Willy Brandt

Article excerpt

Willy Brandt, who died October 8 at 78, Germany loses the great architect of its democratic reconstruction; Europe mourns a pioneer of d6tente, reconciliation and internationalism; and the world grieves a statesman of global stature and vision. Having grown up in the turbulence of the Weimar Republic, Brandt participated in the anti-Nazi underground both in Germany and in occupied Norway. He returned to Germany after the war to become Social Democratic Mayor of Berlin and the leader of his party.

Brandt never allowed his political vision to be conStrained by the cold war. He never despaired of the possibility of change in the Soviet bloc and insisted that d6tente was the necessary condition for that change. As West Germany's Foreign Minister (1966-69) and as Chancellor (1969-74), he initiated agreements with the Soviet Union, Poland and East Germany that did much to prevent nuclear war between the two superpowers. With a phrase from his inaugural address in 1969, "Let us dare more democracy! …