47 Angela Merkel Facts You Probably Didn't Know!

Sridevi Tolety
Sep 08, 2022 By Sridevi Tolety
Originally Published on Feb 01, 2022
Edited by Naomi Carr
Fact-checked by Shruti Thapa
One of the most interesting Angela Merkel facts is that she was the first female Chancellor of Germany and served the position from 2005 to 2021.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.4 Min

Angela Merkel, originally Angela Kasner, held the position of Chancellor of Germany for 16 years.

Merkel is known as the first female Chancellor of Germany and the second person in German history to hold that position for 16 long years. She is often referred to as the most powerful woman in the world.

While studying in Leipzig, Angela met Ulrich Merkel, who was also a fellow physics student, and they got married in 1977. This marriage was short-lived and they separated in 1982. Angela Merkel later married a quantum chemist and professor, Joachim Sauer. Even after marrying Joachim Sauer, she retained the name, Merkel.

Angela Merkel's Education

Angela Merkel is known as Europe's longest-serving woman leader. According to Forbes Magazine, Merkel was on the top of the 2015 list of the 100 most powerful women in the world.

  • Merkel completed high school at Templin in the year 1973.
  • After high school in Templin, Angela Merkel went to Leipzig to study Physics at Karl Marx University.
  • After getting her diploma in Leipzig, Merkel studied in East Berlin from 1978 to 1990 at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences. She also worked while studying at the Central Institute of Physical Chemistry.
  • Angela Merkel received a doctorate in 1986 for her thesis on quantum chemistry.
  • Once she received her doctorate, she worked as a research scientist and authored many research journals.
  • Merkel is a proficient scientist and is the only woman possessing a position at the East German Academy of Science in the section of theoretical chemistry.
  • She also studied her predecessors' law, history, and business.

Angela Merkel's Awards and Honors

Angel Merkel is the first German politician to have grown up in the communist east. From Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, she was voted into the German Parliament. She has received several awards and honors:

  • She received the most prestigious award of Germany; the Grand Cross 1st Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. This is the only award in Germany awarded for extraordinary accomplishments in political, cultural, economic, intellectual, and honorary fields.
  • Merkel, for her service towards the integration of greater Europe, was awarded the Vision for Europe award in 2006.
  • In her 16 years of service as Chancellor, Angela Merkel topped Chancellorzine's list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women for 15 years.
  • The Indian government honored her with the Jawaharlal Nehru Award in 2009 for Inter Chancellor Understanding and also the India Gandhi Peace Prize in 2013.
  • Merkel was also the recipient of the Heinz Galinski Award in Berlin, Germany, in 2012.
  • This powerful woman was Time magazine's Person of the Year in December 2015.
  • The Roosevelt Foundation in Middleburg, Netherlands, awarded Merkel the International Four Freedoms Award in May 2016.
  • Merkel was conferred from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum with the Elie Wiesel Award in 2017.
  • The American Academy in Berlin rewarded Merkel with the Henry A. Kissinger Prize in 2020.
  • Angela Merkel is also a proud owner of a number of honorary degrees. Merkel is known for her proficiency in speaking Russian and also received an award for her fluency in the language.


Some of the honoraries of Angela Merkel are:

  • Angela Merkel received a doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2007 and another doctorate from Leipzig University in 2008.
  • Merkel was also awarded a doctorate from the University of Technology in Wroclaw, Poland, in 2008.

What did she do as the first female German Chancellor?

Post the historic fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, Angela Merkel joined the Democratic Awakening political party and also was appointed as the party's press spokesperson in 1990. In December 1990, Merkel gained a seat in the lower house of parliament and was appointed as the Minister for Women and Youth by Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

Angela Merkel took over as the Chancellor of Germany on November 22, 2005. Ever since there was no looking back for this powerful lady hailing from West Germany.

  • Angela Merkel reformed German politics from the time she assumed office in 2005.
  • It is said that not only German Politics but also the European Union has revolved around Merkel for 16 years.
  • Being a female politician and the first woman chancellor, she was often compared with Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister, and has also been called the Iron Lady, despite many differences between them.
  • Merkel aimed at strengthening her ties with other countries. Within a week of taking over as the Chancellor, she visited the French President Jacques Chirac in Brussels along with the NATO Secretary-General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and the President of Namibia, Pohamba.
  • Merkel, with half of the members of the cabinet, landed in Israel on March 16, 2007, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the state. She was received at the airport by Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, along with other eminent people of the Israeli government. She was the second person to be honored in this manner after US President, George Bush.
  • She was also given special permission to speak in the national parliament.
  • Merkel's biggest aspiration was to improve the German economy and reduce unemployment, and the country did see progress in these areas until the 2008 recession.
  • Though she is said to have only German interests, her foresight for Germany was very well within the boundaries of the European Union.
Angela Merkel did not have any children of her own, but her German supporters gave her the nickname 'Mutti', which means 'Mommy'.

What is Angela Merkel most famous for?

Some interesting Angela Merkel facts are:

  • Angela Merkel has Polish heritage, as her grandfather was from Poland.
  • Merkel is known for her excellent culinary skills.
  • She is an expert baker.
  • Merkel is a proficient scientist and her role model is Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel prize.
  • Angela is an exceptional impressionist and enjoys performing impressions of renowned world leaders, such as Vladimir Putin and Pope Benedict XVI.

Angela Merkel's Childhood

Angela Merkel hails from Hamburg in West Germany on July 17, 1954, to Horst and Herlind Kasner. Soon after her birth, Merkel's father took up as a pastorate in Brandenburg and they moved to East Germany, which was part of the German Democratic Republic.

  • Like many other children of Germany, Merkel was also involved in the state's youth organizations. She was a part of the Young Pioneers and the Free German Youth.
  • She was appointed as the secretary for agitation and propaganda at the Academy of sciences.
  • Angela Merkel was the leader of Germany and influenced the European economy. She wanted to become a teacher but instead became the most powerful woman in the world.

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Written by Sridevi Tolety

Bachelor of Science specializing in Botany, Master of Science specializing in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs

Sridevi Tolety picture

Sridevi ToletyBachelor of Science specializing in Botany, Master of Science specializing in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs

With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.

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Fact-checked by Shruti Thapa

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Shruti Thapa picture

Shruti ThapaBachelor of Arts specializing in English

With a passion for American, British, and children's literature, Shruti is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree at Garden City University, Bengaluru. Her fluency in Nepali, Hindi, and Mandarin demonstrates her linguistic abilities and global perspective. In addition to her literary pursuits, she has a keen interest in non-fiction literature, aesthetics, early childhood education, and Egyptian history. Shruti's research paper 'Bringing Art Illustrations In Education And Pop Culture' showcases her proficiency in these areas and her dedication to academic excellence.

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