German Chancellor Angela Merkel's father, a Protestant pastor who moved with his family to communist East Germany in the 1950s, has died. He was 85.
The government said that Horst Kasner passed away Friday. It didn't give further details but said the chancellor had canceled her appointments for Saturday _ when she was due to appear at a local election rally of her conservative Christian Democrats in northeastern Germany.
Merkel was born in the West German city of Hamburg in 1954. Shortly afterward, Kasner took a pastoral post in the communist east.
In 1957, Kasner moved the family to Templin, a small town 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Berlin, where he trained new clergy in the atheist state.