June 14, 2024

A slightly different look back at the Angela Merkel years

A slightly different look back at the Angela Merkel years

Written by Caroline Buck D

your Hairstyle? “Baher”. Udo Waltz once said about Angela Merkel. That was self praise. Merkel was a client of a famous Berlin hairdresser who died last year. It is not known where she cut her hair now. But it’s possible that Walz joined the CDU because of her. 16 years with Merkel, that shaped Germany and its occupation – this also applies to the world of celebrities and high culture.

The chancellery’s first woman, now 67, has received praise, criticism, fashion advice and remote diagnosis. At first she was the “girl” Helmut Kohl and mocked her hairstyle, and later also many who did not vote for the CDU considered her a world politician who asserted herself in the men’s circus. “I find her very likable. “She respects the way she treats these patriarchal structures and sometimes personal insults with confidence,” said chef and green politician Sarah Weiner. Herbert Grünemeyer testified of the physicist as a “modest intelligence”.

Merkel’s appearance is a big issue

Writer Martin Walser went further in an article for Spiegel. Merkel is not only smart, but also beautiful. “Most politicians are looking for what they can do. This is also because they have to say more than they know. With Mrs. Merkel, we will witness how spirit and nature come together, which is exactly why she is so beautiful,” Walser wrote in 2018.

As for her wardrobe and her looks, there was arguably more press and debate than any of her predecessors. Certainly, Gerhard Schroeder was “Brioni’s advisor” because of the expensive suits. Helmut Kohl is nicknamed the “pear” because of its weight and shape.

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But this is nothing compared to the echo of Merkel, for example when she wore a neckline evening dress and showed her bosom during a visit to the Opera in Oslo in 2008. This was treated as a mild sense. It was even a topic at the federal press conference. “This evening dress, a new composition, and a new arrangement from the Chancellor’s stock, made such a great commotion (…) it was not the Chancellor’s intent,” said Thomas Stege, a spokesman for the then Vice-Government.

Angela Merkel’s most memorable costume when she went to the opera in Oslo in 2008. (Photo: Keystone)

There were no pictures of Merkel again like from Oslo. The chancellor adopted a uniform style of trousers and jackets. As for the photos, I found the gesture of the diamond – just copied by the candidate of the SPD Chancellor Olaf Schultz on the cover of “SZ” magazine. Italian designer Giorgio Armani was very fond of Merkel’s fashion. “I’ve always found her style interesting, her tailored jackets with matching pants.” Armani told “Zitemagazine” that the style exudes calm and self-confidence.

Karl Lagerfeld’s rule was less generous at the time. “Ms. Merkel must have something to measure her own proportions,” the fashion designer told Focus in 2013. I heard “but she doesn’t want advice”. Lagerfeld later became strict with Merkel’s refugee policy. “You cannot, even if it is decades between then, to kill millions of Jews and then leave millions of their enemy enemies to come,” he said in 2017 in a heated interview on TV in France.

Popular in many ways

In the world of culture there are some people who know and love Merkel personally. Like actor Ulrich Matthes, who also appreciates her as a theater critic. Conversations with Angela Merkel are always particularly detailed. Sometimes she takes a long time after a performance and talks to me alone about the article for an hour,” Matisse told the German editorial network.

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“You would really like to see her run again,” Suffragette Alice Schwarzer said at the Frankfurt Book Fair last year. “Because none of the boys in the CDU weigh as much as Merkel.” Schwarzer showed some distance: “I can take it very well, on the one hand I find Merkel and her role very interesting and wonderful, and on the other hand I criticize her on some factual points – such as her naively dangerous attitude towards political Islam.” You can also appreciate the person who makes mistakes.

culturally recognized

Mountaineering legend Reynolds Messner knows the chancellor and her husband Joachim Sauer from hiking. He said in “Welt am Sonntag”: “Angela Merkel is tough, not only on the mountain, but also in the political life around her. She will not be easily divided. She stays awake longer, clearer than others.”

Merkel has always been the subject of films and books, there is even a song for Hino (“Pictures in the Head (Angie)”). Bestselling author David Safire told her that she was the “Miss Merkel” hobbyist. Scenario: She retired six weeks ago and moved to Uckermark with her husband and Pug. There is a criminal case solved.

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei had other thoughts about Merkel as an elderly citizen: “When she retires, I wish her a comfortable life. I hope you go to the Berlin Zoo and see the pandas there.”

Merkel herself said on her visit to the United States in July that she wanted to take a break after her presidency and think “what really interests me”. In the past 16 years, she’s had very little time for that. “And then maybe I’ll try to read something, and then close my eyes because I’m tired, and then sleep a little, and then we’ll see.”

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