German Defense Minister under fire for New Year's video
German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht posts a barely audible video clip on her Instagram account amid New Year's chaotic celebrations in Berlin, leading to a wave of criticism.
A video address from the German Defense Minister posted on her personal Instagram account drew criticism Monday for being barely audible, as it was filmed on Berlin streets amid the chaos of New Year's celebrations.
During the tone-deaf message, Christine Lambrecht reflected on a year ending with "war raging in the middle of Europe," stressing that the Ukraine conflict led to "a lot of special experiences" and mentioned the chance for "many encounters with great and interesting people."
The message of Lambrecht, a member of Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats, failed to "hit the right tone" as it made the war sound like an "exciting professional experience", the Tagesspiegel daily wrote.
The minute-long message was filmed on a mobile phone, and as per the Bild daily, it "shamed" Germany.
The media has strongly criticized Lambrecht for her response to the war in Ukraine and Berlin's sluggish support for Ukraine.
In January 2022, the defense minister was mocked for announcing that Germany would send 5,000 helmets to Kiev, where the government was asking for heavy weapons to avert Russia.
Read: Germany to send field hospital to Ukraine amid 'war' fears
At a regular press conference, a spokesperson for the defense ministry refused to comment on Lambrecht's "private video". All he said was that "no official resources" were used in the production of the video.
Two years after fireworks were banned due to the covid-19 pandemic, partygoers in Germany took again to the streets to launch thousands of rockets and firecrackers, providing an uneasy backdrop for Lambrecht's video, and leading to dozens of injuries and at least one death.
The fireworks also aimed at emergency service workers across Germany, leaving Interior Minister Nancy Faeser "stunned and angry".
Anyone attacking the police or rescue workers "must be punished with the full severity of the law", she said.