Angela Merkel: politics and personal life of the famous chancellor
Angela Merkel: politics and personal life of the famous chancellor

The most influential woman on the planet and the chancellor of Germany concurrently is called the "gray pearl" by the Germans.

She looks nothing like a business woman or an advanced political leader. This woman is not at all like all typical European ladies with their fit figures, happy smiles and easy gait. She rather looks like an ordinary Soviet pensioner - a little sad, in places gloomy and extremely old-fashioned. Its success at the political Olympus seems all the more paradoxical!

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is unlikely to be called a bright woman or a charismatic politician, and she is, in general, a mediocre speaker. Many men miscalculated, failing to consider her a serious competitor in time: so-so, neither fish nor meat, too soft, pale and dullly expressionless, moreover, devoid of any leadership qualities. The modest charm of an "ordinary woman" who never knocks on the table, does not shout, does not press against the wall, her inconspicuous appearance and simulated lack of charisma have become a real trap for men.

They did not see a danger in her - and Merkel bypassed them all! Today she runs the largest economy in Europe, is the undisputed leader among EU leaders and the most powerful woman in the world. At the same time, her biography is almost sterile: not a single speck of exciting secular intrigue or, at worst, a banal love triangle is seen in her.

Everything is clear, understandable, correct and … somehow very dry. But behind this dry and gray, at first glance, inexpressiveness lies the secret of the most successful woman of our time.


When the Rubicon is crossed …

If you say that the story of Angela Merkel strongly resembles the story of a typical nomenklatura worker, you are not much mistaken. Angela Dorothea Merkel was born on July 17, 1954 in Hamburg, West Germany, but at the age of three she moved with her parents to Tamplin in East Germany. She studied diligently, accurately, graduated from school with honors.

In all respects, such a girl should have stood out brightly against the background of other children, but - alas! If one of the classmates decided to paint a portrait of the excellent student Angela Kasner (maiden name Merkel), it would be difficult for him to recall her individual features. Such faces, they say, are good for photo models: like blotting paper, they carry neither good nor bad, neither beauty, nor ugliness, but only gratefully absorb what is supposed to be, and are able to become the greatest work of art in the hands of a master.

Outwardly invisible, Angela was distinguished by a very stubborn, albeit undemonstrative character. Between classes, she managed to secretly speculate with blueberries (which, however, she never flaunted), hid from a thunderstorm in panic (this fear remained for life) and diligently studied Russian, waiting for a school bus: the schedule for its movement in the GDR was written … in Russian …

In understanding the character of Angela Merkel, the key, perhaps, is an incident that happened in a physical education lesson.

In the pool, she had to jump from a three-meter tower. “When she got on the board,” writes her biographer Gerd Langgut, “she was overcome by fear. For three quarters of an hour she was afraid to jump. Langgut believes this behavior reflects a deep internal struggle that Merkel wages every time before making an important decision. She is difficult to climb, it takes her time to make the final choice. “But if she made a decision,” the biographer is sure, “she will not back down.This is also the secret of her political success. She does nothing without lengthy preparation. But when the Rubicon is crossed, she fights to the last."


Undeniable things

After school, Angela decided to enter the physics department of the University of Leipzig. She chose one of the most masculine subjects - physics, but she did it not at the call of her soul, but rather out of principle. "Natural sciences cannot be deformed even under a dictatorship," Angela decided. "Twice two is always four."

Since childhood, she loved to solve problems that require logic and analytical skills, she liked to find mathematically exact solutions that cannot be challenged. Perhaps this is precisely why her inquisitive, but extremely rational consciousness literally turned upside down when she arrived in Moscow as a teenager. She, a young German schoolgirl who won the national Olympiad in the Russian language, was sent to the Soviet Union to see how the country of victorious socialism is living.

A day was enough for the rational Angela to understand everything about this system: entering the Moscow GUM, she saw a long line, in the tail of which concerned women wrote down the numbers of their queue on their palms - they were given imported umbrellas.

Angela was struck to the depths of her soul, but she did not show it. On the contrary, she very quickly learned the new rules of the game, and the next time she came to Moscow as a student, she even managed to buy records of her favorite Beatles and Rolling Stones from speculators.

During her student years, Angela had fun the way all average students in the world still do: she ran to discos, smoked secretly from her parents (although she was so successful in this business that she smoked a pack a day) and even sunbathed on a nude beach. The latter circumstance, however, brought her a lot of trouble in her mature years: a beach photo of three young naked beauties, one of whom very much looks like the German Chancellor in her youth, got on the Internet, and a scandal erupted, however, professionally hushed up in the shortest possible time.

Special female tactics

Apparently, the Chancellor's youth was indeed stormy, since five student years were enough not only to graduate with honors from the university, to get involved, to pamper, but also to get married.

In 1977, she became the wife of a student of her own faculty, Ulrich Merkel, but the marriage quickly fell apart. “We got married, because everyone did that,” the chancellor recalled later. “Today it sounds silly, but I approached marriage without the due seriousness. I was deceived.”

The far-sighted Angela took her husband's surname, did not change it even after the divorce, and did the right thing: it echoes the German word merklich ("noticeable"), which sounds like music to a politician.


Angela parted with her first husband quietly, outwardly calmly and completely without scandals - this is another amazing character trait that allowed Merkel to climb to the very top. She never quarrels, does not shout, does not raise her voice: even when she became the chancellor of Germany, not a single subordinate ever heard her in a rage, moreover, no one saw her in tears.

