Germany’s defence minister has had a rough start to 2023, after a video she filmed of herself celebrating the New Year was described as "inappropriate and embarrassing" and sparked calls for her resignation.

How did she manage that?

Filmed on the streets of Berlin amid loud and joyous celebrations and barely audible above the sound of exploding fireworks, Christine Lambrecht reflected on a year ending with "war raging in the middle of Europe".

That doesn’t sound so bad?

She then went on to fondly recall that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had led to "a lot of special experiences" and the chance for "many encounters with great and interesting people".

Then she posted it on Instagram for the whole world to see.

It’s also worth noting that around the same time that Lambrecht was basking in the glow of exploding fireworks, Kyiv was under attack from exploding kamikaze drones.


(Watch the video here)

Wow, sounds like she’s having had a wonderful time.

Exactly, and the fallout has been rather immense and not just in Ukraine. More worryingly for the German politician, her country’s domestic press has been absolutely scathing.

In a comment piece headlined "Lambrecht is no longer tenable as a minister", the daily Der Tagesspiegel wrote that her New Year's address made the war sound like an "exciting professional experience".

The minute-long message, filmed on a mobile phone, "shamed" Germany, the Bild daily said.

In the context of the war in Ukraine, the video was "inappropriate and embarrassing", Spiegel magazine wrote.

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German media also questioned Lambrecht's ability to lead Europe's biggest economy in reviving its long-neglected armed forces in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

"For this decades-long task, one would like to see a leader who sparks joy and energy in defence policy, who spurs on the ministry and the troops and who uses public attention to the benefit of the armed forces," the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung said.

Is this the first time Lambrecht has caused a bit of a stir?

Unfortunately, not. Lambrecht, a member of Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats, has faced strong criticism in the media for her response to the Russian invasion and Germany's sluggish support for Ukraine.


The minister was mocked in January 2022 for her announcement that Germany would send 5,000 helmets to Kyiv, where the government was asking for heavy weapons to ward off Moscow.

Has Lambrecht apologised?

Not yet, and at a regular press conference, a spokesman for the defence ministry declined to comment on the "private video" put out by Lambrecht.

He would only say that "no official resources" were used in the production of the clip.

Have any other German politicians commented?

Lambrecht's "disturbing video" showed she did not have the right "attitude" for the office she holds, the deputy leader of the conservative opposition group (CDU) in parliament, Johann Wadephul, told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily.

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