The Local Germany (18 December 2015)
Hamburg’s airport is set to be renamed Helmut Schmidt Airport next year, in honour of the former German chancellor who died in November aged 96.
When Helmut Schmidt died at his home in Hamburg on November 10th, Germany mourned the loss of one of its most influential post-war leaders.
But efforts are already under way to commemorate Schmidt – by renaming the city’s airport after the former chancellor.
Hamburg will welcome in the newly renamed “Helmut Schmidt Airport” in 2016, reports Focus.
Schmidt’s family – along with a board of directors and partners at Hamburg Airport – have already agreed to the renaming, Hamburg’s mayor Olaf Scholz said in an interview with Norddeutsche Rundfunk.
It’s not yet certain whether the new official name will use the English term “Airport” or the German “Flughafen.”
“It’s about Helmut Schmidt, Hamburg and the airport,” Scholz said – with everything else yet to be confirmed.
At 96, Schmidt was Germany’s oldest former chancellor when he died in November.
As chancellor and leader of the Social Democratic Party between 1974 and 1982, he was respected for his tough stance on terrorism, leading the country through the infamous “German Autumn” when the Red Army Faction, a communist terror cell, wrought havoc in the Bundesrepublik.
An infamous heavy smoker, Schmidt remained in the public eye for the rest of his life – and in 2013 he made headlines over rumours that he hadup to 38,000 menthol cigarettes stockpiled in case of an EU ban.
But in September 2015, a blood clot in his right leg saw him rushed to Hamburg’s Asklepios Hospital.
Returning home two weeks later, he became ill once again in early November – and passed away surrounded by family on November 10th.
“He fell asleep peacefully and in a relaxed way,” doctor Heiner Greten told Bild shortly afterwards.
“He simply stopped living. He didn’t need to suffer any more.”