BERLIN (AP) — German leaders and lawmakers are paying tribute to former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who spearheaded the country's reunification during 16 years at the helm, in a requiem Mass at Berlin's Roman Catholic cathedral.
The parliamentary caucus of Kohl's conservative party organized Tuesday's event at St. Hedwig cathedral. The current party leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier were among guests.
Kohl died June 16 at 87. There won't be an official state funeral in Germany; the main event will be an official memorial at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Saturday, reflecting his commitment to European unification.
Kohl's death has highlighted deep rifts in his family. News agency dpa reported that prelate Karl Juesten said in his sermon: "We all wish that they find reconciliation and peace with each other."