Ex-Chancellor Merkel Gifted Highest German Honor

Image copyright: Associated Press

The Facts

  • Former Chancellor Angela Merkel was decorated with Germany’s highest possible honor on Monday in recognition of her near-record 16 years at the helm of the country.

  • German Pres. Frank Walter Steinmeier bestowed the Grand Cross of the Order and Merit for special achievement upon Merkel, who joined Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl as the only recipients of the award.

The Spin

Narrative A

Angela Merkel’s legacy will forever be tarnished by her doctrine of passivity towards Vladimir Putin and Russia. While Merkel was able to accomplish some great feats as chancellor, and she led Germany through a volatile time, her leadership tenure contributed to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Not only did she enable this act, but she also continues to take responsibility. Between Ukraine and the 2015 immigration crisis, Merkel’s legacy cannot recover.

Narrative B

Despite the incredible difficulties Angela Merkel had to navigate, she always managed to stay rooted in her core values and push Germany forward. Angela Merkel transcended all stereotypes and became an unprecedented leader, and framed Germany prominently within the Atlantic Alliance and global institutions. She helped Germany overcome geopolitical and economic hardships while staying humble and charitable. Some may nitpick Merkel’s shortcomings, but she is a hero.

Public figures in this story

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