The Bundeswehr said goodbye to the resigned Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) on Tuesday with a big tattoo. Soldiers gathered for the traditional ceremony in the courtyard of the Bendlerblock, the ministry's Berlin office. Lambrecht's successor Boris Pistorius (SPD) had invited to the big tattoo to honor her achievements as a minister, as the Ministry of Defense announced.
The approximately one-hour ceremony is the highest form of military honor for German soldiers and may only be performed on very special occasions - for example, to say goodbye to former defense ministers.
Lambrecht announced her resignation in mid-January after just over 13 months in office. This was preceded by massive criticism of her administration and a rapid loss of reputation in public. Most recently, a video message from the minister at the turn of the year, which was criticized as an accident, caused indignation.
Part of the big tattoo is the so-called serenade - a musical performance for which the honoree can choose pieces of music himself. According to information from the portal “The Pioneer”, Lambrecht wanted the hit “Never goes so completely” by Trude Herr and Jürgen Fritz as well as two military marches of Hessian origin.
Lambrecht is only the fourth woman to be honored by the Bundeswehr with a large tattoo. Before her, this honor was bestowed on Defense Ministers Ursula von der Leyen and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Critics of the Great Tattoo see the military ceremony in the direct tradition of Prussian parades and Hitler's torchlight procession and speak of a symbol of Prussian and German militarism.
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