In late July, Merkel brought a 14-year old Palestinian girl to tears when she told her she could not promise that her family’s asylum application would be successful, as Germany was not able to shelter all refugees from the Middle East and North Africa.
However, a few weeks later, the German politician pledged to accept anyone from war-torn regions, making her the key player in the massive refugee crisis.
Earlier in December, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere announced that 965,000 people had received or applied for refugee status in Germany so far this year.
On Wednesday, the German leader was named Person of the Year by the US magazine Time for "asking more of her country than most politicians would dare… and for providing steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply," according to the magazine’s editor.
Merkel is the first woman to be named Time's Person of the Year as an individual.