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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.

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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.
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