Obituary for Hans Dietrich Genscher
History very often produces personalities. And the other way around, personalities produce history. Such a figure was Hans Dietrich Genscher.
I have known him for more than 25 years. He was a role model in politics and diplomacy.
First of all, because of his unbelievable working capacity. He could be productive day and night, with incredible energy, sense of humor and very fine feeling for his introlocaturs position. He was a master of protecting German interest without hurting others in times of Cold War and permanent threat of a global nuclear conflict.
Genscher was aware that reunification of Germany will never happen without Willy Brant's "Eastern Policy" and Helmuth Kohl’s way of inserting Germany into the Western Alliance. He was actually the catalyst of the two in a very subtle way. He also knew that without the establishment of the Conference of Security and Cooperation there was no way to accomplish unification of the two German states.
Last but not least, Genscher as German foreign minister managed to have simultaneously excellent relations with the USA, Russia, China, UK and France. It is almost like finding a solution for the square of the circle.
Today one can only dream of that.
I spent almost seven years as Ambassador in Germany and met him on many occasions. His advice, reflections and analysis of diplomacy shaped me as a diplomat.
Genscher will be certainly as all other great personalities judged by history.
I am sure once this judgment will be made it will be impossible not to realize he was a master of presenting and promoting national interest on international stage by using exclusively software, which was much more sophisticated and difficult then using hardware!
May he rest in peace.