After a long life of religious dedication, more than 30 years of which he spent in the communist German Democratic Republic, Chancellor Angela Merkel's father has died.
Horst Kasner taught theoology in East Germany
Chancellor Angela Merkel's father died on Friday at the age of 85, government officials reported. Horst Kasner was a Protestant pastor who moved to East Germany from Hamburg in the 1950s with his family.
Kasner was born in Berlin in 1926. He studied Protestant theology and eventually taught new clergy in the small town of Templin, north of Berlin.
In a previous interview with DPA news agency, Merkel had described her childhood home as an atypical parish house.
"There was not your traditional parish operation," said Merkel, a devout Christian. "It was rather unusual perhaps because he had a very logical, very rational approach to things.
"If I were an atheist, it would be very much harder to bear the responsibility," she said.
Government sources said the chancellor had cancelled her appointments on Saturday. The CDU leader had been expected at a campaign rally in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and was to break ground for the museum of an artist colony.
Author: Stuart Tiffen (dpa, AP)
Editor: Sean Sinico