31 Oct 2011


Meet the coolest politician in Germany: he's 93, mentally sharp and hilarious. His name is Helmut Schmidt. He is as famous for smoking cigarettes anywhere and everywhere - even on live television - as for his wise words.

"Das Schneckentempo ist das normale Tempo jeder Demokratie." (Snails-pace is the normal speed of every democracy.)

"Wollen wir denn auch noch Weltmeister im Jammern werden?" (Do we [Germany] want to become the world champions in complaining?)
"Politiker und Journalisten teilen sich das Schicksal, dass sie heute über Dinge reden oder schreiben müssen, die sie erst morgen ganz verstehen." (Politicians and Journalists share the same fate: they write about things they will only understand tomorrow.)

Chain-smoking his entire life, he is nowadays the only man allowed to smoke on public television. His retort: "Willen braucht man. Und Zigaretten." (You need will. And cigarettes.)