Chancellor Angela Merkel is "dismayed and sad" at the sudden death of SPD politician Thomas Oppermann.
Angela Merkel (66) is "upset and sad about Thomas Oppermann's too early death". This is possible from an official communication from the Chancellor published by government spokesman Steffen Seibert (60) via Twitter. "For many years I have valued him as a reliable and fair social-democratic partner in grand coalitions. As Vice President of the German Bundestag, he has rendered outstanding services to our parliament in turbulent times. My condolences go to his wife and children," said Merkel.
The Vice Chancellor and candidate for Chancellor of the SPD, Olaf Scholz (62), commented on the death of his party member: "The death of Thomas Oppermann is a shock for us all. Our country is losing an accomplished politician, the Bundestag an outstanding vice president and the SPD a passionate and combative comrade. We are all losing a friend – and we are sad." Other expressions of condolences come from Peter Altmaier (62), Friedrich Merz (64), Heiko Maas (54), Andreas Scheuer (46) and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (58).
That was what happened
Oppermann suddenly collapsed during a planned TV interview with ZDF for reasons as yet unknown. The broadcaster has since announced details of the circumstances of the incident. On Sunday, Oppermann was invited as a live interview guest on the program 'Berlin direkt' on the subject of 'Bundestag and Corona' and was supposed to be broadcast live from the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen. " But while a report was "on, Thomas Oppermann suddenly collapsed. The ZDF colleagues on site immediately made the emergency call. Thomas Oppermann was then transported to the Göttingen University Hospital".
Despite immediate measures, Oppermann died at the age of 66, leaving behind his partner and four children. "The whole team of 'berlin direkt' is dismayed and deeply affected. In the preliminary talk about the planned switch we saw the always professional and relaxed politician Thomas Oppermann," said Theo Koll, head of the ZDF studio in Berlin.