Former Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) is to be honored with the highest possible award in Germany. In April, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will award her the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in a special version. The Federal President's Office of the German Press Agency confirmed a corresponding report by "Stern". So far, only the former chancellors Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl (both CDU) have received this high award.
Above the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit there is only the special level of the Grand Cross, which every Federal President automatically receives when taking office. Otherwise, it is only awarded to foreign heads of state.
Merkel was Chancellor from 2005 to 2021. According to "Stern", many political companions will also take part in the award ceremony in addition to her family. Among others, the former heads of the Chancellery Thomas de Maizière, Ronald Pofalla, Peter Altmaier and Helge Braun (all CDU) received invitations. The invitation list also includes Merkel's first SPD Vice-Chancellor, Franz Müntefering, her government spokesman, Steffen Seibert, and her closest colleagues, Beate Baumann and Eva Christiansen.
The magazine writes that nobody from the current CDU leadership or from the CSU and FDP is on the list, but for example former GDR civil rights activist Rainer Eppelmann, actor Ulrich Matthes and former national soccer coach Jürgen Klinsmann.