Pegida Protest Dresden Oct 12 2015

Angela Merkel will survive – but will the soul of post-war Germany?

As Angela Merkel approaches her tenth anniversary in power, Germans are talking about a possible Kanzlerinnendämmerung — a ‘twilight of the chancellors’. Anger is growing at Merkel’s handling of the migration crisis. Germany, which has only recently reconciled itself to the idea that it is a ‘country of immigration’, must now integrate vast numbers of asylum seekers, beginning with the million who are expected to arrive this year. At the same time, the country has been hit by two huge corruption scandals, involving Volkswagen and the DFB, the German football federation. The odds are that Merkel will survive — it’s hard to see at the moment who can replace her. But the unprecedented challenges she now faces threaten something more fundam-ental: Germany’s post-war identity.