Chancellor Angela Merkel made honorary citizen of Templin | News | DW | 08.02.2019
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Chancellor Angela Merkel made honorary citizen of Templin

The German chancellor moved to the northeastern town of Templin as a child and spent her adolescence there. Family members still live in the town and she spends much of her free time in her weekend home nearby.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was made an honorary citizen of Templin, a town located in the Uckermark region of Brandenburg about 75 kilometers (47 miles) north of Berlin where she grew up.

The town of some 16,300 people honored Merkel's achievements and service for Germany in a ceremony on Friday. The Chancellor received a bouquet of flowers, a cake and a plaque from Mayor Detlef Tabbert. 

Read more: When it gets too hot in Berlin, it's time to head to Brandenburg

"It is a big honor that means a lot to me. I have many defining memories with this town," Merkel said. "There is no doubt that Templin and the Uckermark have been and will remain my personal home."

A few dozen people protested against Merkel receiving the honor, saying the chancellor had done nothing for the town.

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Angela Merkel’s home: the Uckermark region

Formative years

Merkel was born in Hamburg in 1954 in what was then West Germany. She and her family crossed the inner-German border to settle in Communist East Germany in 1957. Her father, who was a Protestant pastor, took up a position with a church in Brandenburg.

She graduated from high school in Templin in 1973 before attending Karl Marx University in Leipzig. Merkel's mother and siblings still live in Templin, and she spends her free time at her weekend house nearby. 

Town councilors approved giving Merkel honorary citizenship in June 2018. The honor is also held by her former classmate, Bodo Ihrke, a local politician who was a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), a major rival to Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

dv/jm (AFP, dpa)

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