In the absence of a week until her handover from power, Angela Merkel was dispensed by the German army this Thursday with the protocol “Zapfenstreich”, the retreat call. It is the highest military honor, reserved to dismiss foreign ministers, presidents, defense ministers, or top positions in the army. A march implanted in 1838, which Adolf Hitler adopted during Nazism and which German democracy maintains. Along with the rigorous military marches and the national anthem, with soldiers parading their torches, each honoree chooses a couple of pieces of special significance in their life for the ceremony.
Merkel, who grew up in communist Germany, opted for Nina Hagen’s song “Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen” – “You forgot your roll of color photos” -. A song from 1974, which Hagen was already singing when she was, like Merkel, an East German citizen, and which she took with her two years later to the other side of the wall to triumph as the queen of punk.
The military band had to manage to adapt the piece, nonexistent in their repertoire. She completed the selection chosen by Merkel “Für mich soll’s rote Rose regnen” – “Red roses will rain for me” -. A lovely song by Hildegard Knef, the great deep-voiced lady of the German scene.