The pictures of some moments in history take on an iconographic character. dpa photographer Bernd von Jutrczenka took such a picture while Angela Merkel testified to the NSA committee of inquiry.
There’s no question about it, the chancellor’s testimony to the NSA committee of inquiry on 20 March this year was a historic event. In this case, Angela Merkel is the focus of the most controversial affair during her period of office. The key issue of the committee’s hearing, chaired by Patrick Sensburg (of Germany’s CDU party) at Paul-Löbe-Haus, was what she knew about the activities of her country’s intelligence service (BND) and its collaboration with the American NSA intelligence agency.
However, the affair also symbolises the explosive nature of digitisation that makes collating and analysing data so incredibly simple. The CEOs of American internet companies Google/Alphabet, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple had also been summoned to the committee to give evidence, but declined at the last moment to take part in any questioning. That’s a shame because we would have loved to have known what Eric Schmidt, Mark Zuckerberg, Brad Smith and Tim Cook had to say. And we would also have enjoyed seeing them sitting on the FS Line 220 chair. Because this is the “hot seat” gracing the conference room at Paul-Löbe-Haus. Angela Merkel was clearly quite relaxed, or that’s at least the interpretation of dpa photographer Bernd von Jutrczenka who took the superb picture. It’s not really surprising because the FS Line 220 chair isn’t just a classic piece of furniture that stands for superb comfort and prestige. It’s also familiar to the chancellor and members of government from the cabinet conference room. As a furniture manufacturer, what more could we wish for? Germany’s chancellor evidently feels relaxed sitting on our chair, even during the most difficult moments of her career.