Big tattoo for Merkel

Status: 02.12.2021 8:32 p.m.

Hildegard Knef, Nina Hagen and a hymn: Big tattoo for the outgoing Chancellor Merkel. This called for the defense of democracy against hatred, violence and misinformation.

After 16 years in office, the Bundeswehr said goodbye to Chancellor Angela Merkel with the big tattoo. The ceremony is the highest honor of the armed forces and is reserved above all for federal presidents, chancellors and defense ministers.

Like everyone honored on this path, Merkel was allowed to choose three pieces of music. She decided on the hymn “Great God, we praise you”, the chanson “For me it should rain red roses” by Hildegard Knef and Nina Hagens hit song “You forgot the color film”. The punk singer thus had a hit in the GDR in 1974.

In her speech, Merkel campaigned for more mutual understanding and condemned the denial of facts and the spread of conspiracy theories. “Our democracy lives from the ability to critically debate and to correct oneself,” said the CDU politician. “It lives from the constant balance of interests and from respect for one another. It lives from solidarity and trust.” Among other things, it is about “trust in facts”.

Thanks to the medical staff

The time of the corona pandemic “showed, like in a magnifying glass, the importance of trust in politics, science and social discourse,” said Merkel. But it also showed “how fragile that can be”. “I would like to encourage people to continue to see the world through the eyes of the other,” said the outgoing Chancellor. “So to perceive the sometimes uncomfortable and contradicting perspectives of the other person, to work to balance interests.”

Merkel thanked the medical staff and the nurses. Democracy also lives from solidarity and trust, said Merkel. She also found words of caution about dealing with science. Wherever scientific knowledge is denied and conspiracy theories and agitation are disseminated, contradictions must be voiced. The outgoing Chancellor said that where hatred and violence were seen as legitimate means of pursuing one’s own interests, the tolerance of democrats finds its limit.

Merkel was visibly moved

Merkel wished her designated successor Olaf Scholz and the future government all the best, a lucky hand and every success. She is convinced that the future can be shaped well, “if we do not go to work with displeasure, resentment, with pessimism”, but “with happiness in our hearts”. This is how she always kept it herself, in her life in the GDR and even more so and all the more under the conditions of freedom. “It is this happiness in my heart that I wish all of us and, in a figurative sense, our country for the future too.”

Merkel watched the big tattoo while seated and was visibly moved. Due to the corona, significantly fewer guests were able to take part than usual. Among the guests were Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the future Federal Chancellor-designate Olaf Scholz. In her speech before the actual ceremony, Merkel wished him and his government “all the best and a lucky hand and good luck”.

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