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Angela Merkel to pen political memoir

December 10, 2021

Germany's former leader will write the book with her long-serving adviser Beate Baumann. Merkel had been tight-lipped about her post-political plans before the announcement.

Angela Merkel
Merkel smiles from the guest box during her last day at the BundestagImage: Jens Krick/Flashpic/picture alliance

Former Chancellor Angela Merkel is just two days out of office after 16 years and already has her next project lined up. On Friday her longtime aide Beate Baumann announced that together, she and Merkel will be working on her political memoirs.

Merkel "does not want to retell her entire life," Baumann told Der Spiegel magazine. "She wants to explain her key political decisions in her own words, and look back on her life's journey."

Baumann has largely kept out of the public eye, however, she has been a key adviser to the former leader since the 1990s and co-written some of Merkel's most famous speeches.

She added that the two women planned to pen the book themselves with no outside help.

 "The chancellor and I were quite certain: if we were going to do this book, we would do it alone -- without ghost writers, without historians, without journalists," Baumann said. She estimated that the project would take two to three years.

Before she stepped down on Wednesday, Merkel had been tight-lipped about her post-politics plans, telling writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that she would perhaps do writing and speaking engagements, but that first she wanted to "do nothing" and "see what happens."

For the most part, Merkel has made a point of avoiding the spotlight outside of her political duties, typically only ever appearing in public and in the press in her capacity as chancellor. 

Merkel transferred power to her successor Olaf Scholz on December 8, encouraging him to enjoy what she called "the best job there is."

German social media began speculation on Friday over who would get the rights to publish the book, and what she would say about her many consequential decisions and challenges, from the financial crisis to the refugee wave of 2015, and most recently pandemic.

es/msh (AFP, dpa)