Like every Thursday night back then, Angela Merkel was relaxing in an East Berlin sauna on the night of November 9, 1989 as the Berlin Wall fell, dreaming of tasting oysters in the West. The future chancellor of Germany was indulging in a favourite German winter pastime on the night that led to German reunification. “Every Thursday, I would go to the sauna with a friend,” Merkel, in power since 2005, recounted to Berlin schoolchildren a few years ago.
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