After 16 years as Germany's political leader, she realized that it was time for someone new. But one year after leaving office, Angela Merkel has yet to find closure – particularly as her legacy continues to look worse and worse. DER SPIEGEL visited her to learn more about her present and her plans for the future.
Her new office looks a lot like her old one, just smaller. It feels a bit like a doll house built especially for Angela Merkel so that she – after 16 years in the Chancellery – doesn't feel so alien in the austere administrative building at the Brandenburg Gate. The Adenauer painting from Oskar Kokoschka is again hanging behind her desk, but it looks quite a bit bigger because the ceiling is so much lower. The four chess figures that made it over here from the Chancellery also seem to have grown larger. She cut a branch from the Adansonia tree in her old office and has placed it in the window. There are the flags and the sculpture of Kairos, from the Rostock artist Thomas Jastram, standing here in a completely new context, just like Merkel herself. Kairos is a Greek god, the personification of favorable moments. He has long held his protective hand over her.