Speaking of Revolutions

“Another young woman, an employee of the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry, was on her way home from a visit to a sauna when the news of the night inspired her to head for Bornholmer [Strasse]. Her name was Angela Merkel. She had chosen a career in chemistry, not in politics, but [November 9, 1989] would change her life. Merkel had been born in Hamburg in 1954, and even though she and her immediate family had moved to East Germany in 1957 [her father was a Lutheran pastor], she still maintained contact with an aunt in her hometown. On the night of November 9, once she made it to West Berlin, Merkel would call that aunt to say that she had crossed the border.”

More here.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/11/09/speaking-of-revolutions/


  1. This is a total tangent, but I’m curious as to why a Lutheran pastor would move *to* Eastern Germany.

  2. Good question! I haven’t read any biographies of Merkel, so I’m not up on the details, but generally Lutheran pastors in the established churches are often assigned a parish. It may be that Merkel’s father volunteered, I don’t know. Further back, her grandparents were from Berlin and the Gdansk (aka Danzig) area. In 1954, a year after Stalin died, it might also be that the East German communists were making some sort of peace with the churches and so were allowing clergy back into parishes that had been idled in the first few years of the new regime. So for her father, relatively fresh out of seminary, I can see the motivation of taking a challenging post in a region that felt familiar.

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