Germany’s outgoing chancellor, Angela Merkel, bid farewell to 16 years in office at a military ceremony Thursday night.
Merkel was honoured with a traditional military music performance, featuring an eclectic mix of songs.
In a speech ahead of the ceremony, she said: “Our democracy also lives from the fact that wherever hatred and violence are seen as a legitimate means of pursuing one’s interests, our tolerance as democrats has to find its limit.”
In her farewell address, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, "resistance must be loud" when scientific facts are denied and conspiracy theories are spread. pic.twitter.com/xA8YIFLZN2
— DW News (@dwnews) December 2, 2021
The first piece was “You Forgot The Colour Film” released in 1974 by East German-born punk singer Nina Hagen, in which the singer recalls a young woman’s lament that her boyfriend failed to take colour pictures of their beach holiday.
Hagen, like Merkel, grew up in East Germany but emigrated to the West in 1976 after clashing with the communist country’s authorities.
Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Germans to stand up to hatred, at a military ceremony bidding her farewell after 16 years in office.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 3, 2021
Merkel explained that the song was “a highlight of my youth, which is known to have taken place in the GDR”.
The second song choice was German singer Hildegard Knef’s It Shall Rain Red Roses For Me, after which she was presented with a bouquet of flowers.
Lastly, the final piece was an 18th-century Christian hymn Holy God, We Praise Thy Name, a fitting finale for the daughter of a Protestant pastor.
Almost all of the country’s political elite were invited to the ceremony- except the far-right Alternative for Germany – which was held in a more public setting, due to COVID restrictions.