1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Angela Merkel's mother dies aged 90

April 11, 2019

Herlind Kasner, a former English teacher and the mother of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has passed away. Merkel said her mother always showed "great interest" in her life and spoke with her regularly.

Angela Merkel and Herlind Kasner
Image: Reuters/F. Bensch

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mother, Herlind Kasner, died at the age of 90, a government spokesman confirmed on Wednesday.

"We ask that you respect the privacy of the chancellor and her family," the spokesman told news agency DPA.

Kasner is believed to have passed away at the beginning of April, according to German magazine SuperIllu and the mass circulation Bild newspaper, who first reported on her death.

A small group of family and friends are due to attend her funeral in the north eastern German town of Templin, where Kasner lived for many years, reported SuperIllu.

Angela Merkel and her mother Herlind Kasner
Merkel said her mother helped keep her grounded and avoided talking only about politicsImage: picture-alliance/dpa/K. Franke

Merkel close with mother

The German chancellor is notorious for not revealing much about her private life, although she has mentioned that she enjoyed a close relationship with her mother.

"We talk on the phone regularly and don't see each other enough," Merkel said in a 2015 interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

She added that her mother took a "great interest" in her daily routine. Kasner regularly read the newspaper and listened to the radio, but also avoided talking about politics with her daughter all the time.

"She tells me about relatives, acquaintances, friends — so that I am not disconnected from all this normal family information," Merkel told the paper.

Herlind Kasner, Angela Merkel's mother
Kasner took a great interest in her daughter's life, attending Merkel's speeches, campaign rallies and all four of her swearing-in ceremonies as chancellorImage: Reuters/K. Pfaffenbach

Life-long teacher

Merkel's mother was a former Latin and English teacher who was born in Danzig in 1928.

She gave birth to Merkel in the northern German city of Hamburg in 1954. She later moved to East Germany with her husband, Horst Kasner, a former pastor who died in 2011.

Even in her late 80s, Kasner continued to teach English courses three days a week at an adult education center in Templin, Bild reported.

"My hope is that learning is not only seen as strenuous and laborious, but rather as something that is fun and is beneficial," Kasner is reported as saying.

The German Chancellor and Her Past - Angela Merkel’s Life in Communist East Germany

rs/aw (dpa, AFP)

Every day, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. Sign up for the newsletter here.