Berlin, Nov. 6 (ANI): German Chancellor Angela Merkel has revealed that she was not part of the frenzied East German crowd that poured through the newly opened border to witness the historic fall of the Berlin wall, instead she was taking her scheduled sauna bath.
On the night of 9 November 1989, after work, Merkel headed to the sauna with a female friend, as she did every Thursday.
"The atmosphere had been tense for days, I thought something was going to happen, and had heard the announcement on television that the borders would open," the Guardian quoted Merkel, as saying.
"But it was Thursday, and Thursday was my sauna day so that's where I went - in the same communist high-rise where we always went," she added.
Many easterners rushed to the border anticipating that it might be sealed as suddenly as it had opened, the report said.
"I figured if the wall had opened, it was hardly going to close again, so I decided to wait," she said.
"My family always had this in-joke that when the wall fell, we'd meet in the Kempinski in Berlin and eat oysters. We've still not got around to doing that - not that I'm a great fan of oysters," she added.
After the sauna, Merkel and her friend went for a beer before finally joining the crowds heading west at the Bornholmer Bridge later that night.
Merkel, who was a 35-year-old physicist when the wall fell, said she had been "astounded" by the arrogance of one West German politician, Otto Schily, "who said we Ossis [slang for East Germans] were only coming over for the bananas."
"Of course, we were fascinated by Mediterranean fruits because we hadn't seen many before, so I was astounded by this arrogance."
Merkel recounted that she used her "welcome money" given by the West Germany government for practical items. "You needed money to go to the toilet, or to get a cup of tea - it was November and it was cold. I thought it was a very practical idea - regardless of the millions it must have cost the government." (ANI)