Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

100 questions for Angela Merkel

by jandsm Fri Nov 25th, 2005 at 02:27:59 PM EST

One of the funniest features of Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung are Moritz von Uslar's "100 questions to..." interviews. The aim is to get 100 answers in the shortest possible period of time from a celbrity. The questions are always a surprise. He interviewed Hillary Clinton, and many others. The interviews are usually highly amusing, sometimes they escalate to a point when the celebrity just leaves, screaming wildly.

In 2000, Moritz von Uslar played the 100 questions game with Angela Merkel, then just 1 year in office as party leader of the CDU. The SZ re-published the interview on today. Because it is amusing, I translated it for you. At least, I tried my best...

It reveals a lot about this strange person that is set to become one of Europe's dominant political figures in the next years.

Here we go:

You are all right?   Yes.

No back pain? No.

What is the name of your personal doctor? I am not going to tell you.

How many hours of sleep do you get on average?   Seven. 5 on weekdays. Longer on the weekends.  

What was the best time you ever run on 1000m?   I am no good athlete. But my times getting better when the distance is growing. I'd prefer the four hundred to one hundred meter track: long distance instead of sprint.

Will 'health' (Gesundheit) be the mega-issue of this millenium?   Will be one of the big issues

Thinking of 'Home' (Heimat). What comes to your mind?   A lake, small hills, clay soil, mixed forest, some cows, an erratic boulder.

Where are the flowers flourishing most beautifully in the Uckermark?  In my own garden.

Your favorite country restaurant? My kitchen.

Your favorite biking path? Between Joachimstal and Gerswalde.

Mountain bike or racing bike? A Mifa-Bike without gears. It from the GDR times.

Did you enjoy anyprivileges did in the GDR? I can't remember anything. No.

Did you drive a Trabant 601 or the luxury model Tabant S de luxe?   I never had an own Trabant, my partner owned one. The waiting period for mine was still not up. It took so long to save the money for it. It wasn't easy at all.

How much was an egg in the GDR? 12 Pfennig

What was your last salary in the GDR? Long after my Ph.D., I earned 1012 GDR-Mark after taxes. A pair of shoes in the "Exquisit"-market costed 320 GDR-M, a coat for the winter 400 Mark. You didn't get far on this salary.

Your recipe for potatoe soup? potatoes, herbs and vegetables for making soup (Suppengrün): boil them together, then mash it, but not too much, put bacon in it...

Name a red wine of the GDR period?  Vin Rouge. The one from Bulgaria.

Did you secretly watch Western Television? Yes. Always.

What was the longest line in which you ever qued up?     At the GUM store in Moscow. I only joined in to find out what everyone was actually waiting for: umbrellas. I left it immediatly.

What is the most beautiful beach resort on the Black Sea?  Batumi.

Did you ever dream of the sun on Capri? London. Whenever I was in Budapest, I imagined that london may look a little bit like Budapest.

What was the most annoying prohibition in the GDR?  It was impossible to get books and newspaper even for Heinrich Böll's "Clown" one needed to get a "reading permit".

Is it true that the people in the GDR had more sex, becaust there was nothing else to do?  I don't know.

How will you describe the GDR to your Grandchildren? As a big camp. One could search for some freedom and who was looking to be cared of, was being cared of. But who wanted to leave the camp, was stopped doing so.

Do you feel sorry for the GDR? No.

What was your first luxury thing you bought after the wall fell?  Tickets for the Berlin philarmonics.

Were bananas really such a big issue?  For me, it was ananas. If you don't have one, you would like to eat one from time to time.

Do you say 'Meck-Pomm' or 'Mecklenburg-Vorpommern'? (MoU refers to the name and the short form of Mecklenburg-Westpomerania, jandsm)  Meck-Pomm is a Western term.

Was every at least a little bit intelligent GDR citizen working for the Stasi? No.

Where in Berlin was the Institue for Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the GDR situated? In Berlin Adlershof, right next to the GDR TV and the guard-regiment 'Felix Dserschinski'.

Why did you become a physicist? Because I wanted to understant Einstein's theory of relativity. And even the GDR couldn't prohibit the natural laws of mathematics and physics.

Which law of physics can be best applied on politics?  Gravity. Without wwight, no impact.

What can Westerners best learn from East Germans?"  Patience.

*How are you any different from other politicians? Others have to judge this.

What is a typical politician's term, that you don't use at all? 'Challenges' (Herausforderung).

Which is your favorite bar in Berlin to get absolutely drunk? I don't know any.

What was your job? My job is to lead the CDU back to victory.

Do you have a contract? No. I have to get reelected every 2 years.

Do you earn more or less than Friedrich Merz? I believe less.

Would you think you'd be able to become president of the U.S.?  This question is irrelvant (Diese Frage stellt sich nicht.

