Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, who has been under criticism for months, is taking the consequences and resigning. In a statement by the minister on Monday, she asked Chancellor Olaf Scholz (both SPD) for her dismissal.

But Scholz initially wanted to change Lambrecht’s mind, according to circles within the ministry, as reported by “Spiegel”. Already on January 3 – just a few days after Lambrecht’s controversial New Year’s Eve video – she informed Scholz about her plans to resign. She had already given him the date of January 16 there. It is said that Scholz tried to change her mind and publicly supported her. Because Scholz is also under pressure after the second resignation of a minister in his government. “He can’t afford a second mistake,” writes the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” on Monday. Lambrecht stuck to her plan. According to the “Spiegel”, other social democrats were also inaugurated.

Several media outlets revealed the minister’s plans to resign on Friday. But neither Scholz nor other traffic light politicians commented on the reports over the weekend. On Monday, her colleagues thanked her for her commitment and paid tribute to her commitment. Today is not the time to talk about a successor, the Chancellor said after his visit to an armaments company in Ulm on Monday. But Scholz was confident: “I have a clear idea and that will be announced quickly.” The decision is expected to be announced this Tuesday.

In her resignation, Lambrecht mainly blames the media for her decision. It says: “The media focus on my person for months hardly allows for factual reporting and discussion about the soldiers, the Bundeswehr and security policy decisions in the interests of the citizens of Germany,” writes Lambrecht accordingly. “The valuable work of the servicewomen and men and the many motivated people in the business unit must be in the foreground. That’s why I decided to make my office available.” She thanks everyone “who is committed to our security every day and sincerely wishes them all the best for the future.”

As early as Friday evening, several media reported unanimously that Lambrecht was about to withdraw from her ministerial post. The 57-year-old has been criticized for months, the opposition Union had repeatedly called for her resignation. Critics accused her of the sluggish start of procurement for the Bundeswehr or a lack of expertise, but also her appearance in public.

A photo of her son traveling in a Bundeswehr helicopter made negative headlines. She recently caused irritation with a New Year’s message spread on Instagram, in which she spoke about the Ukraine war accompanied by New Year’s Eve fireworks.

A central position in the traffic light cabinet must now be filled by Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The Ministry of Defense has also come into focus as a result of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. In response, Germany launched a 100 billion euro program to better equip the Bundeswehr. The Ministry of Defense also plays an important role in supporting Ukraine.

In mid-December, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) defended his defense minister against criticism. “The Bundeswehr has a first-class defense minister,” Scholz told the Süddeutsche Zeitung at the time. “I can only be surprised at some of the criticism.” It is now a matter of strengthening the Bundeswehr in the long term and reliably equipping it with weapons and ammunition.

Lambrecht took over the Ministry of Defense with the start of the traffic light government at the end of 2021. Previously, she had been Federal Minister of Justice in the last cabinet of Angela Merkel (CDU), after the resignation of Franziska Giffey she had also headed the Ministry of Family Affairs.

Lambrecht is the second minister to resign from office since the start of the traffic light government. Last year, the Greens politician Anne Spiegel resigned as Minister for Family Affairs – because of her role as Minister of the Environment for Rhineland-Palatinate during the flood disaster in the Ahr Valley in July 2021.

Editor’s note: In a first message, we spoke of a message on Wednesday. Correct is of course today’s Monday. Please excuse that.

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