A living history book.
Last night I stumbled across an interview with Helmut Schmidt ( chancellor of Germany 1974-1982 ) and after a few moments I was hooked. Having been absent from Europe for thirty years, I couldn't tell you if and what his policies and views were, but hearing him answer the interviewer was amazing.
First off, it isn't every day you see an interview with an 96 year old man. A man who was powerful, and ironically a man who ( I imagine ) every smoker in Germany has put on a pedestal. One of the things he is famous for, is his chain smoking and even during the interview he lit up one after the other...at 96!
In today's anti-smoking environment, you can get a feeling for how important Helmut Schmidt is as he must be the only one allowed to smoke on air.
He doesn't look 96 and his mind is still as sharp as ten daggers. In fact, he has that air that only powerful men sport. He took a second or two to give his answer and at times he reminded me of a caged tiger. Some of the questions thrown at him were banal and stupid ( my humble opinion ) and to his credit, he didn't lash out in response. But it looked like a close call at times.
His views on current affairs are spot on and he must be an extremely well read man and that is inspiring to me. He has just published another book and I can't wait to get hold of a copy. He was a politician at the heart of the creation of the European Union.
As he was puffing out numerous nebulous smoke signals, I was wondering whether the interviewer would make a comment. Oh, yes, she couldn't help herself and had to add her two cents worth...rather tacky and stupid because why on earth would he stop smoking now at the age of 96?