Angela Merkel honored by German military with punk rock sendoff

German Chancellor Angela Merkel makes a speech at the Defence Ministry during the Grand Tattoo (Grosser Zapfenstreich), a ceremonial send-off for her in Berlin on December 2, 2021. EPA-EFE/FRIEDEMANN VOGEL/POOL (Photo by ddp images/Sipa USA)

Germany’s military honored Chancellor Angela Merkel with their highest ceremony for a civilian on Thursday, complete with an eclectic mix of music personally selected by the outgoing leader and punctuated by an emotional speech.

During the “Großer Zapfenstreich,” or the Grand Tattoo ceremony — which was pared back due to the Covid-19 pandemic — members of the armed forces played a 1960s song that includes the words “I can’t acquiesce, can’t make do, I still want to win,” and the song “You Forgot The Color Film,” which was first performed by East German punk artist Nina Hagen, Reuters reported.

Merkel is due to officially step down next week after 16 years in office. She will be succeeded by Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, who is expected to be sworn in as chancellor after lawmakers give him the final green light.

In a heartfelt speech at the ceremony in Berlin, Merkel said that her time in power had “challenged” her both politically and personally.

“But at the same time, it was a deeply satisfying position,” she said.

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