‘Warzone’ Berlin New Year video goes viral

Sometimes it's hard to explain to outsiders just how crazy Berlin goes on New Year's Eve.

'Warzone' Berlin New Year video goes viral
New Year's Eve, Berlin style Photo: Screengrab

Now you don't have to, as a Youtube video documenting a 20-minute car ride through the capital at midnight on New Year's Eve has gone viral, showing just what a war zone Berlin becomes – for one night of the year, at least.

Whilst London, Edinburgh and Sydney have organised firework displays, in official locations, with health and safety regulations, and crowd control, Berlin…er…doesn't.

Instead, a chaotic free-for-all on every street ensues, with normally sober, and sober-minded, Germans letting their hair down and their firecrackers off.

The result is something that literally has to be seen to be believed – which is perhaps why this video has notched up nearly 70,000 views in the 24 hours since it was put online by the user Boris Niehaus and spread across social media.

The journey, seemingly in one take, goes from Warschauer Bridge in the east of the city, through the hotspot neighbourhoods of Kreuzberg and Neukölln.

In fact, this year there were no reported deaths or serious injuries in the capital, although that was not the case across Germany as a whole.

A 19-year old was killed in Freiburg , in Saxony, and his friend injured, when an illegally-bought firework exploded, causing fatal injuries. His 17-year old friend was severely injured.

In Alveslohe, Schleswig, another teenager, this time 18-years old, was killed when a firework thrown by someone else hit him in the head.

Many of the most dangerous fireworks on sale in Germany in the week between Christmas and New Year are manufactured in Poland but illegal in Germany. The are nonetheless easy to find on the black market or in the numerous temporary pop-up firework shops that cater for the New Year market.

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Russia announces no New Year’s greetings for France, US, Germany

US President Joe Biden, France's Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will not be receiving New Year's greetings from Russian leader Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Friday.

Russia announces no New Year's greetings for France, US, Germany

As the world gears up to ring in the New Year this weekend, Putin sent congratulatory messages to the leaders of Kremlin-friendly countries including Turkey, Syria, Venezuela and China.

But Putin will not wish a happy New Year to the leaders of the United States, France and Germany, countries that have piled unprecedented sanctions on Moscow over Putin’s assault on Ukraine.

“We currently have no contact with them,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“And the president will not congratulate them given the unfriendly actions that they are taking on a continuous basis,” he added.

Putin shocked the world by sending troops to pro-Western Ukraine on February 24.

While Kyiv’s Western allies refused to send troops to Ukraine, they have been supplying the ex-Soviet country with weapons in a show of support that has seen Moscow suffer humiliating setbacks on the battlefield.