All quotes from Chancellor Merkel’s address are translated by the author. Some words may have been changed or added in an effort to make the speech sound more natural and easily understandable to an English-speaking audience. All changes were made with the goal of preserving the core essence of Chancellor Merkel’s message.
On Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke to Germans in an uncharacteristic direct address to the nation—her first direct television address in her fifteen 15-year career as Germany’s chancellor—regarding the coronavirus. Beginning her address, the Chancellor said:
Dear fellow citizens, the coronavirus is currently altering life in our country dramatically…Millions of you cannot go to work, your children cannot go to school or daycare, theaters and cinemas and shops are closed, and, what is perhaps most difficult of all, we lack the social contact that is at other times so natural to us…I am addressing you in this unusual way today, because I want to tell you what I, as Chancellor, and my colleagues in the federal government direct in this situation. This is part of an open democracy: We make transparent political decisions and explain them. We justify and communicate our actions as well as possible, so they are understandable.
After her opening remarks, Merkel continued in her address on the coronavirus, saying:
It is serious. Take it seriously. Since German Unity, no, since the Second World War, there has not been a greater challenge facing our country that relies so much on our combined, united action.
Chancellor Merkel went on to explain the state of the epidemic in Germany. She requested citizens think of everyone, including their relatives, and urged them to follow directions. Merkel also predicted the German economy will continue to see decline in the next few weeks.
Her address came on the same day Germany announced its highest spike in new cases in a single day, with 3,000 more Germans testing positive on Wednesday.
Read more at The Berlin Spectator.