Posts Tagged ‘Joachim Sauer’

Angela Merkel

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

On this day in 1954, Angela Merkel was born in Hamburg. The city was part of West Germany at that time. In 2005, she became the first female chancellor of the unified Federal Republic of Germany and has been in office ever since.

The year Angela Merkel was born, her father, a Protestant pastor, secured a pastorate at a church in Quitzow. The town was located in the former East Germany, and the family moved to nearby Templin, 50 miles north of Berlin. Here, Merkel learned to speak Russian fluently and went on to pass the Abitur, the higher education entrance qualification. From 1973 to 1978 she studied physics at the University of Leipzig. Until 1990 she worked and studied at the Academy of Sciences of the German Democratic Republic, which was considered the most important research institution in East Germany. While there, she published several papers and in 1986, she was awarded a doctorate in physics for her thesis on quantum chemistry.

Angela Merkel did not get involved in politics until the fall of the Berlin Wall when she joined the party, Democratic Awakening. Following the East German state’s first and only multi-party election, she became the deputy spokesperson of the short-lived East German pre-unification government under Lothar de Maiziere. He ran on a platform of a speedy reunification.

Angela Merkel Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

Angela Merkel
Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

In 1977, Merkel–nee Kasner–married physics student Ulrich Merkel. The union ended in divorce five years later. In 1998 she married professor Joachim Sauer, a quantum chemist at Berlin’s Humboldt University. Angela Merkel is known to be a fervent soccer fan.


For a sneak peek at the first 20+ pages of my memoir, Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl’s Journey to Freedom, click “Download a free excerpt” on the home page of Walled-In is a story of growing up in Berlin during the Cold War.