Talk:Helmut Schmidt

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NOT vandalism. same text as is in german Wikipedia.

Jewish ancestry and identity[edit]

Could we have some more info on Helmut Schmidts jewish ancestory and how it played into his politics? Also is he Germanys first ethnically Jewish chancellor?

Could first someone try to verify this information or give a source for it? de:Helmut Schmidt and both official biographies linked from there don't say anything about this. Smells a bit like a troll, but I'm not sure. -- till we | Talk 17:38, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Looked my self and found this - a review of a book about Schmidt. There it is said that indeed his father was the illegitimate son of a jewish trader, but that Schmidt himself didn't know about this until later (it isn't specified what later is). I'd say this ancestory didn't play a role in Schmidts politics, it is not even sure if he knew about it then. I'm not sure how the category:Jews is organized, but I'm quite sure that Helmut Schmidt isn't placed there correctly, so I removed that category entry. -- till we | Talk 17:45, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Schmidt himself made that public in 1984, two years after he had left office. His biological grandfather gave Schmidts father Gustav to the Schmidt-family, who adopted the child. I don't think there was any influence on his politics as chancellor, and I certainly would not think of Schmidt as 'ethnically Jewish'. It's of course interesting when you look at his youth under the nazis. He always said he didn't like them, because they had forbidden the paintings of several artists he liked. That his father would have had serious problems, had his ancestory been revealed, was certainly a far stronger reason for him. Nevfennas 17:01, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
He's an ethnic Jew plain and simple, if you have Jewish backround, you are an ethnic Jew.
That's nonsense. Jewishness is not inherited genetically but culturally through indoctrination during one's upbringing. Maybe a look at Ethnicity will help. Mr Schmidt is not a Jew. He's just a heavy smoker. ♆ CUSH ♆ 18:38, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

A little clarity here. 1) Under traditional Jewish law, Helmut Schmidt is not Jewish, because his mother was not. For the same reason, neither was his father. 2) Under the Nuremberg laws of 1935, which defined "who is a Jew" for Nazi racial purposes, Schmidt would have been counted as a quasi-Jew and therefore not inexorably subject to disenfranchisement and deportation. However, he would have remained at considerable risk, and almost certainly not elegible for service as an officer in the Wehrmacht. Under the circumstances, he would have had to have been insane to reveal anything.

The Nazi laws established three categories of "Mischlinge" or people of mixed origin. Gender was irrelevant. The "worst," of course, was someone who had three Jewish grandparents and one Gentile grandparent. That person was flat-out "Jewish." The next "worst" was a "Mischling of the First Degree," meaning someone with two Jewish grandparents. In the least disadvantageous category belonged somone like Schmidt, who was a "Mischling of the First Degree," meaning someone who had one Jewish grandparent. Nonetheless it was hardly a desireable or "safe" situation for him.

It is worth noting the cynicism undergirding these laws in the first place. The authorities could "aryanize" people for whatever reason. Furthermore, exclusions were written into the laws for Hitler and all of the top Nazi brass. Therefore, if perchance the rumors surrounding Hitler's alleged Jewish grandfather somehow turned out to be true, Hitler himself would have remained beyond reproach, at least from an official standpoint. (Whether in fact Hitler's father, Alois (Schicklgruber) Hitler was in fact half-Jewish has never been conclusively proven.)

bamjd3d 0938 PST 21 June 2005

So did he "come out" about being Jewish before, after or during his chancellorary.
Just how stupid are u people?? He's a non-practicing lutheran, and has been all his life. His ancestry doesn't make him jewish, christian, muslim or anything; these are religions, not races! religion isn't in your f***ing blood! -- (talk) 16:17, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

After all many Nazis had Jewish blood and got their Blood Certificate through corruption and friendship with Nazi leaders. Even Hitler accepted to give a Blood Certificate to Field Marshall Erhard Milch, whose father was Jew, as he was a good friend of Hermann Göring. So even in the worst times there are exceptions. It would be a very intersting movie: "Erhard Milch, the Jewish Nazi General"-- (talk) 07:04, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Schmidt already knew in the 1930s about his Jewish grandfather. He falsified documents about his ancestry being not pure "arien", so he won't get any troubles (See: "Auf eine Zigarette mit Helmut Schmidt" by Giovanni di Lorenzo and Helmut Schmidt) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:51, 3 December 2009 (UTC)


Although it might be true that he was against nuclear weapons in his early political days, it was Schmidt who made possible the permanent posting of cruise missiles in Germany in the 70s! Remarquable also are his appearances in Bohemian Grove about which has even written a few words in his biography.


User: inserted the following claim, about Schmidt's Jewish ancestry:

Only under pressure did Helmut Schmidt publicly admit the fact in 1984, after journalists had learned of it from his friend Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.

Do we have a source for this? The anonymous user has inserted dubious claims elsewhere. --- Charles Stewart 19:39, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

Under pressure? I doubt it. I've seen a number of interviews in which he VERY candidly talks about his Jewish ancestry, and the lengths with which he went to conceal it (by falsifying documents, etc). I'll find the sources and post them here later. I think he revealed it after he left office because it would no longer present any political problems for him. He had been publicly excoriated by Menachem Begin for his role in the war; as I recall, Begin's language came across as harsh, undiplomatic, and downright mean. But it begins to make sense if Begin knew - as he may well have - what most of the public didn't know at the time. If Begin did know about Schmidt's origins, it is understandable that he found that hard to take. How members of the German, Israeli, and international public might have put together his partly Jewish origins and his wartime roles MAY have been why he never publicly revealed the matter until after he had retired. Then again, it may just not have been an important factor in his thinking until he got older. I will try to find out more about it. David Cannon (talk) 10:37, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Source: Hand aufs Herz Helmut Schmidt im Gespräch mit Sandra Maischberger ISBN 3430179645

