When it comes to the most influential people of the early 21st century, there are few who have made the impact that Angela Merkel has.
Merkel’s reign as Chancellor of Germany has seen the country grow from strength to strength and her leadership in Europe has become an inspiration for women all over the world.
Angela Merkel has led a fascinating life, so let’s take a look at 10 interesting facts about Angela Merkel.
10 Angela Merkel Facts
1. Angela Merkel was born in 1954
Angela Merkel was born as Angela Dorothea Kasner in 1954, in Hamburg, West Germany. Her father, Horst Kasner was a Lutheran minister and her mother, Herlind, who was born in Poland, was an English and Latin teacher. She is the oldest of the couple’s three children, with Marcus and Irene being her younger siblings.
2. Very little is known of her private life
Angela Merkel may be one of the most powerful women in the world but her husband, Joachim Sauer, is a man who does his utmost to avoid the spotlight, an interesting fact about Angela Merkel.
He does this so much so, in fact, that he didn’t even attend Angela Merkel’s inauguration ceremony as Chancellor back in 2005. It is even rumored that he flies on flights separate to his wife so that he can avoid the media.
The two have done their best to keep their marriage of over 30 years away from the public eye and he has only ever made a few brief appearances in public.
3. She became the first female Chancellor of Germany in 2005
In 2005, Angela Merkel became the candidate for the Christian Democratic Union and ran in an election against the then chancellor Gerhard Schröder of the Social Democratic Party.
Merkel would go on to win the election and become the first-ever female Chancellor in German history. As a result of her position, she is often viewed as one of the most powerful women in the world.
She would go on to win a further three elections, one in 2009, one in 2013, and one in 2017. She started in 2018 that she would not seek reelection again in 2021.
4. Angela Merkel was inspired by the fall of the Berlin Wall
The collapse of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 was one of the most significant moments of the 21st century and the event would have a profound impact on the future Chancellor of Germany.
Though she famously did not party the night the wall collapsed, Merkel joined a newly formed party in Germany, Democratic Awakening, just one month after the event had taken place. This effectively served as the start of her political career, an interesting fact about Angela Merkel.
5. She was first elected to the Bundestag in 1990
Just one year after joining Democratic Awakening, Angela Merkel stood for election to the Bundestag in the 1990 election as a representative for the Stralsund – Nordvorpommern – Rügen constituency.
Merkel won her seat and has actually represented that constituency for the last seven elections in Germany. The then chancellor, Helmut Kohl, saw great things in Merkel and promoted her to Minister for Women and Youth in the federal cabinet.
6. She won Time’s Person of the Year in 2015
Angela Merkel has achieved many accolades throughout her political career and she is often seen as one of the most important and influential people on the planet.
Merkel’s hard work and influence have not gone unnoticed and in 2015, she awarded Time’s Person of the Year. The award is handed out to the person who has made the most impact in the world in that calendar year. She became the first woman to win the award since 1986 and notably, the first German to win the award since 1970.
7. Angela Merkel has a doctorate in Quantum Physics
Angela Merkel may be best known for her work in politics, but prior to getting involved with that, she had intensely studied science and earned herself a doctorate in quantum physics.
Angela Merkel earned her bachelor’s degree in physics at Karl Marx University in Leipzig in 1978. She would then go on to work and do research Central Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences, which was located in what was then East Berlin. Not a well-known Angela Merkel Fact, but it was during this time period that she earned her doctorate in Quantum Physics.
8. She is seen as one of the most powerful women in modern history
Angela Merkel’s influence in the modern world is undeniable and there are many who would argue that she is the most powerful woman on the planet.
Due to the influence of Germany in the European Union, many people view Merkel as the de-facto leader of the EU.
She has been listed as the most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine in all of these years- 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
She was ranked second on Forbes’ list of the most people in the world in 2012, which is the highest position a woman has ever been placed on the annual list.
9. Her nickname is ‘Mutti’
In parts of Germany and among some of her contemporaries, Angela Merkel has been given the nickname ‘Mutti’, which is German for Mom.
While some of her opposition has attempted to use the name as a way to attack Merkel, her supporters have fully embraced the phrase and it used affectionately on a regular basis.
10. Angela Merkel’s Role Model
Angela Merkel is one of the most powerful women in European history and it is another one of history’s finest female leaders who is one of her biggest sources of inspiration. Princess Sophie von Anhalt-Zerbst, who would become known as Catherine the Great was the longest ruling Russian Emperess in history and has become a source of inspiration for Merkel. Merkel even has a painting of her in her office in the Bundestag.
Angela Merkel was said to have been influenced by a Russian teacher during her time at school and is confident at speaking the language and is regularly seen having conversations with Vladimir Putin in his native tongue.
The impact Angela Merkel has made on European politics in the early 21st century has been undeniable and her reign as Chancellor of Germany will be discussed for generations to come.
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