Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl tied the knot with economist Maike Richter at a hospital in Heidelberg where he is being treated for minor injuries, his office said Tuesday.

The couple were married Thursday in Heidelberg in a small ceremony attended by close friends.

"We are very happy," they said in a statement.

Kohl's office said he was doing much better after suffering a fall at his house in southwestern Germany a few weeks ago but it was unclear when he would be released.

It is the second marriage for the 78-year-old ex-chancellor.

His first wife, Hannelore, committed suicide in 2001 at the age of 68 after years suffering from a rare and incurable allergy to light. During her last 15 months, she stayed shuttered in her home and went out only after dark. She and Kohl were married for 41 years.

Kohl was chancellor from 1982 to 1998 and presided over Germany's reunification in 1990. He introduced Richter, 44, as his partner in 2005.