Angela Merkel – Significant facts
Famous as: Politician
Birth Name: Angela Dorothea Kasner
Date of Birth: July 17, 1954
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Father: Horst Kasner
Mother: Herlind Kasner
Spouse: Joachim Sauer
Education: PhD in quantum chemistry from the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin
A determined and prudent politician of Europe
Angela Merkel is a German politician and a former quantum chemistry research scientist. At present (August 2014), she is the “Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany’. This is her third term as the Chancellor, right from 2005. Well, she is the first woman as well as the first ever East German native to hold this position. She has crossed a number of important milestones on her way to take office.
Early life and Education of Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel was born in Hamburg, Germany, on July 17, 1954. She is the oldest of three children born to Horst Kasner and Herlind Kasner. She has two siblings. Merkel grew up in Templin, a small countryside town north of Berlin. Her father was a Lutheran pastor. He had sensitive views towards the communist regime of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) aka East Germany. Consequently, they had the freedom that was normally denied to Christian pastors. They can easily cross to East Germany from West Germany and could own two cars.
As the family lived in the GDR, Angela Merkel took part in the Free German Youth movement led by socialists. She displayed her excellent leadership skills even at her younger age through this organization. She became a district board representative eventually the secretary of Agitprop. Agitprop was the youth movement’s agitation and propaganda campaign. However, Merkel was not part of the ceremony named Jugendweihe. The ceremony was quite popular in East Germany those days.
Angela Merkel did her schooling in Templin. She excelled in math and Russian at school. Being the daughter of a pastor, she had no barrier to her education. Later, she studied physics at the University of Leipzig starts from the year 1973 to 1978. She completed her doctorate in quantum chemistry from Berlin’s German Academy of Sciences. From 1978 to 1990, she worked as a researcher at the Academy of Sciences situated in Berlin-Adlershof.
Political career of Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel paved her way into the German politics the year 1989; the year in which the fall Berlin Wall happened. She joined the New Democratic Party of East Germany – Demokratischer Aufbruchfirst -during the first democratic elections held in East Germany. Merkel won the election and became the deputy spokesperson in Lothar de Maizière’s new government. Her party merged with Christian Democratic Union Party after the unification East and West Germany. Merkel contested in the first democratic election held right after unification and elected to the parliament (Bundestag). She became the Minister for Women and Youth. Later, in 1994, Merkel became the Minister for Environment and Reactor Safety. It was this post that served as a basis for her great political career.
When the government formed under Kohl was failed to get people mandate in the 1998 general elections, Angela Merkel became the Secretary General of CDU. In April, 2000, she was elected as the first female chairperson of the Christian Democratic Union Party. Merkel brought about dramatic changes within the party. The CDU was actually a male dominated party with deep Catholic sentiments then. Merkel, in contrast, was a Protestant and had a strong support base in the constituent of Northern Germany. Eventually, she became very popular among the Germans. She was thought of as a favorite candidate to contest for the Chancellor of the CDU as well as its sister party, Bavarian Christian Social Union in the 2002 general elections. However, her party refused to grand her candidacy in the election.
Edmund Stoiber, who won the CDU/CSU candidacy by defeating Angela Merkel, lost the Chancellorship to Gerhard Schröder. Thereafter, in Lower House, Merkel became the leader of the conservative. During her tenure, she suggested a number of policy changes with regards to the German economic system. She also insisted that German should maintain a strong relationship with the United States. She also supported the US invading Iraq despite the public opposition. Pretty obviously, the German population did not like her policies at times; however, her popularity never took the back seat. In the 2005 general elections, she won the candidacy for the CDU/CSU ticket as well as beat the former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Doing so, Angela Merkel became the first female Chancellor of Germany!
Even since she became the chancellor in November 2005, Angela Merkel has led a grand coalition comprising of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, the CDU and CSU. She has also continued her free-market economic policy and relationship with the US. She has also focused on bringing in innovations in the German tax reform and health care system. On December 17, 2013, Merkel became the Chancellor of Germany, third term!
In the year 1977, Angela Merkel married physicist Ulrich Merkel; however, they divorced in 1982. She remarried Joachim Sauer in 1998. He is a Chemistry professor from Berlin. He is often called the “Phantom of the Opera” since he rarely goes out in public except for an annual Wagner festival. They have two sons from Sauer’s previous marriage.
- Angela Merkel is an ardent soccer fan.
- She states that she requires only a few hours of sleep a night and she can catch up on weekends.
- She once flunked her physics class; but, later she chose the same as her first career.
- Merkel exhibits a wry sense of humor; she loves to mimic the world leaders she meets. That includes George W Bush and Vladimir Putin.
- Germans refer to her as ‘Mutti’ or ‘Mummy’.
- During her early public life, Merkel liked to boast about her cooking and baking talents.
- Former Chancellor of Germany, Helmut Kohl, sometimes referred to her as “the girl.”
- Merkel is often described as “the de facto leader of the European Union.”
- She is presently ranked as the second most powerful woman of the world by the Forbes magazine. It is the highest ranking achieved by a German woman!
Angela Merkel – Famous Quotes
“I never underestimated myself. And I never saw anything wrong with ambition.”
“When it comes to human dignity, we cannot make compromises.”