• Germany edition
 
Merkel's Polish roots emerge in new book
Photo: DPA

Merkel's Polish roots emerge in new book

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

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is a quarter Polish, a new biography claims, saying her grandfather moved to Germany from Poland and Germanified his name four years after her father was born.

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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112
Gertrud Henze. Photo: DPA

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112

Germany’s oldest woman died at the age of 112 on Tuesday. Gertrud Henze was born on December 8th 1901 and joked her long life was down to never getting married. READ () »

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent
Police search the area near where Gabriele's body was found in October 2013. Photo: DPA

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent

The alleged murderer of an exchange student in southern Germany stayed silent in the dock on Tuesday on the first day of his trial. READ () »

European Elections 2014
'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Hans-Olaf Henkel (r) celebrates the one-year anniversary of the AfD with leader Bernd Lücke. Photo: DPA

'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'

In an interview with The Local, one of the leaders of Germany's eurosceptic party talks about Europe's future, why Britain is a model country and why he will not work with UKIP's Nigel Farage. READ () »

Girls find live munition in Easter bonfire
Nane, with her father and a picture of the cartridge-laden wood. Photo: DPA

Girls find live munition in Easter bonfire

Two 12-year-old German girls found live ammunition lodged into a branch in an Easter bonfire. It was due to be lit the next day, potentially igniting the cartridges and causing disaster. READ () »

Opinion
'Fracking won't save Germany from Putin'
Photo: DPA

'Fracking won't save Germany from Putin'

Germany's reliance on Russian gas continues to limit the nation's diplomatic leverage in the Ukraine crisis. But as leaders once again explore fracking as an alternative, critics told The Local the risks were too high. READ () »

German rapper-turned-jihadist 'killed in Syria'
Deso Dogg. Photo: YouTube screenshot

German rapper-turned-jihadist 'killed in Syria'

UPDATE: A German former rapper who joined jihadists fighting in Syria was reported dead on Tuesday by jihadist sources, but hours later some retracted the claim, saying he was still alive. READ () »

Have Your Say
Who should pay for Germany’s roads?
Photo: DPA

Who should pay for Germany’s roads?

A top politician's suggestion that drivers should be charged €100 a year towards the upkeep of Germany's roads was met with derision on Tuesday. But how should Germany fill the black hole it its infrastructure budget? READ () »

Tax income hits March record
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Tax income hits March record

A record amount of cash flowed into German government coffers in March thanks to land, beer and incomes taxes, a monthly report from the finance ministry revealed on Tuesday. READ () »

Union bosses call for later starts in World Cup
Photo: DPA

Union bosses call for later starts in World Cup

German unions called on Tuesday for shift workers to be granted later starts during the football World Cup in Brazil this summer. Some of the matches begin at midnight due to the time difference. READ () »

Parents' house burnt as son went clubbing
Photo: DPA

Parents' house burnt as son went clubbing

A man who had thrown a party at his parents' empty mansion over Easter in central Germany returned after clubbing to find the entire building on fire. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

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

3,050
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd