FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel In Handcuffs?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A photo shared on Instagram allegedly shows former German Chancellor Angela Merkel in handcuffs. 


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Verdict: False

This photo is digitally fabricated. The genuine image can be found on Getty Images and does not show the handcuffs.

Fact Check:

Merkel recently stated that she had “run out of power” to influence Russian President Vladimir Putin before his invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, according to BBC News. The former chancellor, who left office in December 2021, tried to convene a talk with the Russian president and French President Emmanuel Macron, but was unable to do so, the outlet reported.

The Instagram photo allegedly shows Merkel in handcuffs, being escorted by Monika Gruetters, federal commissioner for Culture and Media, and a large man. “That’s right!” the caption reads. “Lock them all up!!!!”

This image is digitally fabricated. A reverse image search reveals that the photo was originally posted to Getty Images. In this picture, there are no handcuffs on Merkel’s wrists. Getty Images’ caption places Merkel in Hohenschoenhausen Berlin, Germany in 2017 visiting a former Stasi (secret police) prison turned memorial.

Jefferson Chase, a German journalist, shared a video of Merkel touring the memorial.

Other images from the same visit at the prison do not show any handcuffs. Check Your Fact found no credible news reports to suggest that Merkel has been arrested or is under investigation for any crime. (RELATED: No, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Did Not Fake Her Recent Arrest)

This is not the first time German politics have been the subject of misinformation on social media. Check Your Fact previously debunked an image in December 2021 allegedly showing a march from soldiers following a COVID-19 lockdown for unvaccinated citizens.

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter