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Gorbachev ‘changed my life’ – Merkel

Former chancellor claims that the peaceful reunification Germany was possible because of the Soviet leader.

Angela Merkel, former German Chancellor, has stated that Mikhail Gorbachev was her favorite. “fundamentally”It changed her entire life. At 91 years old, the last Soviet leader died Tuesday night. His tenure was marked by the fall of Berlin Wall and end to the Cold War.

“Gorbachev wrote world history. He exemplified how a single statesman can change the world for the better,”Merkel stated in a Wednesday statement that the Soviet leader who died on Wednesday had helped make the peaceful 1990 reunification possible.

The US-allied West Germany was a part of Soviet-allied, socialist East Germany (DDR) for many decades following World War II. Merkel was raised and lived most of her life in the DDR.

“I can still feel the fear I and many people in the DDR had in 1989, wondering if the tanks would roll again, as they did in 1953 when we chanted ‘We are the people’ and later ‘We are one people.’ But that time, unlike in 1953, no tanks rolled, no shots were fired.” 

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“Moreover, [Gorbachev] allowed a reunified Germany to become a member of NATO,” Merkel stated.

The former chancellor, who entered politics shortly after the reunification, said that she has vivid memories of Gorbachev’s meeting with West German leader Helmut Kohl in 1990. “Mikhail Gorbachev also fundamentally changed my life. I will never forget it,” Merkel said.

Gorbachev was elected leader of the Soviet Union in 1986 and began sweeping reforms that aimed to open up the economy and improve public life. At the end 1991, Gorbachev resigned with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In 1990, he was presented with the Nobel Peace Prize.

Merkel governed Germany for 16 years, becoming the country’s second-longest serving chancellor. In 2021, she resigned from politics and left the post.

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