Western Europe

Watch farewell ceremony honoring Chancellor Merkel held in Berlin

15:53, 03 December 2021
Watch farewell ceremony honoring Chancellor Merkel held in Berlin Photo: Boris Roessler/dpa

The outgoing German Chancellor has received the highest military ceremony a civilian can get.


Germany’s military forces have held a spectacular ceremony paying tribute to Chancellor Angela Merkel who leaves office after 16 years of serving the country.

The so-called Grosser Zapfenstreich was held at the Ministry of Defense's Bendler Block complex, a place where a group of German soldiers decided to remove Adolf Hitler from power in 1944.

Merkel delivered a speech in front of the attendees thanking the German nation for “16 ears full of events, often very challenging”, calling on them to stay positive about their country’s future. She has also highlighted the importance of global cooperation and trust in relations.

The new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was among those present at the event.

The troops performed the national anthem and several pieces of marches which was clearly enjoyed by the emblematic politician. The music, which is chosen by the person honored, represented traditional German melodies, "For Me It Should Rain Red Roses" by Hildegard Knef and a song by punk singer Nina Hagen .

The soldiers have also removed their helmets as a sign of respect.

Merkel became the third German Chancellor to receive a Grosser Zapfenstreich in history after Helmut Kohl who left the post in 1998 and Gerhard Schröder, Merkel’s predecessor.

It is also the first time when a quitting chancellor is honored in the country’s capital Berlin as both Kohl and Schröder chose their birthplaces for the parade.

Last month Merkel was met with honors by French President Emmanuel Macron in Beaune and recevied ovations from those gathered in the streets.