Angela Merkel “couldn’t eat with a knife and fork” is just one of the comments coming back to haunt former German chancellor, Helmut Kohl, with the launch of the book “Legacy. The Kohl Transcripts” this week.
Journalist Heribert Schwan recorded this and other statements over the course of 100 meetings at Mr. Kohl’s home near Frankfurt in 2001 and 2002.
The 630 hours of interview material were to be developed into the legacy of the “chancellor of German unity.” Three volumes were published, but then Mr. Schwan and Mr. Kohl fell out.
So far, the former chancellor has successfully defended his rights to his own words. A court ordered Mr. Schwan to give the tapes back in August, but the damage was done. Mr. Schwan had the full transcripts. Mr. Schwan has appealed to the Federal Court of Justice, Germany’s highest civilian court, but the publication of the new book is already going ahead this week. Co-written with Tilman Jens, it is being described by publishers Heyne as an “authentic portrait of the chancellor – a close-up.”