Angela Dorothea Kasner, or Angela Merkel, was born in Hamburg, West Germany, on July 17, 1954. Trained as a physicist, Merkel entered politics after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall. Rising to the position of chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union party, Merkel became Germany’s first female chancellor and one of the leading figures of the European Union, following the 2005 national elections.
Born to Horst Kasner and Herlind, Merkel was Angela Dorothea Kasner. Her mother was also a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. Merkel has been a member of the Free German Youth (FDJ), a voluntary organisation.
Merkel mastered the Russian language while in school. She has studied Physics in Templin at the University of Leipzig. She has studied as well as worked at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences in Berlin-Adlershof. Merkel has done her PhD in Quantum Chemistry.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Merkel joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) political party. Soon after, she was appointed to Helmut Kohl’s cabinet as minister for women and youth, and later she served as minister for the environment and nuclear safety. Following Kohl’s defeat in the 1998 general election, she was named secretary-general of the CDU. In 2000, Merkel was chosen party leader, but she lost the CDU candidacy for chancellor to Edmund Stoiber in 2002.
In the 2005 election, Merkel narrowly defeated Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, winning by just three seats, and after the CDU agreed a coalition deal with the Social Democrats (SPD), she was declared Germany’s first female chancellor. Merkel also became the first former citizen of the German Democratic Republic to lead the reunited Germany and the first woman to lead Germany since it became a modern nation-state in 1871. She was elected to a second term in 2009.
Merkel made headlines in October 2013 when she accused the U.S. National Security Agency of tapping her cell phone. At a summit of European leaders she chided the United States for this privacy breech, saying that “Spying among friends is never acceptable.” Shortly afterward, in December 2013, she was sworn in for a third term.
Angela Kasner married Ulrich Merkel, a physics student in the year 1977, but five years down the line, the couple got divorced. Presently, Merkel is married to Joachim Sauer, a quantum chemist and professor. While Angela and Joachim do not have children, Sauer has two sons from his previous marriage. Merkel is an avid Football fan. She suffered a pelvic bone fracture during a cross-country skiing expedition in Switzerland in the year 2014.
AWARDS AND PRICES:
2013 : Indira Gandhi Prize
2011 : Presidential Medal of Freedom, Jawaharlal Nehru
2010 : Leo-Baeck-Medal, Glamour
2008 : Charlemagne Prize
2006 : Vision for Europe