WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's prime minister said it took German Chancellor Angela Merkel just two tries to correctly say the surname of her Polish grandfather: Kazmierczak (Kazh'myer'tshakh).
Donald Tusk tweeted from the European Union summit on Thursday that Merkel "asked how to properly say Kazmierczak. The second time was right :)." Merkel was born as Angela Kasner. The family of her paternal grandfather, Ludwig Kazmierczak, changed the surname to Kasner in 1930, according to Merkel's biography "Angela Merkel - the chancellor and her world" by Stefan Kornelius.
Reporters of all news TVN24 found documents in archives in Poznan, in western Poland, saying that 19-year-old Ludwig Marian Kazmierczak was drafted into the Prussian army in 1915. Poznan belonged to Prussia then. There are no further records to suggest Kazmierczak returned to Poznan. He had two younger half-brothers and two half-sisters from his mother's marriage to Ludwig Rychlicki. A descendat of that line, Zygmunt Rychlicki, lives in Poznan.
In 1982 Merkel divorced her first husband, Ulrich Merkel, but kept his name. She is married to chemistry professor Joachim Sauer. In 2000 she told German magazine Der Spiegel 'I am a quarter Polish' but did not elaborate.