Scheel, Walter

Scheel, Walter

(väl`tər shāl), 1919–2016, German political leader, president of West Germany (1974–79). After serving in World War II, Scheel became interested in politics and joined the Free Democrats, a liberal party. In 1953 he entered the Bundestag, or lower house of parliament, and subsequently won reelection several times. From 1961 to 1966 he served as minister for economic cooperation and development and deputy foreign minister in coalition governments led by the Christian Democrats. In 1968 he became chairman of the Free Democrats. When the Social Democrat–Free Democrat coalition government was formed in 1969 by Chancellor Willy BrandtBrandt, Willy
, 1913–92, German political leader. His name originally was Karl Herbert Frahm. Active in his youth in the Social Democratic party, after Adolf Hitler came to power (1933) he fled to Norway and began a journalistic career, soon becoming a Norwegian citizen.
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, Scheel became foreign minister and vice chancellor (1969–74). As foreign minister he helped improve relations with East Germany and the Soviet Union. In 1974 he was elected to the presidency, a largely ceremonial office.

Scheel, Walter

 

Born July 8,1919, in Solingen. State figure of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG).

Scheel studied economics and became a businessman. He joined the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in 1948 and was elected a member of the Bundestag in 1953. He served as vice-president of the Bundestag from 1967 to 1969.

From 1961 to 1966, Scheel was minister for economic cooperation in the coalition government formed by the Christian Democratic Union, the Christian Social Union, and the FDP. He was chairman of his party from 1968 to 1974 and subsequently honorary chairman. From 1969 to 1974, Scheel served as both vicechancellor and minister of foreign affairs in the coalition government formed by the FDP and the Social Democratic Party of Germany. He was directly involved in negotiating treaties between his country and the USSR (signed 1970), the Polish People’s Republic (1970), the German Democratic Republic (1972), and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (1973). Scheel was president of the FRG from 1974 to 1979.

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