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Former German politician, Ernst Albrecht, dies

December 13, 2014

Former German politician Ernst Albrecht has died at the age of 84. His daughter, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, announced his death during an official visit to Afghanistan.

Ernst Albrecht gestorben 13.12.2014
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/J. Lübke

The death of former high-ranking German politician Ernst Albrecht was announced on Saturday.

His daughter, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, confirmed he had died while she was on an official visit in Afghanistan.

She was visiting Bundeswehr troops in Mazar-i-Sharif when she broke the news, and said her father had not suffered, and had died "quickly and peacefully."

Speaking after addressing the soldiers, the defense minister also said he had had a "very full, long life."

Ursula von der Leyen in Afghanistan
Von der Leyen announced his death in Afghanistan on SaturdayImage: MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

Ernst Albrecht was a Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politician, and the state premier of Lower Saxony from 1976 to 1990.

Albrecht ran again in the 1990 state elections, but lost to Social Democratic Party (SPD) politician and future German chancellor, Gerhard Schröder.

He announced his retirement from politics upon his defeat.

In 2008, Ursula von der Leyen announced that her father was suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

lw/sb (dpa, Reuters)