- Title: Merkel, visiting ex-Stasi jail, defends freedom and democracy
- Date: 11th August 2017
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (AUGUST 11, 2017) (REUTERS POOL) VARIOUS OF MERKEL VISITING FORMER PRISON YARD WITH MUSEUM DIRECTOR HUBERTUS KNABE (PINK TIE) VARIOUS OF MERKEL VISITING CELL BLOCK WITH KNABE, CELL BLOCK BEING OPENED BY FORMER POLITICAL PRISONER MIKE FROEHNEL (BLACK T-SHIRT)
- Embargoed: 25th August 2017 13:33
- Keywords: German Chancellor Angela Merkel former Stasi prison Hohenschoenhausen renovation
- Location: BERLIN, GERMANY
- City: BERLIN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0026TPPETJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Chancellor Angela Merkel invoked the injustices of communist East Germany on Friday (August 11) to defend freedom and democracy during a visit to a notorious prison of the former Stasi secret police in Berlin.
Merkel, the daughter of a Protestant pastor who grew up in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), visited the ex-prison of Hohenschoenhausen a day before she launches her campaign for a fourth term as chancellor in a national election on September 24.
Thousands of political prisoners were incarcerated in the jail, which after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the 1990 reunification of Germany became a museum and memorial.
During her visit, Merkel met a former inmate, Arno Drefke, who often guides visitors through the spacious former prison, which is now preparing for a two-year renovation that will add new exhibition areas and seminar rooms.
Merkel and her conservatives, in power since 2005, are expected to win another term, although an opinion poll by Infratest dimap published late on Thursday suggested her popularity had dropped 10 percentage points to 59 percent.
However, Merkel appears to have little to fear as her main rival, the Social Democrats' chancellor candidate Martin Schulz, saw his popularity hit a new low of 33 percent, down four points from last month.
- Copyright Holder: POOL (CAN SELL)
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