Alfred Grosser was one of the intellectual pioneers of the Franco-German friendship treaty. He died at the age of 99.

Alfred Grosser in front of a lectern

Political scientist Alfred Grosser at the Pauluskirche in Frankfurt am Main in 2017 Photo: Andreas Arnold/dpa

PARIS afp | The specialist in German-French issues, Alfred Grosser, a political scientist and journalist, has died. He died in Paris at the age of 99, his son Pierre Grosser announced on Thursday. Alfred Grosser was one of the intellectual pioneers of the Franco-German friendship treaty known as the Elysée Treaty.

Grosser has written numerous books in which he helped Germans understand the French and, conversely, explained to Germans about Germans. For his role as mediator he received numerous awards, including the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the Grand Cross of Merit with Star and Ribbon on the Shoulder and the French Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor.

Grosser was born on February 1, 1925 in Frankfurt am Main. In 1933 he emigrated to France with his family of Jewish origin and four years later he acquired French citizenship. He later converted to Catholicism.

The Franco-German journalist studied political science and German in Paris. From 1955 he taught at the renowned Institut d'études politiques de Paris and wrote political columns for numerous newspapers. He once said about his relationship with Germany and France: He belongs to France, he supports Germany from outside.

Grosser was a keen observer. He never kept silent about criticism of him. The Franco-German relationship is not a love story, he once said in an interview with the German Press Agency in Paris. And he added: When French President Charles de Gaulle signed the Elysée Treaty in 1963, he was not primarily interested in a rapprochement, but rather in using the treaty to remove Germany from the United States' sphere of influence.