German President Horst Koehler stunned the public by announcing his resignation amid a dispute over comments about Afghanistan. He is the first German president to resign without notice. DW readers comment on the move.
German President Horst Koehler resigned on May 31
The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.
What Koehler said was the obvious truth. It would seem the reaction of German politicians is another indication that Germany is becoming a nation of pretenders who ignore problems out of convenience and moral weakness. Pathetic. -- Gerhard, Canada
People do wear out. The damned war on terrorism is exhausting, fiscally, physically, emotionally. On top of that the troubles of late with the Euro as a common currency are immense. The only problem the outgoing German president didn't have on his shoulders is our Gulf of Mexico oil leaks. Can't blame him at all. Wish him well. -- Colonel (Ret.) George L. Singleton, US
It is a great loss in a difficult and fairly turbulent period in European history. He appears to be a man of integrity and honor. That is rare in many countries of the world. He deserves the greatest respect for a momentous decision that I guess no one asked him to make! Whoever succeeds him has a very high standard to emulate. -- Kaysera, UK
This is a very big surprise for me especially over the issue that he has resigned over. There are big problems in Afghanistan but I thought something more serious than that would have made the German president resign from his post. -- Stuart John Pearson, Australia
I have never thought that a German would do a thing like that, especially not a president. He has behaved like a spoiled child. Let's hope the next one will have more staying-power. -- Hans Miebach, New Zealand
Comments from Facebook fans
I agree with what Koehler said about Afghanistan. Unfortunately nowadays everybody but politicians have to express themselves showing only neutral ideas, always hiding the real meaning. There are situations like war, fundamentalism, weapons trade, drugs trade and terrorism, that are not neutral things. -- Jesus Ortego, Spain
I am sorry, but he is obviously under some sort of influence. Something has been troubling him. Sending the soldiers of the Bundeswehr to secure economic interests? It's Afghanistan we are talking about here. Is the survival of the German economy resting on exporting to Afghanistan? It is his negligence to fail to understand the responsibility of the Bundeswehr soldiers in the Afghanistan. -- Victor Chan, US
Utterly incomprehensible. -- Antje Carlson, US
The international crisis worsens by the minute. -- Tony Calvo, US
Horst Koehler launched the initiative "Partnership with Africa"
Comments via SMS from listeners in Africa
While in office, the German president focused on the challenges of globalization and the growing gap between the rich and the poor. He was particularly interested in Africa, which he often visited. He is quoted as saying, "In my view, the humanity of our world is defined by the fate of Africa."
May God prevent the resignation of Germany's president from becoming a reversal of relations between Germany and Africa. -- Aminu Mai shayi Garba Cede, Nigeria
The resignation of the German president is a giant step back for the African continent. -- Ibrahim Ben a Hashidu, Nigeria
At a time when the presidents of Africa try to stay interminably in power, despite the will of the people, the German president resigns because he is dissatisfied with the politics of the government even though the people regard him as an honorable man and a role model. -- Salisu Shehu, Nigeria
Editor: Kristin Zeier