Photo: Miguel Villagran / Getty
First ladies seem to be enjoying a moment in Europe. Just last week France enjoyed having the glamorous Carla Bruni, now it has the slightly more scary (though pretty damn cool) “Rottweiler”.In the UK, Samantha Cameron has earned the somewhat endearing nickname “SamCam” and her taste in dresses is compared to Michelle Obama.
But what about Germany’s First Husband, “Mr Merkel”?
Erik Kirschbaum of Reuters has a fantastic profile of 63-year-old Joachim Sauer, the intensely private husband of Chancellor Merkel. Kirschbaum has lots of fantastic detail and you really should read his article, but its fascinating that everything we know about him boils down to these 8 (somewhat unflattering) points:
- He’s one of the top 30 theoretical chemists worldwide.
- His name means “sour” or “angry” in German.
- He’s notoriously frugal, opting to fly alone on a budget airline to Italy rather than pay a nominal fee to join his wife on her government jet.
- He was a notable, yet subtle, anti-Communist during the time of East Germany, and the Stasi-kept note his relationship with Merkel.
- Both him and Merkel were married to other people when they begun their relationship, and they only realy got married due to pressure from Merkel’s Conservative base.
- He likes Opera.
- He complains about the nose his neighbours make.
- His jokes are incredibly high brow and subtle. One student recalls a joke he made in class: “It wasn’t even that funny. But a few people did laugh, more out of politeness than anything else.”
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