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Germany’s Angela Merkel Stepping Down

December 1, 2018 - Buenos Aires, Argentina - German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the plenary session on Day Two of the G20 Summit meeting at the Costa Salguero Center December 1, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Credit Image: © G20 Argentina via ZUMA Wire)

Yes, this is confirmed.

Strange timing, don’t you think?

It is 100% confirmed that Angela Merkel is indeed stepping down as Chancellor of Germany.

But that’s not all…..there is a LOT of shakeup all happening across the world at the same time.


Take a look:

Now I’d like to use this time to clear up a common misconception about Angela Merkel.


Because we only report the truth here.

And despite the UNCANNY resemblance, I am here to tell you that based on the excellent fact-checking reporting they’re doing over at Reuters, I can confidently confirm to you there is zero truth to the rumor that Angela Merkel is Hitler’s daughter.


Despite the absolutely uncanny resemblance in this photo and despite the timing lining up perfectly, I can tell you that Reuters has diligently fact-checked this and confirmed to the level of certainty of a DNA test there is no truth to that rumor:

From the excellent reporters over at Reuters:

A claim that is circulating in social media groups used by conspiracy theorists alleges that the German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the daughter of Adolf Hitler. This claim is false.

A version of the claim can be seen (here). The post reads: “This woman was controlling the Democratic Party from Germany and she’s the daughter of Hitler” above a photo of Angela Merkel. Iterations of this claim have repeatedly surfaced on social media (here , here , here, here) with some versions claiming a photo shows Hitler with a young Angela Merkel (here). The photo in these posts is attributed to Hitler’s personal photographer Heinrich Hoffmann and features an unidentified girl (here) .

Adolf Hitler died on April 30, 1945 (here). Angela Merkel was born on July 17, 1954 and is the daughter of Horst Kasner, a pastor in the Protestant Church (here).

The claim in the Facebook post quoted above that Angela Merkel controls the [US] Democratic Party is not supported by any evidence.

I don’t know about you, but I am personally glad we got that cleared up!

You understand folks?

You should definitely STOP spreading the rumor that Angela Merkel is the daughter of Adolf Hitler.

Horrible rumor, not true!

Now, let’s examine her stepping down.

From Time:

Chancellor Angela Merkel has been one of Germany’s most influential leaders and a standard setter for Europe for 16 years. Now the party that kept her at the helm of Europe’s largest economy must decide who might fill her shoes.

The center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which has led Germany‘s federal government for the past 15 years, will elect a new leader at a virtual congress on Jan. 15 and 16. Whoever wins has a strong chance of succeeding Merkel, 66, who will step down after four terms as chancellor after Sept. 26’s federal election.

Current CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer—also known as AKK and sometimes nicknamed “mini-Merkel“—had been handpicked by the chancellor to run as her successor. But in February Kramp-Karrenbauer surprised fellow CDU members by announcing that she would step down as party leader and not run for chancellor. The move came after a controversial local election in early February that led members of her party in the eastern state of Thuringia to co-operate with Alternative for Deutschland (AfD), a far-right anti-immigration party, in defiance of her wishes.

Three candidates are now on the ballot to lead the party: Friedrich Merz, a conservative and Merkel antagonist, Armin Laschet, a moderate and Merkel loyalist, and Norbert Röttgen, a leading foreign policy expert.

According to a January poll by ARD-DeutchlandTrend, a leading political opinion surveyor in Germany, 27 per cent of CDU supporters polled were in favor of Merz, 22 per cent for Röttgen and 18 per cent for Armin Laschet. But the outcome will not be decided by the public. The only votes that matter are those cast by 1,001 CDU delegates, including mayors, lawmakers and councillors. Here’s what to know about each of the candidates:

Friedrich Merz

Merz was a leading figure in the CDU in the 1990s and early 2000s, earning a reputation as a pro-market reformer. He left politics in 2009 after being marginalized by the chancellor and moved into the private sector, becoming a multimillionaire as he rose to the rank of chairman of investment management firm BlackRock Germany. Two years ago, he returned to politics to get an early start in the CDU leadership race.

These days Merz is seen by many people – even in his own party – as “out of step with the times” due to his defense of hardline conservative values, says Pepijn Bergsen, a research fellow specializing in Germany at Chatham House, a U.K.-based international affairs think tank. “He’s running now because he thinks that Merkel has moved the party too much to the center,” says Bergsen.

In February, Merz pledged to “integrate those on the margins into the centre of the party”. He has called for a debate on asylum guaranties in Germany’s constitution and promised tax breaks for Germany’s “hard workers”.

Armin Laschet

The premier of Germany’s Western, industrial state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), has presented himself as Merkel’s continuity candidate and, until recently, was the frontrunner. He is “closest politically to Merkel” and is the only candidate out of the three who hasn’t been pushed out of front-line politics by the chancellor, says Bergsen. Laschet, 59, has said that one of Germany’s key challenges is remaining an industrial power while fighting climate change, and creating stronger social cohesion. “There is a lot of dissatisfaction in society, so much aggression, so much anger, so much hate,” he said, according to a BBC report in February.

And from our good friends over at Reuters:

Centrist Armin Laschet positioned himself on Saturday as the man to heal divisions among Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats after they chose him to lead the party, putting him in pole position to succeed her as Germany’s chancellor.

Laschet, premier of the country’s most populous state and the self-styled Merkel continuity candidate, beat arch-conservative Friedrich Merz in a ballot of CDU party delegates.

Merkel, Europe’s predominant politician and a consistent winner with German voters since taking office in 2005, has said she will not run for chancellor again in September’s federal election.

Since she stepped down as CDU leader in Dec. 2018, the party has struggled to find a suitable successor.

In choosing Laschet, premier of the Netherlands-sized state of North Rhine-Westphalia, delegates opted for a candidate more palatable to the left-leaning Greens party, second behind the conservatives in opinion polls and seen as a potential coalition partner come September.

But the narrow 521-466 margin of his runoff victory over Merz highlights the challenge that Laschet faces in uniting a conservative bloc that, despite her four successive federal election victories, has never been entirely comfortable with Merkel’s centrist course.

In his victory speech, Laschet urged democratic forces to rally against a tide of extremism that had swept through Western nations along with the coronavirus pandemic.

“Especially in these days that we are experiencing in the world, the phrase ‘unity, justice and freedom’ is more topical than ever,” he said, quoting the first line of the German national anthem. “Let us fight together for these principles against all those who want to endanger them.”

Factions within the CDU accuse Merkel her of having left a vacuum on the party’s right for the far-right Alternative for Germany – and latterly conspiracy theorists questioning the reality of the coronavirus pandemic – to step into, undermining Germany’s democratic order.

I would like to personally congratulate Angela Merkel on a job well done.


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