 1994 to 1999, and the “Ruck” made him famous.
“I never wanted to be a president that can be touched, but a president that can be addressed and understands,” said Herzog in his farewell speech as Federal President on July 1, 1999. He wanted to understand the Germans — and at the same time ask them to renew their country. In his legendary speech on April 26, 1996 in Berlin, he made it clear: “Germany needs a jolt to push through it,” Herzog said. “We have to part with a certain level of affluence which we cherish and take for granted. Everyone has to make sacrifices.” He was referring to the economic downturn and general sense of depression so pervasive at the time.
Herzog was born in 1934 in the Bavarian Landshut and joined the CDU in 1970 as a professor of state theory and politics. In 1973 he went into politics; ten years later he was appointed as a constitutional judge. From 1987 he was president of the Federal Constitutional Court. Even though he had remained connected to his Bavarian home all his life, “at the same time he was a cosmopolitan,” Helmut Schmidt once said about him.
Source: Deutsche Welle – www.dw.com