Helmut Kohl (born April 3, 1930) was the chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, who united East and West Germany into one Germany in 1990 after the Berlin Wall was torn down. He held office from 1982 until 1998 when Gerhard Schröder of the German social-democratic party was elected chancellor. Kohl is a member of the Christian Democratic Union. He was raised in a Roman Catholic family. Kohl is widely considered the "father of German unity" and turned Germany back to Christian principles in his "geistig moralische Wende" (spiritual and moral turn) that he announced upon taking over from Helmut Schmidt in 1982. Liberals and Leftists often deride him for his plainspoken manner and his love of his country and home, including Palatinate cuisine, which he famously served guests, including Ronald Reagan. They of course forget, that Kohl is yet one more example of the best of the public rising to leading a country to a better, more moral future.