The solidarity rally in Paris impressively demonstrates "that there are very, very many people who are willing to stand up and defend the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity," said the Chancellor after the rally.
"We are proud to be France’s friend and to stand side by side with the people of France and wish them strength at this difficult time, after the history of our two nations."
Heads of state and government from about 50 countries joined the hundreds of thousands of marchers in Paris to demonstrate their support for liberty and to roundly condemn terrorism. They came to show their solidarity and their sympathy for the families of the victims of the attacks on the editorial office of "Charlie Hebdo" and a kosher supermarket. The Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the Federal Economics Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel accompanied the Chancellor.
Signed the book of condolences
On Thursday Angela Merkel signed the book of condolences at the French Embassy in Berlin. She wrote, "Our sympathy goes to the people of France, especially the families of the victims of these barbaric attacks," wrote the Chancellor.
Germany and France will together defend the values of liberty and democracy, Angela Merkel continued. "The freedom of the press is an integral part of democratic societies. We will do everything we can to defend it," she added.
Firmly side by side with France
Last Wednesday, in a telegram of condolence to French President François Hollande, the Chancellor expressed her deepest sympathy for the families of those who lost their lives.
She was "deeply shocked by the news of the despicable attack" on the editorial office of the newspaper in Paris, Angela Merkel told François Hollande. "At this difficult time we stand side by side with our French friends," she assured.
In her letter of condolence the Chancellor expressed the profound sorrow of the people in Germany, and her own personal sympathy. She offered her most sincere condolences to the families of the victims.