When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Enjoy unlimited access to quality journalism.

Limited time offer

Get your 30-day free trial!

DER SPIEGEL, DIE WELT (Germany), LE MONDE (France)

Worldcrunch

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel is a cold, power-hungry would-be dictator overseeing the insidious collapse of democracy, according to a new book causing a political stir in Germany.

Gertrud Höhler's book, Die Patin (which means "the Godmother" in English and retains all of its mafia connotations) paints a grim portrait of the Chancellor, who is accused of abandoning all political morals, poaching ideas from other parties, hurriedly pushing through legislation and using the euro zone crisis as a political scapegoat.

These are all part of a secret plan to impose an authoritarian regime, dubbed "System M," writes Höhler, one of Germany's leading public intellectuals and former advisor to Helmut Kohl.

Der Spiegel reports that Höhler, 71, insists there is no personal feud between the two women. Rather, the 295-page thesis is presented as a deeper socio-cultural understanding of post-reunification Germany: Merkel's upbringing in the single-party state of East Germany is the root of her cold pragmatism, and therefore she is unlike her Wessi counterparts.

According to Höhler, Merkel quickly learned to trust no one and never reveal her cards while growing up in the GDR.

Die Welt sees the book as a well-timed blow to Merkel's grip on power, with elections in Germany just one year away, as Höhler calls for the lower ranks of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU, Angela Merkel's party) to challenge the authority of "the she-wolf."

But Merkel may not have too much to worry about, and can take heart in being named the world's most powerful woman by Forbes last week.

"History has often showed us the strength of the forces that are unleashed by the yearning for freedom." - Angela Merkel

— Forbes (@Forbes) August 22, 2012

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

In The News

War In Ukraine, Day 285: Three Dead In What May Be Ukraine's First-Ever Attack On Russian Air Bases

Reports of Ukraine's possible use of kamikaze drones deep inside Russian territory.

War In Ukraine, Day 285: Three Dead In What May Be Ukraine's First-Ever Attack On Russian Air Bases

Engels-2 airbase in Russia

Alex Hurst, Anna Akage, and Emma Albright

Separate explosions Monday morning at two different Russian air bases, which have killed at least three and injured eight, have raised the possibility that Ukraine has the capacity to use drones to attack targets inside Russia.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Russian state media reports that a fuel tanker exploded early Monday in an airfield near the city of Ryanza, southeast of Moscow, killing three and injuring six people. Another two people are reported to have been injured in another morning explosion at the Engles-2 airbase in the Saratov region, farther to the southeast.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest

InterNations