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Weizsäcker, Richard Karl Freiherr von

Weizsäcker, Richard Karl Freiherr von, 1920–2015, German political leader. After serving in World War II, Weizsäcker earned a law degree from the Univ. of Göttingen (1953), then worked in the private sector (1950–66). He was active in the German Evangelical Church, serving as president of its lay assembly (1964–70), and fostering relations between East and West German Christians. He joined the Christian Democratic Union in 1954, was first elected to the Bundestag in 1969, later serving (1979–81) as deputy speaker, and was (1981–84) mayor of West Berlin. In 1984 Weizsäcker was elected president of West Germany reelected in 1989, he became the first president of reunified Germany (1990–94).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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