Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock received the order against animal seriousness in Aachen. She gave a spirited speech, which, however, did not skimp on serious tones. Including a joke about the Leopard tanks.

Fanfare, dance and alaaf: Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is the new knight of the Aachen Order against animal seriousness. At a festive carnival session in Aachen on Saturday, the politician, who was recognized as a “modern knight in the best sense of the word”, accepted the award from the Aachen Carnival Association (AKV).

The Greens politician entertained the festival audience with a spirited speech. The title of the order fits the world situation, said Baerbock: “Yes, it’s really serious”. And not losing confidence and humor is anything but easy. Again and again serious tones rang through from other speakers as well.

“I thought long and hard about my disguise,” said Baerbock. The disguise as a leopard was out of the question – she was worried that the Chancellery would not issue a travel permit, said the Foreign Minister with an ironic tone. She was wearing a black pantsuit and the dunce cap.

In the fool’s cage, in which the medal bearers traditionally hold their speech in front of the audience, the 42-year-old also distributed tips in the direction of the Aachen carnival participants. Because the order has been awarded since 1950, but it took 40 years for a woman to be awarded for the first time and a total of 73 years for a Green politician to become one – Annalena Baerbock.

The ceremony has always been quite a political affair, in the audience and on stage. In addition to Baerbock, SPD chairman Lars Klingbeil made it big. He flirted with the fact that, being from Lower Saxony, he was a newcomer to Bütt – but he received a lot of applause for his punchlines from political life.

Klingbeil confessed that one of the few moments when other people found him really funny was during the last federal election campaign when he said on talk shows: “Olaf becomes chancellor”. He also had the recipe for getting out of the low polls in his party and into the chancellor’s office: “We just didn’t argue.”

The SPD chairman then played a few short pieces on the ukulele. He was asked by moderator Sandra Maischberger. For Baerbock he played “something nice”. She is a great colleague, he said. Among the guests were Armin Laschet, the former CDU Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, the CDU Chairman Friedrich Merz, the Green Ministers from the NRW cabinet, Mona Neubaur and Oliver Krischer, and NRW Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU).

The FDP defense politician Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, known for her pithy sayings, appeared in a kind of vampire costume with wildly sticking out hair. “Quite formidable from head to toe, without a doubt ministrative, an asset in every talk show because I’m the horniest one,” was how the member of the Bundestag from Düsseldorf introduced herself in front of the full ballroom.

The program included music, dance and comedy, including with Guido Cantz. The cabaret artist Wilfried Schmickler commented on the world situation as Aachen’s house saint Charlemagne. North Rhine-Westphalia’s Minister of the Interior Herbert Reul (CDU) came on stage in a red and green costume and banged the drum.

Carnival in the hands of women: For the first time in Aachen, two women receive the award one after the other. The Knight of the Order of 2022 Iris Berben praised Baerbock in warm tones: You couldn’t wish for a better successor. “Intelligent, empathetic, upright and courageous, humorous and attractive without making any fuss about it,” said Berben.

Baerbock drew the line from serious topics to carnival. She is thankful to live in a country where politicians can show that the suffering we see does not leave us indifferent. The carnival stands for this openness. “That we here in Germany can laugh at each other, but above all with each other. That’s what counts!”