I agree...alone, she couldn't had done anything.
In my totally personal opinion the CDU had made a deal with the devil (I'm of course totally generalizing here)....Merkel promised them the power to rule, the government, the victories in the voting booths and in turn the CDU had to change till the party was not recognizable anymore...the whole party system in Germany destroyed, leaving only a dark hole behind where once the CDU was, with millions of Germans now homeless and worse, voice less.
Cheered on all the wayby a in their majority left/green leaning media, which didn't do their job anymore, which put their political bias above everything....without all this support she would never had been in power for so long.
Now the bill for this deal is being written and the devil will demand his pounds of flesh in the coming years...the SPD has been sunk already, now the CDU will sink...and the void on the right will be filled by the AfD, which wants to play another game.
In hindsight historians will not be nice to Merkel and her sycophants!
Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn't had been better in the long run if Merkel would had chosen the SPD to become a member of after the "Wende"....