A former research scientist with a doctorate in physical chemistry, Merkel entered politics in the wake of the Revolutions of 1989.
Merkel has mentioned her Polish heritage on several occasions, but her Polish roots became better known as a result of a 2013 biography.
3Proficiency in Russian and Mathematics
At school, she learned to speak Russian fluently, and was awarded prizes for her proficiency in Russian and Mathematics.
4Interest after the Fall of Berlin Wall
In 1989, Merkel got involved in the growing democracy movement after the fall of the Berlin Wall, joining the new party Democratic Awakening.
As one of Kohl’s protégées and his youngest Cabinet Minister, she was frequently referred to by Kohl as “mein Mädchen” (“my girl”).
6Her view about nuclear power
Merkel argued that Germany should phase out nuclear power less quickly than the Schröder administration had planned.
7Advocated German-American friendship
Merkel advocated a strong transatlantic partnership and German-American friendship.
8Love for Sports
She is a fervent football fan and has been known to listen to games while in the Bundestag.
9Fear of Dogs
Merkel has a fear of dogs after being attacked by one in 1995.