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Germany

The New Woman in Schröder's Life

Gerhard Schröder is no stranger to sharing his life with members of the opposite sex. On Monday, it was revealed that there was a new young lady on the scene: his freshly adopted three-year old daughter, Viktoria.

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And then there were four: The Schröders now have two daughters

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder was so touched by the plight of many orphaned children in Russia that he and his wife Doris decided to help. Not for the chancellor a hefty donation to the charity of his choice, instead Mr. and Mrs. Schröder decided to give one of the under-privileged kids a new start in life by adopting her.

Viktoria, a three-year old from St. Petersburg, has reportedly been living in the couple's house in Hanover with the family, including Frau Schröder-Kopf's 13-year old daughter Klara from her first marriage, for "several weeks," the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported Monday.

Papers claim Viktoria arrived weeks ago

It is believed that the chancellor and his wife went to a children's home in Russia's second-biggest city "several weeks ago'' to pick up their new daughter. The adoption was kept secret and even Schröder's bodyguards only learned of it shortly before the return flight to Berlin, the paper said.

Schröder, 60, and Doris, 41, during a visit to close friend Russian President Vladimir Putin's home town, were struck by the situation of many of the children living in orphanages there and told confidants "they must be helped,'' according to a report published on Monday in the mass circulation daily Bild Zeitung. It is thought that Doris was the decisive force behind the adoption after the visit in support of child-care initiatives in Russia, the paper added.

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