Thomas de Maizière

The Silent Servant

Thomas de Maizière: Quietly tackling terror.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Thomas de Maizière is seen as a potential successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel should she not stand in elections in 2017.

  • Facts


    • Thomas de Maizière served in state governments before joing Ms. Merkel’s cabinet in 2005.
    • He is in his second stint as interior minister, having also served as defense minister.
    • Current Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen is also seen as a leadership contender.
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The German interior minister is not one to let his feelings show.

But on the day after the bloody attack on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris he shared a little of his state of mind with the public. “As interior minister, in such a situation you are emotionally on the edge of your seat,” he said.

The 60-year old’s ministerial responsibilities include the security of the country. Nowadays, that means being constantly ready for action, permanently under pressure and available around the clock, in case something should also happen on German soil.

And yet Mr. de Maizière remains amazingly relaxed, almost stoic, at least on the outside. He radiates calm where universal tension prevails and his demeanour is the opposite of a crusader against evil, a role many of his predecessors liked to play, such as Otto Schily after the 9/11 attacks.

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