Helmut Schmidt Biography
Birthday: December 23, 1918 (Capricorn)
Born In: Hamburg, Germany
Helmut Heinrich Waldemar Schmidt was a German statesman and twice-elected Social Democrat chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). His tenure lasted from 1974 to 1982. Originally from Hamburg, Schmidt was educated at the Hamburg Lichtwark School and the University of Hamburg. Despite being part-Jewish, he joined the Hitler Youth organization. During World War II, he served in the Luftwaffe between 1937 and 1945. After the war, in 1946, he joined politics as a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. In the ensuing years, he served as the senator of the Interior of Hamburg, member of the Bundestag for Hamburg-Nord II, member of the Bundestag for Hamburg, member of the Bundestag for Hamburg-Bergedorf, and leader of the SPD group in the Bundestag in West Germany. Schmidt helmed the defence ministry of West Germany between 1969 and 1972, and the finance ministry between 1972 and 1974. During his tenure as the chancellor, he concentrated on international affairs, pursued "political unification of Europe in partnership with the United States", and introduced proposals that resulted in the NATO Double-Track Decision in 1979 to place the US Pershing II missiles to Europe. An extremely dynamic diplomat, his efforts paved the way for the establishment of the European Monetary System in 1978. In 1986, Schmidt left politics.