Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock after being awarded the "Order against animal seriousness" by the Aachen Carnival Association (AKV)
Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd / dpa
Fanfare, dance and alaaf: At a festive carnival session in Aachen on Saturday, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who was praised as a "modern knight in the best sense", 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 medal has been awarded since 1950, but it took 40 years until a woman was honored for the first time - the federal minister is only the eighth - and a total of 73 years until it became a Green politician - Annalena Baerbock.
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 here in Germany we can laugh at each other, but above all with each other.
That's what counts!"
The Knight of the Order of 2022, Iris Berben, praised Baerbock in warm tones: One could not wish for a better successor.
"Intelligent, empathetic, upright and courageous, humorous and attractive without making any fuss about it," said Berben, who had energetically called for more power for women in her speech last year.
Among other things, the Green politician was honored for her clear positions in foreign policy and her steadfastness on the diplomatic stage.
"Annalena Baerbock has gained a lot of respect at international level in a very short time with courage, determination and quick-wittedness," said AKV President Wolfgang Hyrenbach in advance.
In doing so, she remains “quick-witted, self-deprecating and humanely approachable” in all challenges of the office.
Lars Klingbeil: "We just didn't argue"
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 the 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 his party's low polls 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, who led through the program for the first time alongside Hyrenbach.
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, who is 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 an ministerial figure, an asset on every talk show because I’m the horniest of all,” was how the member of the Bundestag from Düsseldorf introduced herself in front of the packed 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.
The ceremony has always been quite a political affair, in the audience and on stage.
Since the first award in 1950, politicians in particular have received the foolish culture award.
It honors national and international personalities who demonstrate humor and humanity in their positions.
Earlier winners include the politicians Konrad Adenauer (CDU), Hans-Dietrich Genscher (FDP), Cem Özdemir (Greens) and Gregor Gysi (Left).
Corona had messed up the festival program of the past few years.
Everything was canceled in 2021, and in 2022 the award ceremony was resumed in front of a small audience.
But this year the ranks in the Aachen Eurogress were full again.
The recording of the carnival session will be shown on ARD on Monday evening, February 6th.
An audience of millions watched in 2020 and 2022.