Walter Scheel

Infobox Chancellor
name=Walter Scheel

order=4th President of the Federal Republic of Germany
president =
term_start =1 July 1974
term_end =28 June 1979
chancellor =Helmut Schmidt
predecessor =Gustav Heinemann
successor =Karl Carstens
order2=Acting Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany
president2 =Gustav Heinemann
term_start2 =7 May 1974
term_end2 =16 May 1974
predecessor2 =Willy Brandt
successor2 =Helmut Schmidt
order3=6th Vice-Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany
term_start3 =21 October 1969
term_end3 =16 May 1974
chancellor3 =Willy Brandt
predecessor3 =Willy Brandt
successor3 =Hans-Dietrich Genscher
order4=5th Federal Minister of the Foreign Affairs
term_start4 =21 October 1969
term_end4 =16 May 1974
chancellor4 =Willy Brandt
predecessor4 =Willy Brandt
successor4 =Hans-Dietrich Genscher
birth_date=Birth date and age|df=yes|1919|7|8
spouse=Mildred Scheel (1932-1985)

Walter Scheel (born 8 July 1919) is a German politician (FDP). As of 2008, he is the oldest German president alive.


Scheel was born in Solingen.During World War II, he served in the Luftwaffe, the last years of the war as a Radar operator on a Me 110 night fighter.

As federal minister of economic cooperation and development (1961-1966), he brought about the downfall of the Erhard government in late 1966, when he took the Free Democratic Party, which he led, out of the coalition government.

In 1969, he enabled his party to form a new coalition with the Social Democrats. He returned to government as Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor. Due to his foreign policy, the Federal Republic of Germany gave up claims on former territories ceded to Poland and the USSR in 1945 and officially recognized the existence of the GDR, causing a massive public debate that led to early elections in 1972. The coalition was reelected and the efforts to improve relations with the countries on the other side of the iron curtain continued.

On 7 May 1974, Brandt resigned as Chancellor after one of his personal assistants, Günter Guillaume, was arrested as a spy for the East German state. Though this had been internally suspected since 1973, Brandt accepted responsibility and resigned. Scheel, as acting chancellor, chaired the government meetings for a little over a week, until Helmut Schmidt was elected Chancellor.

At that time, Scheel was elected Federal President of West Germany, a post he held from July 1974 until June 1979. He largely retreated to private life after his term of office expired, though he sometimes appears on political talk shows or events. At the funeral of Hanns Martin Schleyer in October 1977, Scheel gave a speech entitled "shame".

NAME= Scheel, Walter
SHORT DESCRIPTION= German politician
DATE OF BIRTH=8 July 1919
PLACE OF BIRTH=Solingen, Germany

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