A government spokesman confirmed the news on Wednesday. “Herlind Kasner, the mother of the chancellor, has died,” the spokesman said, without providing further details. He asked that the privacy of the Chancellor and her family be respected at this time.
Kasner likely died at the beginning of April, according to German newspaper Bild and the magazine Superillu.
A Latin and English teacher, Kasner was born in Gdansk, now part of Poland. She gave birth to the future world leader in Hamburg in 1954, moving to Templin in Brandenburg – the former East Germany – just weeks later with her daughter and husband, Horst Kasner, a pastor who was posted there.
Kasner taught foreign languages in Templin for decades. She was considered cheerful and fun-loving, as well as a passionate teacher. Kasner lived in the north Brandenburg city until her death. Her husband Horst died in 2011.
Herlind Kasner on March 14th 2018, when Merkel was being sworn in as Chancellor. Photo: DPA
Teaching at the age of 90
Kasner was always present when her daughter was elected head of government – most recently just over a year ago.
When Merkel was awarded Templin's honorary citizenship in February this year, her mother and her siblings – Marcus and Irene Kasner – accompanied the Chancellor to the reception. Mayor Detlef Tabbert was full of appreciation for Merkel's mum – and even revealed that Kasner was still giving English lessons at the age of 90, reported Welt.
Merkel and her mother always had a very close relationship. In an interview with German daily the Süddeutsche Zeitung in 2015 Merkel said she talked on the phone with her mum “regularly”.
“She tells me about relatives, acquaintances, friends, so that I am not disconnected from all this normal family information,” she said.
Busy time for the Chancellor
Despite the heartache, the Chancellor has been continuing with her duties. Most recently she's been at the forefront of Brexit negotiations, attending the EU summit in Brussels on Wednesday. On Friday she is to meet Ukrainian President Petro Petroschenko. The meeting has not been cancelled.