BERLIN — A left-leaning German newspaper is apologizing for a front-page headline on the death of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl that some considered distasteful.

The conservative Kohl, who spearheaded Germany’s reunification in 1990, died Friday at age 87. On Saturday, the daily Tageszeitung’s headline was “Blooming Landscapes,” an allusion to Kohl’s promise of an economically flourishing eastern Germany, over a picture of wreaths.

Chief editor Georg Loewisch said on the newspaper’s website it had been trying to counter an “uncritical glorification” of powerful people when they die. The newspaper, he said, creates its front pages “with the principle, ‘better cheeky and free than well-behaved.’ In this case, it failed. And I am sorry for that.”

A lawmaker with Kohl’s party, Marco Wanderwitz, wrote on Twitter that the front page was “shameful, unworthy and small-minded.”

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