Does it matter, whether Germany is governd by a man or a woman?  It does matter whether Germany has a good or a bad chancellor.

Do sometimes want to hug Helmut Kohl?  No.

How does Helmut Kohl look in your dreams? I did - if anything - stayed awake in the bed at night because of him.

Do you fear Kohl may become as old as Konrad Adenauer? No. I wish he does.

'Do you speak English' 'A little bit' (English in original).

Do speak better Russian than English? Now, I speak better English. More practice.

Please tell me again your standard explanation why you are against the ecology tax (Ökosteuer)? I am for a contintal wide European solution...

What is your trick to save energy? I turn of the stand-by switch.

How do you represent German 'Leitkultur' (dominant culture?  My love for potatoe soup. Even though the potatoe comed from Brazil, in the the form of a soup, I believe it is very German.

Are you proud that your party-secretary-general is proud to be German (Stolz ein Deutscher zu sein)? I would say, I like to be German. Or: I am happy to be German.

Why is this goddam 'Leitkultur' still in the programmatic papers of the CDU?  Because we managed to define it with politcal substance. It is necessary.

Do you have anything against foreigners? How do you come up with this. On the contrary...

Afraid of foreigners? I am afraid of violent thugs. But these are also Germans.

In which German areas(Landstriche) would you not walk on the streets at night? I am not not afraid in the countryside (different word for Landstrich) but I wouldn't go out in some urban areas.

Did you ever give a speech in a 'Nationally Liberated Zone' (NAtional befreite Zone - neo-nazi term for areas they dominate)? * No.


Is multi-cultural liftstyle an error (Lebenslüge? Yes. As long as it claims that more diversity leads to an easie life. I believe this is wrong. I am for diversity and for differences. Yet there has to be a common ground, i.e. the language.

Your problem with Paul Spiegel (Jewish leader in Germany)?  He didn't understand our definition of 'Leitkultur'. This saddens me.

Why do Germans always immediatly start killing?  Put differently: Does 'leitkultur' lead to murder? This is bullshit. An absurd claim.

What do you know that the rest of Germany doesn't know yet? That the demograhpic changes will habe dramatic effects.

Your most feminie part? My friendly face.

Would you sometimes rather be a man? No.

The nicest wife of a politician you've met? I don't like to make a choise... The wife of the mayor of Stralsund.

How do you spell the surname of Simone de Beauvoir?  Are you serious? B-E-A-U-V-O-I-R.

What is the name of your best female friend? Erika, Rosemarie, Inga.

Is Alice Schwarze a friend of yours?  I like to talks to her

Your message to all women?  Don't let them keep you down.

Your message to all man? Be open minded!

What is claudia Nolte doing right now? She is a member of parliament

Did you and she have the same lawyer when the to of your divorced your husbands? No.

Is your husband living with you? Yes.

What is the standard explanation why he doesn't join you at CDU reseptions?  He is working himself and got lot of work to do. He doesn't need an excuse.

Is he allowed to say 'Angie'? He doesn't do it.

What was your last holiday together? Eastern: on Ischia.

Are you under any obilgation to provide maintenance (Unterhaltspflichtig)? No.

Where is your wedding ring? At home.

You are a countryside-child, aren't you? Yes, and I am proud of it.

Did you ever take a moonlight-bath in the Baltic sea? As a young girl I did it in the lakes of the Uckermark.

Did you ever jump off a rolling train? Yes from one that just started. With a backpack. In the Russian part of the Caucasus.

Did ever - out of love - threatened to commit suicide? No, I don't like blackmail.

What is your favorite love song (Kuschelsong)? When i was young: Je t'aime.

Cary Grant or Cary Cooper? None of both.

George Clooney or Harrison Ford? I only know Dusting Hoffmann.

Your favorite emotional movie? Out of Africa.

How do you imagine god? Abstract.

What is your favorite sentence from the Bible? '

Which teenage-sin do you exclusively confess to the Sueddeutsche? The Sueddeutsche is not the right place.

In what respect are your typically protestant? Difficult to tell: I believe the responisbilty of everyone for oneself.

Which method of contraception do you recommend? I do not need to comment on this.

How would you name your children, if you had some? Tobias, Jonathan, Friederike.

Did you ever consider to get permanent waves in your hair? No.

What do you use on your hair? Shampoo. Thanks to unification, the quality is getting better.

How many plum tarts did you make this year? Maybe 5?

How did you make your first million? I did not make a million.

How was your first band called? I never had one. As a child I played the flute. This wasn't spectacular.

Will your father cry, when you become the first female chancellor?  This question isn't relevant.

this took way longer than I thought. Enjoy! :-)
by jandsm on Fri Nov 25th, 2005 at 02:28:48 PM EST

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries