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Families in the Federal Chancellery

“We are very grateful for your service”

Federal Chancellor Merkel welcomed the families of Bundeswehr soldiers and police officers deployed abroad at the Federal Chancellery. The invitation is a gesture of thanks and affinity with those in service who have to spend the Christmas period, in particular, away from their families.  

Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel has a photo taken with one of the families as a memento of the event. Photo with Chancellor Merkel: thanks go to the family members of soldiers and police officers deployed abroad. Photo: Bundesregierung/Kugler

The Federal Chancellery is decorated as usual in the run up to Christmas with festively dressed Christmas trees. The families of the soldiers and police officers sit together at a laid dinner table, at the Chancellor’s invitation. This year, once again, these families will be missing one of their loved ones at Christmas.

"In families that are always so close, one person is absent," said Angela Merkel. Her invitation made it clear that it is not only the men and women abroad who will be missing their families, but also the remaining family members at home will be without their husbands, wives, mothers, fathers and children.

"And we want to remind ourselves yet again that this service is important for everyone in our country,” stressed the Federal Chancellor. The soldiers’ and police officers’ deployment guarantees our safety. "This is something you can be proud of,” said Merkel.

Personal conversations with the family members

The meeting also enabled Merkel to gain an impression of the strain this puts on families during personal conversations, where they describe what it feels like to be separated for foreign missions.

Merkel was supported by Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer, Minister of Defence Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and the deputy Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, Vice Admiral Joachim Rühle.

Did you know that in addition to around 4,000 soldiers, there are also roughly 100 police officers from Germany who are active in missions around the world? These include police officers deployed in multilateral missions in Afghanistan, Mali, Ukraine, Moldova, Kosovo and in the Sahel.

Dec 11, 2019