• 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
Schumacher Jr lives up to his name
Schumacher Jr is too young to drink any of that champagne. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr lives up to his name

Mick Schumacher Jr did his famous father proud on his Formula Four debut on Saturday by claiming a trophy as the best rookie and finishing ninth, despite starting 19th. READ  

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank
Deutsche Bank acquired Postbank in 2008. Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank

Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank announced late Friday it was seeking to sell its Postbank subsidiary as part of a revamp to improve profitability. READ  

Far left activists attack immigration office
Photo: DPA

Far left activists attack immigration office

Far-left extremists attacked an immigration office in Leipzig early on Friday morning. It was the second targeted attack on an official building in the city in recent months. READ  

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier insisted on Friday that calling Armenian massacres genocide risks belittling the Holocaust, after President Joachim Gauck broke a taboo by using the word on Thursday. READ  

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career
Mick Schumacher on test day earlier in April. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career

Michael Schumacher's 16-year-old son starts his Formula Four career this weekend, under the pressure of living up to the famous family name of the seven-time Formula One world champion. READ  

Property of the week
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Mr Lodge

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

A highly sought-after location, great connection to public transport, and a very stylish interior – Does that sound good to you? Then you’ll love this week’s property! READ  

Germany's most polluted cities
The sun rises behind a coal-burning power station in Lower Saxony. Photo: DPA

Germany's most polluted cities

The Federal Environment Ministry has named the most polluted places around the country, with Stuttgart claiming the undesirable title of Germany's most polluted city. READ  

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets
Edda Göring photographed in 1942. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets

The Bavarian government rejected on Thursday an attempt by Hermann Göring's daughter to win back her father's assets, which the government seized in 1948. READ  

Tugce accused admits to delivering fatal blow
Tugce Albayrak's death shocked Germany. Photo:DPA

Tugce accused admits to delivering fatal blow

When 22-year-old Tugce Albayrak was fatally beaten in a MacDonald's car park in November 2014, Germany was left in a state of shock. On the first day of her attacker's trial he admits to 'boxing her on the ear.' READ  

Prosecutors want info on spies' help to US
Gerhard Schindler, head of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency. Photo: DPA

Prosecutors want info on spies' help to US

Federal prosecutors have asked for access on files from the Bundestag (German parliament) inquiry into mass surveillance, after news that German spies helped the US eavesdrop on European leaders and businesses. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
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

7,216
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd