With the help of an English translator, Merkel stressed the importance of "truthfulness in our attitude towards others" and being "honest with ourselves."
“What better place to begin to do so than here, in this place, where so many young people from all over the world come to learn, to research, and to discuss the issues of our time under the maxim of ‘truth,'" Merkel said. “That requires us not to describe lies as truth, and truth as lies."
That sparked a roaring applause and a standing ovation from the crowd.
Merkel also invoked the negative effect of "walls" and how they represent "ignorance and narrow-mindedness."
“It requires us not to accept shortcomings as our normality. Yet what, dear graduates, could stop you, could stop us, from doing that? Once again, the answer is walls. Walls in people’s minds, walls of ignorance and narrow-mindedness,” Merkel said. “They exist between family members, as well as different groups within the society: people of different skin colors, nations, and religions. I would like to see us break down these walls.”