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Andreas Kluth

Will Flood Politics Change Germany and the World?

As cataclysms become ever more frequent, people are demanding new answers to climate change — and discovering that there are no easy ones.

Schuld after the deluge.

Schuld after the deluge.

Photographer: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

There she was again, the proverbial mother of the nation, walking somberly through the rubble and mud of a nearly destroyed town called Schuld, which happens to be German for “guilt.” 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, two months before an election that will usher her out of politics and into retirement, has done her best to stay aloof from the campaign to succeed her. But the natural disaster that struck her country last week left her no choice but to wade in.