To celebrate his first year in office, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made a playful nod to his "traffic light” coalition, a nickname that refers to the constituent parties’ three colors: He passed out chocolates shaped like the "Ampelmann,” the iconic figure on German pedestrian crossing signals.

But the flavor he picked for those chocolates was bittersweet.

The choice was symbolic. Scholz’s first 12 months as chancellor have been among the most tumultuous of Germany’s postwar history. It was not what he, or nearly anyone in Europe, had expected.