German former Chancellor Angela Merkel celebrated her 68th birthday on July 17. As a world leader, she was one of the most powerful women in the world. Germany’s first female Chancellor, who has a strong sense of gender equality, is nicknamed Mutti (Mother). Even in the corona crisis, many people touched by the way she responded and called out to the people. Such an influential Chancellor Merkel retired in September 2021. She devoted herself to her country and the world for a long time. This time, I would like to talk about previous Chancellor Merkel’s youth, married life and reasons for retirement.
During her youth
Although Germany is now one country, after World War II, it was divided into East and West Germany. West Germany is a democracy and East Germany is a socialist country. Former Chancellor Angela Merkel was born in Hamburg (former West Germany) and soon after moved with her family to former East Germany. As many of you know, Angela Merkel was a scientist who studied physics during her youth.
Why Angela Merkel became a politician
In 1989, the Berlin Wall, which divided East and West Germany, was destroyed. On November 9, 1989, when the wall fell, 35-year-old Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was living in East Germany at the time, witnessed the disappearance of her homeland and the construction of a new state system. This incident changed her life. In December of the following year, Angela Merkel joined the new political party “Demokratischer Aufbruch” (The Rise of Democracy = DA) and took a step forward as a politician. It is not clear why she became a politician, but she found out what she wanted to do, what she could do as a politician through encounters with various people. She was finally elected as a female prime minister.
Angela Merkel married for the first time at her youth. It was student marriage. Her ex-husband was Mr. Ulrich Merkel, a physicist who was in the same department as a student. They got married in 1977 but divorced four years later. The reason for the divorce seems to be a disagreement in the direction of life. After that, in 1998, she married quantum chemist Joachim Sauer, who was her colleague when she got a job at the Academy of Sciences. Her current husband, Joachim Sauer, was a Nobel Prize candidate. He accompanied summits and international conferences and supported Angela Merkel. In her personal life, she liked soccer and opera since her youth. She went to see soccer matches such as the World Cup, and dressed up and went to see opera, which is a common hobby with her husband. It’s said that Angela Merkel doesn’t like extravagant lifestyles, and she often spends her vacations in nature. At home, she loves to stand in the kitchen and make soup and Roden (German thinly sliced beef rolls). Some people see her at the supermarket. This valuing of daily life may be the secret to a happy and long-lasting marriage.
Reasons for retirement
Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that she would not stand as a candidate for Chancellor or as an PM in the next general election in 2021. In other words, it’s a complete retirement from politics. Although she planned to continue as prime minister until the end of her term, she has not run for the leadership of the conservative party she leads, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Regarding the reason for her retirement, Angela Merkel said at a press conference, “I decided to retire after thinking about what I could personally contribute to the party and the people. It’s time to start a new chapter in history.” She was 67 years old in 2021, but the main reason seems to be the turmoil within the government and responsibility for the defeat of the local elections over the past few times.
A decline in approval ratings and a loss in local elections have been linked to the mass refugee intake in 2015. In 2015, a large number of refugees from North Africa and the Middle East flooded the EU member states against the backdrop of the deterioration of the political situation, including conflicts. Expressed massive acceptance for a reason. After that, more than 1 million refugees flooded in like a tsunami, and people began to criticize that the security situation gradually deteriorated. It is said to be one of the reasons for the decline in the approval rating, but it created a division in Germany between those in favor of acceptance and those against.
During COVID-19 occurred in 2020, Angela Merkel demonstrated the ability. With compared to neighbouring countries such as France, Italy, and Spain, the number of deaths was much lower. Also the collapse of the medical system has been stopped. She quickly implemented a thorough lockdown and thorough inspections, overcame the crisis by coordinating and cooperating with neighbouring countries. It was highly evaluated for her attitude of being close to the people and her ability to respond to the crisis, which she showed in television speeches, etc., and her approval rating soared.
There are a lot of meeting and experience behind all of our achievements. It shows the words, attitude and atmosphere. Angela Merkel is one of the wonderful leaders in the world. Thank you and stay well!