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DW Presents Documentary ‘Angela Merkel – Navigating a World in Crisis’

The DW documentary “Angela Merkel – Navigating a World in Crisis” features leading figures in politics and science recounting their personal experiences with the German chancellor, amongst them former heads of state and ministers such as George W. Bush, François Hollande, Dmitry Medvedev, Tony Blair, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Dilma Rousseff and Yanis Varoufakis. The 85-minute documentary starts from September 17 on YouTube.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission from 2014 to 2019, says that over the years Merkel has done “a lot of things right and nothing essentially wrong.” His criticism was “that she was reluctant to take action when major European decisions had to be made.”

“Angela Merkel brought class and dignity to a very important position and made very hard decisions, and did so though with what’s best for Germany, and did so based upon principle,” says former U.S. President George W. Bush. “To survive in what was a man’s world of German politics for a long time, she’s got to be pretty tough,” Bush adds.

Former French President François Hollande recalls the Ukraine peace talks: “It worked because we showed solidarity in Minsk. We shared roles and showed common will to find a way out during that long night.”

Queen Rania of Jordan expresses her admiration for Merkel: “She is a very strong and determined woman. But she uses that strength to inspire, not to intimidate. She brings people together rather than bring them against one another.”

“I shall probably remember her until I die. But I’m afraid history will forget her because she had no vision for Europe or Germany,” remarks Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s finance minister from January to July 2015.

The DW team  

DW Director General Peter Limbourg: “Angela Merkel is one of the world’s most famous and popular politicians. As a woman at the head of a powerful industrial country, she is an exception. 16 years of international politics with many crises have not only earned her admiration, but also sharp criticism.”

Director Thomas Hasel: “The testimonies of our international interlocutors about Angela Merkel show that the German chancellor – despite all the criticism levelled at some of her political decisions – is respected worldwide as a head of government. And how much she will be missed on the international stage.”

Tim Klimeš, DW Head of Documentaries, says: “The end of Angela Merkel’s term in office is a turning point, also internationally. The willing participation of so many heads of state and government in this documentary has succeeded in creating a contemporary document of real historical value.”

DW Director Culture and Lifestyle Rolf Rische, who is responsible for the DW Documentaries unit, developed the project together with Klimeš. Emphasizing the special perspective of the film, he says: “We look at Angela Merkel, perhaps for the first time, strictly from an outside perspective. This point of view is fascinating and continually surprising.”

“Angela Merkel – Navigating a World in Crisis” premieres on September 17 on the DW Documentary YouTube channels in English, German, Arabic, Spanish and Hindi. From September 18, the film will be available on DW’s multilingual TV channels and VOD. The film will also be released in the ARD Media Library from September 18.

Links to DW Documentary YT channels:
DW Documentary, English:
DW Documental, Spanish:
DW Documetary, Arabic:
Detailed information on broadcast times can be found at .
The documentary “Angela Merkel – Navigating a World in Crisis” is part of DW’s comprehensive coverage of the 2021 German elections and the Bundestag election on September 26. In the run-up to the election, we offer a news bundle of up-to-date coverage, background information and formats on the German and English DW websites and