Fact Check: Lambrecht Did NOT Say Germany Is Unable To Defend Itself, NATO

Fact Check

  • by: Jamal Halaby
Fact Check: Lambrecht Did NOT Say Germany Is Unable To Defend Itself, NATO Fact Check: Lambrecht Did NOT Say Germany Is Unable To Defend Itself, NATO Did Not Happen

Did former German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht say that her country cannot shield itself against a Russian attack and is also unable to defend its NATO allies? No, that's not true. Until she resigned from her post as defense minister in January 2023, Lambrecht did not make such a comment. According to Germany's Federal Ministry of Defense, Lambrecht said while in office in February 2022, in one of a handful of public occasions in which she voiced similar remarks, that Germany is capable of defending itself and its NATO allies. "As a member of NATO, Germany is committed both to defending democracy and to supporting others," she said. "The many deployments abroad that we carry out with our partners are impressive evidence of this."

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) and was posted on TikTok on Sunday, July 23, 2023, under the title "Germany announces its surrender." It did not refer to Lambrecht being a former defense minister, making the false claim sounds as if it was made recently.

A caption in Arabic, translated to English by Lead Stories' staff, quoted Lambrecht as saying:

Our armed forces are incapable of defending ourselves against an aggressor like Russia.

The caption across the eight-second video maintained:

The German army is also unable to protect allies in NATO.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:


(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue July 25 11:38:21 2023 UTC)

According to the United States Deparment of Defense, Lambrecht's successor, Boris Pistorius, also reaffirmed Germany's continued support for nations in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Pistorius said in a Pentagon meeting with his American counterpart on his first official to Washington as defense minister on June 2023 that Germany has a "special responsibility" to continue to defend NATO.

Nonetheless, Lambrecht admitted while in office that the German armed forces, known as Wehrmacht, lacked enough personnel, soldiers, weapons and artillery and asserted the need to upgrade the army's machinery. according to the weekly Deir Spiegel. It said Lambrecht had affirmed that Germany was only able to fulfill NATO tasks to a "limited extent."

Agenzia Nova said Dier Spiegel's information came from a paper that quoted Lambrecht in a report classified as confidential for the Defense Commission of the Bundestag, or Parliament.

The claim violates TikTok's Community Guidelines specifically on misinformation, which states: "We do not allow inaccurate, misleading, or false content that may cause significant harm to individuals or society, regardless of intent."

  Jamal Halaby

Jamal Halaby is a fact-checker, who has been working with Lead Stories for nearly two years, helping bring the truth and factual information to the organization's global audience. With extensive background in investigative journalism and content writing and editing in Arabic and English, Jamal uses that experience to expose a burgeoning market of misinformation and disinformation. Previously, he worked as a writer for the Associated Press and several other reputable international news organizations. He has a passion for empirical analysis and discerning the veracity of the news.

Read more about or contact Jamal Halaby

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