My father died about six weeks ago at the age of 83. He was in some way like Nanny Ogg: He could be on first name terms with any person within five minutes, and after these five minutes that person would have had the impression he or she had known him all her life. This would have been the same had he met Barrack Obama, the pope or Angela Merkel. He never met any of them, but he met Ingrid Matthäus-Maier, who for many years was vice-president of the German parliament, the Bundestag. In Germany the highest office one can hold is federal president of Germany. The second-highest office is president of the Bundestag. Chancellor, as Angela Merkel currently is, is only the third-highest office in Germany. So vice-president of the Bundestag is a very high office too. Ingrid Matthäus-Maier sent a letter of condolence to my mother, in which she called my father "Hansi" (his name was "Johann", the German version of "John"), which only friends did.
She lives in the same city as my parents, Sankt Augustin, which is a small town near Bonn, and when my father was still able to move around a lot, which unfortunately he could no longer do in his latter years, he often met her, either at the local village fair, which takes place twice a year, or at party meetings of the local SPD group.
Last edited by BaldFriede
on Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.