Matthew Qvortrup, biographer of Angela Merkel

What makes the German Chancellor tick? The author describes a meticulous pragmatist who unlike her predecessors sees Europe from an eastern perspective

The World Today Published 28 September 2016 Updated 26 November 2020 6 minute READ

Alan Philps

Former Editor, The World Today, Communications and Publishing

In your biography, the young Angela Merkel is an apolitical grey mouse. Even the fall of the Berlin Wall didn’t interrupt her routine, did it?

She went to the sauna and then went home at 9:00 and was up at 7:00 to go to work. She was a research scientist doing pioneering work on nanotechnology. But what is interesting about her is that immediately after the Wall had come down, she got into politics, handing out leaflets, and within six months, due to grit and her ability to speak Russian, she became the deputy spokeswoman for the first and last elected East German government. She came into politics from nowhere.

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.