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Press release on the death of Dr. Klaus Kinkel

To mark the death of the Founding Chairman of Deutsche Telekom Stiftung, Dr. Klaus Kinkel, his successor, former Federal Minister Dr. Thomas de Maizière, issues the following statement:

"With the death of Klaus Kinkel, Deutsche Telekom Stiftung has lost its Founding Chairman. A great man has gone from us. It was Klaus Kinkel, together with Ron Sommer, the chief executive of Telekom at the time, who had the idea of creating the Foundation. In the wake of the shock triggered by the PISA survey, Telekom took the initiative with the decision to create a foundation aimed at fostering young people’s interest in mathematics and the science subjects. Klaus Kinkel took on the task of Founding Chairman of the Executive Board with all his energy and conviction. For a period of eleven years, Deutsche Telekom Stiftung became more or less a second family to him. What Deutsche Telekom Stiftung is today is largely the result of his work. For the staff of the Foundation, he became a role model. His mixture of humor and toughness, keen analysis and spirit of friendly compromise, demanding much and giving help, remains unforgotten.

But leaving that aside, his activities in the political sphere served as a benchmark and role model for me. I first experienced Klaus Kinkel as an under-secretary in the Justice Ministry during the negotiations on the German-German unification treaty. Together with Wolfgang Schäuble, the chief negotiator at the time, he created the basis for German Unity within the West German political sphere. Also in his later functions, he always took an unequivocal stance. I will badly miss his clear, sometimes undiplomatic voice on the political stage. Klaus Kinkel was a true patriot, but with an international outlook and a sense of European responsibility.

We mourn the loss of Klaus Kinkel. Deutsche Telekom Stiftung will hold its Founding Chairman in respectful and grateful remembrance. Our thoughts and sympathy go out to his wife Ursula, his children and grandchildren.