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.
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.
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.”