Olaf Scholz is celebrating his 65th birthday today, June 14th. He's been walking around with the same briefcase for about four decades. Almost 40 years ago, today's Chancellor acquired the "Times 16" model, the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" reported in May. According to the report, historians are already interested in the Chancellor's faithful companion: the Museum Haus der Geschichte (HdG) in Bonn and the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation (FES) would like to take over the bag if one day Scholz no longer needs it. ..
"I'm very attached to this bag. It's practical, there's a lot in it. Some of my colleagues think it's worn out. I call it patina. I like the briefcase more and more every year," said Scholz, who works in Hamburg Studied law and has been admitted to the bar since 1985, once about the famous accessory. "Bunte" he revealed in an interview: "The bag has been with me since I started as a young lawyer, that was almost 40 years ago." According to the "SZ", there is still no decision as to where the bag that accompanies the Chancellor around the world will go. It will probably be in use for a few more years...
About a year ago, another of the chancellor's accessories caused a similar stir. Scholz had worn a gray oversized sweater on a night flight to Washington. The picture of the chancellor in a baggy look was often mocked on social media. There are also photos of Scholz in a T-shirt or sweater from the past when the occasion was less formal.
On Scholz's business trip to the G7 summit in Japan at the end of May, there was also something to talk about on the plane, apart from politics. It is said to have been the Chancellor's first official trip abroad with his wife Britta Ernst (62). "It's very nice because it gives us a lot of time together. Nice during the long flights," said the Chancellor in an interview with "Welt Nachrichtensender". Until recently, Ernst was Minister of Education in Brandenburg, but resigned in mid-April.
Olaf Scholz and Britta Ernst have been married for 25 years. He met her in Hamburg in the mid-1980s, as he writes on his website. Apparently he owes her a lot. She was the woman who had the strongest influence on him, he once explained during an appearance in the talk series "Brigitte live" in 2021: "I think I would be a completely different person if I weren't married to Britta Ernst. " He had become a "clearly" better person through her.
In a "Spiegel" interview, the then Vice-Chancellor said in 2019: "The most important thing in life is love. And that's why I'm very happy that my wife and I have had a happy relationship for many decades. That has been every day for me Priority." Politics is a big part of his life, "but only a part". "Bunte" he said: "Britta is the love of my life, unchanged for so long. Offices come and go, love remains."
It was also his wife who helped the current chancellor to pursue one of his most important hobbies: sport. When he was around 40 years old, she told him that he had to do something and that he was "very grateful" to her, he revealed during his "Brigitte live" appearance.
The politician does sport because it is good for him and fun, as he explained. However, this has not always been the case. "I hated sports when I was at school, today I jog as often as possible," says Scholz, who also reads "passionately and a lot", about himself. "I try to make time for sports two or three times a week – jogging, rowing or hiking. We also like cycling."
In a "Focus" interview in November 2022, Scholz revealed that he was a "very good" student, sport was his weakest subject. When he was one of the last to be chosen for the team, it "challenged him. And I didn't accept it without further ado, despite my unsatisfactory sporting performance".
His sporting achievements were later impressive. Scholz, who was born in Osnabrück and grew up with two brothers in Hamburg, only discovered rowing when he was over 50, as he said in the "Bunte" interview in August 2021. "Rowing a few laps on the Alster early in the morning and then driving to the town hall for the Senate session, that was nice back then," says Scholz. From 2011 to 2018 he was the first mayor of Hamburg.
Hiking was popular with the Scholz/Ernst couple last year on vacation: the two went on vacation in the Allgäu. "For the first time in 40 years, a Chancellor is on holiday in his homeland," reported "Bild". Christmas looked different. At the end of November, the Chancellor explained in a "Focus" interview that he was celebrating the festival "in the sun". According to media reports, Lanzarote was chosen.
On his website, Scholz once revealed how he generally relaxes: best when jogging and eating. In the "Bunte" interview, shortly before his election as Chancellor in 2021, the politician also described himself as a "connoisseur": "I like to cook, preferably at the weekend. My wife and I take turns there. I manage my Königsberger Klopse quite well . There's hardly anything like that in restaurants anymore." He follows "largely" the recipe by Tim Mälzer, "with small variations".
In addition, Scholz revealed in the "Brigitte live" interview in 2021 that he was a late riser, but it was a long time before he was able to sleep in. On vacation and at the weekend "it works".
Where will the chancellor be spending his summer vacation this year? According to media reports, he was spotted on Sylt in April, where he allegedly took a few days off.