She was “missing” just ten days before she would have ruled longer than Helmut Kohl. Nevertheless: Angela Merkel was German Chancellor for 16 years and was considered the most powerful woman in the world. However, since her term ended in 2021, the 69-year-old has rarely appeared in public – and talked even less often about her opinion on current world events. However, the former Chancellor now made an exception for a ZDF documentary.
Merkel looks back on her childhood in a documentary
The documentary “On the Pulse with Mitri Sirin” will be broadcast on ZDF on Tuesday, October 3rd, 7:20 p.m. – on German Unity Day. On the occasion of this day, Merkel spoke in the interview about the GDR, where she grew up and later worked as a physicist at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry.
“Despite all the attempts to influence young people, the GDR obviously didn’t manage to replace the family. We had friends, we celebrated, we went on vacation with our parents. Those were all experiences,” recalled them back.
“And then there are the formative experiences through the state,” she added, “I mean, the presence of freedom shapes people, but the absence of freedom also shapes them.” There are also differences “between the state of the GDR, whose overcoming we all enthusiastically celebrated, and personal life, which in every country is more than just the state structure.”
Chancellor of all people
Merkel also spoke about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. She often discussed with him who in Germany was responsible for the people of Turkish origin, who, for example, lived here in the second generation.
“And I always said: ‘Look out, I’m their Chancellor,'” revealed Merkel, “since in the last few years we have had a lot of people who live permanently in our country and who haven’t always lived here, “It’s a new task that we’re taking on.” She always saw herself as the Chancellor of all people who live permanently in Germany.
In addition, Merkel also spoke about the AfD electorate in the interview. “If you make a name for yourself, so to speak, at the expense of other people, including people who look different and people with a different biography, then that’s not something I understand,” she made clear. She can understand that some people are angry with the government. However, Merkel does not see this as a reason to choose the alternative for Germany: “I would always argue against it and would say that in this democratic society you can also express your criticism and anger in other ways.”