Angela Merkel: Outgoing German Chancellor honored in military farewell ceremony with hymns and tribute to punk rock

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Angela Merkel: Outgoing German Chancellor honored in military farewell ceremony with hymns and tribute to punk rock


Angela Merkel bid farewell to 16 years in office in a military ceremony and urged her fellow Germans to resist hatred.

The outgoing chancellor was honored with a performance of traditional military music, featuring an eclectic mix of songs.

In a speech before the ceremony, she said: “Our democracy also lives on the fact that wherever hatred and violence are seen as a legitimate means of defending its interests, our tolerance as democrats must find its limits. “

The first track was You Forgot The Color Film released in 1974 by East German-born punk singer Nina Hagen, in which the singer recounts a young woman’s complaint that her boyfriend had not taken any pictures in color of their beach vacation.

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Angela Merkel receives a bouquet of flowers at her last cabinet meeting from Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who is expected to replace her as head of the organization. Photo: AP

Hagen, as Mrs Merkel, grew up in East Germany but emigrated to the West in 1976 after clashing with the authorities of the Communist country.

Ms Merkel explained that the song was “a highlight of my youth, which is known to have taken place in the GDR”.

Almost all of the country’s political elite were invited to the event – with the exception of the far-right Alternative for Germany – which was held in a more public setting, due to COVID restrictions.

Her second song choice was It Shall Rain Red Roses For Me by German singer Hildegard Knef, after which she received a bouquet of flowers.

The final piece was an 18th century Christian hymn, Holy God, We Praise Your Name, a fitting finale for the daughter of a Protestant pastor.

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Olaf Scholz to be sworn in as Chancellor next week

Ms Merkel remains interim chancellor until her successor, Olaf Scholz, be sworn in next week.

She said she wished him and her new center-left government “all the best, good luck and much success.”

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