Angela Merkel was Chancellor for 16 years. There were hardly any health failures – but in the period from 2019 mysterious attacks of tremors kept occurring. The former chancellor revealed in an interview what was behind it.

In an interview with Spiegel journalist Alexander Osang, Angela Merkel revealed what she has been doing since the end of her chancellorship: “More exercise, because it really didn’t get enough. And read things that I hadn’t gotten around to doing.” During her time as chancellor, she read short things again and again, but no big books.

Audio books also seem to help her relax – although she doesn’t resort to light fare: on vacation in the Baltic Sea she relaxed with the Shakespearean classic Macbeth. She spent a total of five weeks on the Baltic Sea and “got the day really good”.

Seizures: “Took me more than I thought”

In the interview, Merkel also talks about other personal things. For example, the public tremors that caused great concern in the final stages of her term. There were two reasons for this, she says: “I was very exhausted after the death of my mother. That took me more than I thought.” Also, she drank too little.

Finally, during further performances, there was fear that the tremors would occur again. That’s why she had a chair put on the pedestal at the ceremonies to take the national anthems while sitting.

Angela Merkel on her Baltic Sea retreat: “Hood up and not so many hikers”

In the interview, she also explained why she prefers winter holidays on the Baltic Sea: In summer it’s not a good idea “because I don’t have much peace there”, but it would be better in winter. “Hood up and not so many hikers,” then she would be at peace.

The big advantage of the Baltic Sea over the North Sea: Because Angela Merkel had her constituency there, people would be used to her – and also very quiet. Although one could “talk controversially”, there was never anything in the newspaper. Just right for relaxing.