Any, the most disadvantageous situation for himself, the Angel can turn in his favor. Once she, a student, a beauty and a social activist, was invited to a conversation at the "Stasi" (in those days that was the name of the German analogue of the KGB) and persistently offered to cooperate. Everyone knows what such a proposal meant, and the rejection of it canceled all the ambitious plans of the young Merkel. However, she could not agree to him either - it was tantamount to moral suicide. But Mrs. Merkel would not be herself if she did not know how to get out of such situations with dignity.

In the future, she will snap such intrigues as nuts, but that very first time she still had to sweat. However, she quickly found her and, in response to the offer to inform her, said with a smile: "You know, I will absolutely not be able to cope with the work, because I am a terrible chatterbox by nature."

The vis-a-vis looked attentively into her honest, naive eyes - and for some reason believed. "That was the end of it, since the ability to remain silent was the main prerequisite for being recognized as fit (to work for the Stasi)," the chancellor explained later, adding that she got off easily, but still with consequences - she did not receive.

I would hate to see her as my enemy

Merkel's political career began after the fall of the Berlin Wall, an event that shook her to the core. In one of the interviews, she told how she and her parents dreamed of German reunification, how they would first go to West Berlin, take the best table in the Kempinski hotel restaurant and celebrate the event by ordering lobster.

History does not know whether the celebration took place in the famous hotel, but we do know that after the fall of the wall, Dr. Angela Merkel was noticed by the then German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who badly needed fresh faces that had not yet bothered voters.

By that time, Merkel had already defended her dissertation on the topic "Investigation of the mechanism of decay reactions with a simple break of bonds and the calculation of their rate constants on the basis of quantum-chemical and statistical methods" and showed great promise as a public activist.

Young-looking Merkel (although she was 36 years old!) Was nicknamed "girly" from Kohl and the post of Minister of Women and Youth Affairs. Since then, her career has not gone - it rushed upward.

In 2000, Angela became the chairman of the Christian Democratic Party of Germany, and since 2005 - the first female chancellor in Germany, along with her position, introducing a new concept into the German language - clerical. Until now, the word for this position had only masculine gender - kanzler.

But apart from "bureaucratic", as soon as they did not call Merkel and with whom they just compared her! The British said that she looked like their Margaret Thatcher ("There is only a significant difference: she was a chemist, and I am a physicist," Merkel joked). The Americans called her the "Empress of Europe": they say, in reality, Merkel does not lead, but rules. Diplomats gave her the nickname "Teflon Merkel" (such an epithet is customary to reward a politician who knows how to always get out of the water).

And the Germans themselves call her "Germany's mother": she personifies everything that is appreciated in Germany - a modest leadership that does not inspire jealousy, anxiety and fear among neighbors.

She was not criticized for her “grandmother’s” style unless she was lazy: she does not wear jewelry, does not use perfume, does not put her hair down, and wears baggy trousers. Everyone but the Germans criticizes her.


Best Fashion magazine polled German fashion experts for the most stylish contemporary politicians, and Angela Merkel came in second. "She is always dressed properly," the German experts are sure. Their colleagues from other countries can only be ironic. "They reminded me of children who consider their mother to be the most beautiful, whatever she is," said Riga beauty editor Maria Rudakova.

Merkel herself has no children. “I didn’t exclude such a possibility, but it didn’t work out,” she frankly admitted once. But with the adult children of her second husband, Professor Joachim Sauer, Merkel managed to establish good relations.


Angela Merkel and her husband - Professor Joachim Sauer

In her free time, Frau Merkel listens to classical music, watches football, drinks mint tea, reads horoscopes, grows strawberries at her dacha, makes schnitzel, rolls and chicken broth. But what she hates is wearing skirts and dresses, spending money on clothes, talking on the plane, using the word "but" in speech, arguing and chirping. In general, she is the same as many, only …

Only Angela Merkel managed to become the first and so far the only woman - the chancellor of Germany. And the most powerful woman in the world. For all its outward simplicity, it has earned the reputation of a strong ruthless politician.Evil tongues even nicknamed her "a wolf in the skin of a fluffy sheep."

History knows one significant case called "Merkel and Koni". Horses are Putin's Labrador Retriever. To understand what relation he has to the German Chancellor, you need to know that Angela is afraid of dogs since childhood.

The information notes that the Chancellor's Protocol Service sends out when preparing for Merkel's visits always states: No dogs. In November 2012, Merkel came to meet with Putin. She was ushered into the hall, seated in one of the chairs placed on the sides of a low table. The Russian president was delayed. But then the door opened, and into the room … Putin's dog entered - that very beautiful Koni. She walked around the empty chair, sniffed at the Federal Chancellor, and sat down right next to her chair.

A few minutes later, the Russian president appeared. Knowledgeable people claim that this was one of the FSB's techniques - to unbalance a person before starting a conversation.

It is difficult to say how much of this tactic influenced the negotiations. It is only known that during the entire meeting, Merkel sat with an unusually flat back, a tense mine, without a single gesture or even turning her head. She did not argue about anything with the owner of the office, she just continued to smile tensely. But upon the return of the Chancellor from Moscow, Germany suddenly significantly tightened its policy towards Moscow and for some time from a loyal ally of Russia became an inconvenient interlocutor.


“She is a sweet pleasant woman, from whom, just turn away, you will immediately get a kick,” say male colleagues. Merkel knows where to keep silent, who to push, when to push. Perhaps the secret of this extraordinary woman lies in the amazing incompatibility of external simplicity and internal strength. "If there is a person on our planet whom I would not like to see as my enemy, then this is Angela Merkel," one of the male politicians once said, and everyone else agreed with him. A very rare unanimity among politicians …

Text by Irina Emets

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