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Typo reveals Germany not ready to fully let go of Merkel

December 9, 2021

Hesse's state leader sent out invitations to journalists to hear him speak after a conference with "Madame Chancellor."

Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel waves goodbye after handing over power to Olaf ScholzImage: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Following 16 years in power, it's no wonder that former Chancellor Angela Merkel is still the leader of Germany in the minds of many. After all, it's only been one day since the Christian Democrat (CDU) handed power over to her former vice chancellor, Olaf Scholz of the Social Democrats (SPD).

But someone in the office of fellow CDU member Volker Bouffier, the state premier of Hesse, was not ready to move on so quickly.

A press invitation from Bouffier's office issued on Thursday invited journalists to listen to "a statement from Hessian Minister President Volker Bouffier [on the state of the pandemic] ... following the conference of state leaders with Madame Chancellor." 

The invitation used the term "Bundeskanzlerin" for federal chancellor. In German, the "in" ending makes a word feminine. In 2005, much was made of using the term for the first time instead of Bundeskanzler. Now, it seems, people may have a hard time switching back. German news agency KNA first spotted and shared the innocuous error. 

Olaf Scholz chairs that COVID meeting with state leaders, his first, on Thursday.

In Hesse, which is home to Germany's financial capital Frankfurt, the CDU won the most so-called "second" votes, for a party and not a candidate, in every federal election that Merkel ran in.

In 2021, with the longtime chancellor not running for a fifth term, the SPD garnered the most votes in the state.


Elizabeth Schumacher
Elizabeth Schumacher Elizabeth Schumacher reports on gender equity, immigration, poverty and education in Germany.