Angela Merkel: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

Germany’s Angela Merkel was recently named TIME magazine’s person of the year for 2015. She is widely considered to be the most powerful woman in the world, but there are some things about Germany’s Chancellor that most people don’t know. Here, we present 15 things you probably didn’t know about Angela Merkel. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!

Number Fifteen: She Grew Up Angela Kasner. Merkel’s father is partially of Polish descent, and Merkel is actually the name of her first husband. Her first husband was a fellow physics student, and they were married for four years before getting divorced.

Number Fourteen: Her Father Was Religious. Merkel’s father was an official who belonged to the Lutheran church, and he actually moved his family because of it. Many people believe that Merkel’s approach to politics (disciplined and cautious) is due to her upbringing in East Germany.

Number Thirteen: Her Nickname Is Very Familial. Many German supporters of Merkel call her by a nickname of Mutti. “Mutti” translates to “Mommy” in German.

Number Twelve: She Has Always Had an Aversion to Risks. When Merkel was just nine years old, she reportedly waited for 45 minutes at the top of a diving board in gym class before she was able to jump in. She jumped in right as her gym class ended.

Number Eleven: She Was a Bartender. In college, Merkel was a bartender at disco parties! She has been photographed drinking and having fun, so it’s good to know that she can also serve a mean drink as well.

Number Ten: She Is a Serious Science Geek. Merkel has her degree in physics, and she even has a doctorate in quantum chemistry. Some people believe her knowledge of science has transferred over to the way she handles politics. Specifically, some people think she approaches political issues in a very scientific, step-by-step manner. When she was a research scientist at the East German Academy of Sciences, she was the only woman.

Number Nine: She Almost Ruined Any Chance of Having a Political Career. Apparently, Merkel was offered a job with the Stasi, which is Germany’s version of the CIA. She turned the job down, which ended up being a good thing because she otherwise would not have been able to be a German politician.