“Our democracy lives on due to the fact that wherever hatred and violence are seen as a legitimate means of pursuing one’s interests, the tolerance of us democrats must have a limit,” Merkel said in Berlin at a farewell ceremony attended by all members of the political elite except the radical right. Alternatives for Germany that was not invited.
She will leave the post of chancellor after 16 years of rule, next week, when the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz takes the oath.
She wished him and the new government “all the best, happiness and a lot of success”.
The ceremony was held at the German Ministry of Defense due to the corona virus pandemic, and the military orchestra played three songs of its choice in honor of the chancellor.
The first song was “You Forgot the Color Film” from 1974, performed by German punk singer Nina Hagen. Hagen, like Merkel, grew up in East Germany.
The second song is the popular chanson “It Shall Rain Red Roses for Me” performed by German singer Hildegard Knef, and the third is the former Christian anthem “Holy God, we Praise thy Name”.