It's discussed inside the book which is mostly an interview with Schmidt. I don't know if there is an english translation, I doubt most of it would be interesting for people outside Germany). Nevfennas 22:08, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Karl Popper?[edit]

Schmidt is listed in the Karl Popper infobox as having been "influenced" by Popper. Is there anything to this? A Geek Tragedy 20:28, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Climate change skeptics category[edit]

I've included Helmut Schmidt to the global warming skeptics category because he is a textbook example of the mainstream skeptical opinions. See e.g. [1]. He says that the hysteria should stop, the climate has always been changing, and the reasons behind various climate changes haven't been properly researched so far. It's how Wikipedia defines skeptics and his opinions are virtually identical to those of Michael Crichton and other skeptics. --Lumidek 06:54, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Sorry - no. It is possible to think that the debate is hysterical - and at the same time agree that climate is changing by greenhouse gases. You should notice that he continues on arguing that Nuclear power is the only way to "protect the climate" (klima-shutz). --Kim D. Petersen 01:29, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Helmut Schmidt is a skeptic

English German Get over it Kim. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:43, 8 March 2011 (UTC)


Maybe it could be added that, as described in the German article, Schmidt is a fine pianist, with professional recordings to his credit. (e.g. Johann Sebastian Bach: Concerto for 4 Pianos and Strings in A minor, BWV 1065. Hamburg Philharmonic, Christoph Eschenbach, Justus Frantz, Gerhard Oppitz and Helmut Schmidt. Deutsche Grammophon 415 655-2. See also [2]). L'omo del batocio 05:08, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Did I miss something?[edit]

As of 2008, he is the oldest German Chancellor alive. Did I miss something? Which of them died this year? -- (talk) 15:11, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

ONO one! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Max Mux (talkcontribs) 10:31, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

I have removed 'as of 2008', which wrongly implied that he became the oldest living German Chancellor this year, when in fact he has been the oldest living for years. F W Nietzsche (talk) 05:04, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

He is the oldest chancellor alive since the death of Willy Brandt on 08th October 1992. And since 06th October 2009 he even is the oldest former Federal Minister alive since the death of Werner Maihofer.YOG'TZE (talk) 22:37, 16 November 2009 (UTC)YOG'TZE

I removed the statements mentioned above from the article. Although I only now understand the point of him being oldest minister, this is a trivial fact that, if it should be mentioned at all, should not be in the lead. Gunnar Hendrich (talk) 23:34, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Understood, but this fact is not totally unimportant as it's remarkable he's the oldest chancelor ever and the current oldest minister alive. If you want to remove this from the lead, please place it somewhere else in the article but from my POV, it could remain in the lead as it is important enough. YOG'TZE (talk) 02:00, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

"Last surviving person to have been solely Chancellor of West Germany"[edit]

This needs to be phrased differently. Helmut Schmidt was Federal Chancellor or Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. There was no office "Chancellor of West Germany" (definitely not with a capital "C"). I do not see what is supposed to be unnecessarily ambiguous about "Federal Republic of Germany before re-unification"; anything less ambiguous in this context risks being POV. --Boson (talk) 00:05, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Nothing wrong with Chancellor of West Germany at all. You don't have any problem with "U.S. President" (with a capital P) instead of "President of the United States of America" either, don't you?-- (talk) 23:04, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Bad example. The German Reunification didn’t create a new state. The former GDR just joined the Federal Republic of Germany. There is no difference in the Office of Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and Chancellor of West Germany. Merkel has the same Office he had, so he isn't the last Chancellor. It is comparable to States joining the U.S (like Alaska and Hawaii did in 1959).

It is also not true that he never accepted a medal. He did reject them later, as it is against hanseatic tradition and forbidden for a (former) member of the Senate of Hamburg to accept orders or medals. But during WW2 he received and accepted an Iron Cross (see German Wiki Article of Schmidt or "Jonathan Carr, Helmut Schmidt. Econ, Düsseldorf/Wien 1985, S. 29. Zwei Bilder von 1942 belegen zudem das Eiserne Kreuz: Vgl. Hartmut Soell: Helmut Schmidt: 1918–1969. Vernunft und Leidenschaft. DVA, München 2004, zwischen S. 272–273. Jonathan Carr: Helmut Schmidt. Econ, Düsseldorf/Wien 1985, zwischen S. 136–137" and -- (talk) 01:47, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Natkanzelar Helmut Schmidt was the keynote speaker, respected columnist for "Die Welt"[edit]

Croatian writer Giancarlo Kravar: Former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt (94), the nickname Natkanzelar, one of the most popular German, opponent neoliberal capitalism, as a guest in one of the most watched television programs in Germany Maybrit Obermann (ZDF), said that the current Chancellor Angela Merkel's own fault because the Europeans are compared to Adolf Hitler. Schmidt said, "Merkel too nacionalegoist and almost centrally trying to solve the crisis. "Two men, Napoleon and Hitler, tried to rule from a single center, the Germans to abandon it," said Schmidt, adding that "The European Union has 27 heads, and if 27 people will make decisions in Mercedes - Benz and Daimler would have collapsed." Less known is that after the mandate of the West Germany chancellor since 1974. to 1982. Helmut Schmidt was the keynote speaker-respected columnist for "Die Welt". Association "Anti-smoking" announced a lawsuit against the ZDF because Helmut Schmidt during a broadcast lit four cigarettes. It is also less-known that the German Third Reich was the first country in the world where there was no smoking in the workplace, in restaurants and cafes, as well as on the street, and because Adolf Hitler thought that smoking cigarettes harms the purity of Germany's Aryan race! (talk) 01:23, 30 September 2012 (UTC)