Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel chose an unusual platform for one of her rare public appearances: a podcast in which she gave her thoughts on the false accusations made in Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
“I am happy that we are doing something completely different here,” Merkel said at the beginning of “Are we talking about murder?” podcast, the first episode of which was broadcast on Sunday, when he was asked why he decided to participate in the program, which was hosted by public broadcaster SWR.
He added that it was part of his “newly won freedom” to “go in a completely different direction.”
“Are we talking about a murderer?” usually focuses on real crime. But in a three-part Christmas special, the military – former federal judge Thomas Fischer and legal expert Holger Schmidt – looked at the crimes committed in the fourth part of Wagner’s “Ring of the Nibelung.” Each episode had an overarching theme: revenge, greed and vanity.
All these emotions must be suppressed politically, Merkel said. “If you are so influenced by revenge or wanting revenge that you cannot get it out of your head, you should stop doing politics,” he said.
He was a famous opera chancellor and Wagner fan, and is a regular at the Bayreuth Festival in Bavaria dedicated to the composer’s work.
“The ring works universally for people from family life to political life, you always find things that are natural to us as humans,” he said on the podcast.
Since leaving office last year, Merkel has spoken publicly only a few times. In spring 2024 he plans to publish his memoirs.