Helmut Schmidt (1918-2015)

The first Henry A. Kissinger Prize, in 2007, was awarded to Dr. Helmut Schmidt, former German minister of defense, minister of economics, minister of finance, and then chancellor, from 1974 to 1982. Dr. Schmidt’s long political career fostered closer understanding and cooperation between the United States and Germany, and as publisher and editor of the German weekly Die Zeit he pushed transatlantic dialogue into sometimes uneasy realms that sparked vigorous debate over shared Western concerns and interests. Throughout his activities Dr. Schmidt has exemplified the American Academy’s ideals of transatlantic exchange and vigorous debate in the realms of politics, journalism, and the humanities that have deepened political and cultural understanding between the people of the United States and Germany.