German Stamps

Walter Scheel


Stamp description / Briefmarkenbeschreibung

Deutsch: Serie Bundespräsidenten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Walter Scheel (1919- )
English: stamp series Presidents of the Federal Republik of Germany, Walter Scheel (1919- )

Graphic designer: Gerd Aretz
Ausgabepreis: 80 Pfennig
First Day of Issue / Erstausgabetag: 10. November 1982
Michel-Katalog-Nr: 1159

Walter Scheel (German pronunciation: [ˈvaltɐ ˈʃeːl]; born 8 July 1919) is a German politician (FDP). He served as Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development from 1961 to 1966, Foreign Minister of Germany and Vice Chancellor from 1969 to 1974, acting Chancellor of Germany from 7 May to 16 May 1974 (following the resignation of Willy Brandt after the Guillaume Affair), and finally as President of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1974 to 1979.

He is currently the oldest former German president alive and the longest-lived German head of state.


Scheel was born in Solingen (now in North Rhine-Westphalia). During World War II, he served in the Luftwaffe, the last years of the war as a radar operator on a Bf 110 night fighter.

When his Free Democratic Party reentered government in a coaltion with Konrad Adenauer's Christian Democratic Union in 1961, Scheel was appointed federal minister of economic cooperation and development. He continued in that office under Chancellor Ludwig Erhard but brought about the downfall of the latter in late 1966, when he took the FDP, of which he had become the leader, out of the coalition government.

In 1969, he led his party to form a new coalition with the Social Democrats. Under Chancellor Willy Brandt, Scheel became Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor. Under their leadership, West Germany pursued a course of rapprochement and détente with the Soviet block and officially recognized the existence of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). This policy caused a massive public debate, with various Free and Social Democrats switching sides to the opposition. Though an attempt to oust Brandt failed, the coalition had lost its slender majority. The parliamentary stalemate was ended by the dissolution of parliament and early elections in 1972, which brought great gains to the Social Democrats and enabled the coalition to continue.

On 7 May 1974, Brandt resigned as Chancellor after one of his aides, Günter Guillaume, was arrested as a spy for the East German state. Though this had been internally suspected since 1973, Brandt accepted responsibility and resigned. Scheel, as vice chancellor, chaired the government meetings for a little over a week, until Helmut Schmidt was elected Chancellor.

At that time, Scheel was elected President of Germany, an office he held from July 1974 until June 1979. At the funeral of Hanns Martin Schleyer in October 1977, Scheel gave a speech entitled shame.

Scheel was Chairman of the Bilderberg Conference as well as President of the European Movement in Germany from 1980 to 1985[1] . From 1980 to 1989 he was also President of the German section of the Union of European Federalists (UEF). He has been honorary chairman of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation since 1991.


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German Stamps 1982

German Stamps





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