Time has named German Chancellor Angela Merkel "Person of the Year" for "asking more of her country than most politicians would dare, for standing firm against tyranny as well as expedience, and for providing steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply."
Under Merkel's leadership, Germany is on course to accept one million refugees in 2015. "By viewing the refugees as victims to be rescued rather than invaders to be repelled, the woman raised behind the Iron Curtain gambled on freedom. The pastor's daughter wielded mercy like a weapon. You can agree with her or not, but she is not taking the easy road. Leaders are tested only when people don't want to follow," Time managing editor Nancy Gibbs said in a statement about the choice.
Merkel is the first individual woman to be named "Person of the Year" since Time changed the designation from "Man of the Year" in 1999; she's the fifth woman to appear on the cover alone, sharing the honor with Wallis Simpson, Soong Mei-ling, Queen Elizabeth II, and Corazon Aquino. Merkel has been Germany's chancellor since 2005.
Read more on "The Chancellor of the Free World" in Time.