German of the Week: Richard von Weizsäcker

 (Bundesarchiv / Wikimedia)

(Bundesarchiv / Wikimedia)

Our German of the Week is Richard von Weizsäcker, a former German president, who died this past week at the age of 94. Read the article or listen to the audio in the player below.

He took the position of West German president in 1984. Though it was a more of a ceremonial position, it was him who was there when the Berlin Wall came down and the reunification was decided. He held his role of president until retiring in 1994.

What Richard von Weizsäcker was most well known for was his beliefs about how the German people should view the Second World War. He made it clear to the German people as well as the world, that their country would face their responsibility for the aftermath and the problems it brought.

It was what he said while in office that set the tone for how German politicians and leaders would address their past into the present. Many still look to him as a symbol for a peace and an inspiration in helping build a more unified Europe.