Berlin – German Unity Day in 2021. The Federal Republic has been united for 31 years and of course it is not. There is not even a day off for employees this year. Isn’t it logical that the Chancellor’s speech, if you were actually following her on the live broadcast, only half-listened to it at first?
Angela Merkel used her last unity speech as Chancellor to make some remarkable sentences. Noteworthy because they were personal and very open. This time she describes how this origin was defined from a different, West German point of view. That for the West Germans it went essentially as before, while everything changed for the East Germans. And she criticizes the fact that she was and is called a “semi-skilled German citizen”. She doesn’t say it literally, but facial expressions and body language express how unfair she finds this term. For the first time in such a setting, the Chancellor speaks about herself and her origins in the GDR in such a way.
At the end of her term of office, Angela Merkel appears as free and clear in her statements as never before. For the West German observer it remains incomprehensible why she could not bring herself to do it earlier. With all due respect, these statements are not that revolutionary either.
They get their power from the occasion (German Unity Celebration) and the person who made it. But also because for decades this person in particular was reluctant to even begin to address their origins and gender in their politics. As if both were a weakness of hers. The private is political, dear Chancellor. I am pleased that you at least confirm it at the very end of your career.