• Germany's news in English
 

Merkel's Polish roots emerge in new book

Published: 14 Mar 2013 08:22 GMT+01:00

Merkel was born Kasner, a name invented by her grandfather Ludwig Kazmierczak in 1930 after he had moved to Germany from Poznan, the new book which was published on Thursday says, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.

The new details of Merkel's family background were revealed in the book Angela Merkel - the Chancellor and Her World. It says Merkel's father was born Horst Kazmierczak.

Her grandfather Ludwig, born 1896, was the illegitimate son of Anna Kazmierczak and Ludwig Wojciechowski, taking his mother's name and growing up with her and her later husband Ludwig Rychlicki in Poznan.

The troubled history of Poznan, switching between Germany and Poland several times, indirectly contributed to Germany being led by a East-German Protestant woman.

Poznan was part of the German empire until the defeat of World War One and the 1919 Versailles Treaty which returned it to Poland. It was then that Merkel's grandfather moved to Berlin, and met and married his wife Margarethe.

They had Merkel's father Horst in 1926, and changed their name from Kazmierczak to Kasner in 1930, meaning the future Chancellor was born Angela Kasner. She became Merkel when she married her first husband, taking his name and keeping it even after marrying her second husband Joachim Sauer.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung said that Merkel's father's original name had not previously been known, and that although she has referred to her family having a Polish element, it was not until now commonly known what that was.

Merkel's family history was already known to bestride the Cold War. Her father moved from West to East Germany to work as a pastor, meaning Merkel grew up there, and became involved in politics as the communist regime started to crumble.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

10:43 March 14, 2013 by ND1000
Pretty normal stuff. Most Germans probably have some if not mostly non German roots in their family. Germany was/is the cross roads of Europe. From Belarus all the way over to the U.K people are very closely related.
11:55 March 14, 2013 by Kennneth Ingle
ND 1000 is right all the way on this one, there are very few pure races left in Europe, however the majority of white skinned Europeans do have the same roots. It depends also what one understands with the word German. Do we just mean those who live, or lived in the state/s of Germany, which varied in size enormously during the course of history, or do we also include the Celts who once populated most of Europe?

One thing is certain, we can now have a good guess as to why Frau Merkel does more for the people of Poland than for those of her own country.
13:12 March 14, 2013 by tedesco
Burn the witch!

Nah, Merkel is fine.
14:07 March 14, 2013 by ND1000
Poles, Germans, Dutch, British, are all from the same gene pool for the most part almost like identical twins. Southern Europeans and Scandinavians are like their siblings. Its all good, were all closely related.
15:00 March 14, 2013 by yllusion
It would be nice if in history we didn't change names like changing clothes, and if we took the mother's last name as the family name. This way we would be able to trace our roots much more easily and have a more accurate correlation with our genetic heritage.
16:29 March 14, 2013 by adam.müller
so what, all Europeans come from Caucasus mountain (origion of the word Caucasian) and we are mixed with Iranians (Aryans), Indians, Arabs in Spain and many other ethnicity. all German are mixed and now mixing. we are all humans above all.
17:39 March 14, 2013 by DOZ
Now can she manage not to take Germany to ruin.
Today's headlines
Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'
Sudeten Germans practising traditional dance at a gathering in 2014. Photo: DPA

Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'

The Sudeten German Homeland Association has given up its claim to the group's former home in parts of the Czech Republic, quieting one of the final echoes of the Second World War. READ  

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan
Families Minister Manuela Schwesig. Photo: DPA

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan

Families Minister Manuela Schwesig confirmed on Sunday that she wants a new law allowing women to compare their wages with men doing similar work, provoking angry reactions from employers. READ  

Police wind down Bremen terror response
Heavily-armed police on patrol outside Bremen cathedral. Photo: DPA

Police wind down Bremen terror response

Police in Bremen said that the risk of a terrorist attack had been reduced in the city after they arrested two suspected arms dealers. The city remains under high alert, with special protection for the Jewish community. READ  

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone
Photo: DPA

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Sunday Greece's new hard-left government needs "a bit of time" but is committed to implementing necessary reforms to resolve its debt crisis. READ  

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo
Photo: DPA

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo

An estimated 375 people turned out for the Germany-based PEGIDA movement's first demonstration in Britain on Saturday, but were outnumbered by a 2,000-strong crowd of counter-protesters, police said. READ  

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote
Photo: DPA

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed Friday to "start working hard" to implement vital reforms in the stricken eurozone country, after Germany's parliament approved a four month extension to its bailout. READ  

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce
Photo: DPA

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared the killing of three government troops by pro Moscow rebels a "serious breach of the ceasefire", during a telephone call Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, her office said. READ  

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps
Trouble at the top. Photo: DPA

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps

Germany's highest civil court ruled in favour of a man who swapped the carpet in his new apartment for parquet flooring, incurring the wrath of the retired couple who lived below him over his loud footsteps. READ  

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday
Photo: DPA

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday

Teachers all over the country are expected to stike starting Monday, German education trade union GEW said, after negotiations with the wage commission of the federal states (TdL) failed to achieve results. READ  

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes
Andre Shepherd at the European Court of Justice in June 2014. Photo: DPA

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes

American soldier Andre Shepherd, who applied for asylum in Germany as a conscientious objector against the war in Iraq after going AWOL from his unit, saw a judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) go against him on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,199
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd