Angela Merkel talks about ‘something completely different’ in true crime podcast

Former German chancellor Angela Merkel will make a guest appearance in an unusual crime podcast.

Former German chancellor Angela Merkel will make a guest appearance in an unusual crime podcast. Photo: AP

Former German chancellor Angela Merkel is to make a guest appearance on a crime podcast as part of a Christmas special.

In the podcast Are we talking about murder!? by German public broadcaster SWR she does not talk about real atrocities, but about the criminal cases in Richard Wagner’s four-part opera The Ring of the Nibelung.

The three-part Christmas special of the true crime podcast with former federal judge Thomas Fischer and host Holger Schmidt was due to be released on Sunday afternoon.

“I’m also happy that we’re doing something completely different here,” Ms Merkel said when asked why she decided to take part in the format.

It is part of her “newly won freedom” to now “go in a completely different direction”.

Ms Merkel is a big Wagner fan and regularly attends the Bayreuth Festival.

The opening premiere was always one of the few times a year that she appeared on the red carpet with her husband Joachim Sauer, with whom she shares a passion for Wagner.

Sauer was therefore also jokingly called the “Phantom of the Opera”.

Although most celebrities and politicians took their leave of the Bayreuth Festival Theatre after the opening, Merkel and Sauer usually stayed longer in the northern Bavarian city in private to watch other performances.

The festival traditionally heralded the start of the Merkel-Sauer couple’s summer holiday.

Merkel, who is now 68, did not stand for re-election to the Bundestag last year after 16 years as chancellor.

In the meantime, she has appeared from time to time as a speaker – among other events in September at the city’s anniversary in Goslar or at the 77th anniversary of the daily broadsheet Süddeutsche Zeitung in Munich.

In autumn 2024, she plans to publish her memoirs, her publisher recently announced.

The podcast with the conservative former leader about the murders, intrigues, human and divine chasms in Wagner’s mammoth work will be available from 4pm (1500 GMT) on Sunday on the ARD audio library, among other places.

SWR is the south-western regional branch of the public broadcaster ARD.

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