ANGELA MERKEL will help readers understand how the East German daughter of an official in the Lutheran church, who trained as a quantum chemist, now carries the hopes of many, in both the west and the east, as the primary defender of liberal values
By Dirk Kurbjuweit
TBA (Proposal available)
Having led Germany since 2005 as its first female Chancellor, Angela Merkel won a fourth-term victory, and retained a commanding lead in the September, 2017 elections, despite the alarming rise of the AfD, a populist anti-immigration party. The leader of Germany’s largest party, the centre right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Merkel is now on course to remain chancellor for the next four years. The sixty-three-year-old is globally considered the most experienced leader of the west, the de facto leader of the European Union, and the most powerful woman in the world. Merkel was born on July 17, 1954. Just a few weeks later, her parents emigrated from Hamburg to East Germany, the same year that almost 200,000 East Germans fled in the other direction. She spent the first thirty-five years of her life within the environs of East Berlin. Raised in a dictatorship under Soviet supervision, she is fluent in Russian. She knows how to talk to leaders such as Vladimir Putin, but in the era of Donald Trump her most profound concern is freedom. She knows what it is to lack freedom, to live behind a wall. Her greatest political act was to welcome hundreds of thousands of refugees into Germany in September, 2015, something she did partly because she absorbed the Christian duty of charity from her father who was a Lutheran pastor, and partly because she believes that Germany society benefits from inclusive efforts to atone for the Holocaust.
Dirk Kurbjuweit is deputy editor-in-chief at Der Spiegel and divides his time between Berlin and Hamburg. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Egon Erwin Kisch Prize for journalism, and is the author of eight critically acclaimed novels, including Fear and Twins both published by Text.