Germany's president said the coronavirus pandemic was a "test of our humanity" in a rare television address.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier countered the views of other leaders, stating that the pandemic was "not a war".
"No, this pandemic is not a war. Nations do not oppose other nations nor soldiers against other soldiers. It is a test of our humanity," Steinmeier said, notably countering a view that French President Emmanuel Macron gave in March.
Steinmeier implored Germans to show solidarity with others and with Europe.
This crisis "brings out the best and the worst of people. Let us show others what is best in us," he asked his fellow citizens .
Germany has more than 117,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus but fewer deaths than Italy, Spain and France with a total death toll of 2,544.
During his address on Saturday, the German president stressed the need to find a vaccine and to help the world's most vulnerable countries.
Mr. Steinmeier also paid tribute to the "invisible pillars" of German society, including cashiers, bus and truck drivers, bakers, peasants and garbage collectors.
"The danger has not yet been averted. But we can already say today that ... each of you has saved lives and saves more and more every day," he said.
Steinmeier was elected in 2017 to be the German president which is a largely ceremonial role as the head of government is the chancellor.