The embattled Chancellor, who is surrounded by armed guards around the clock and travels everywhere in a bullet-proof car, said terrified citizens should meet the ISIS terror threat with “openness”.
Her remarks come less than two weeks after a failed asylum seeker drove an articulated truck into families at a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 and seriously injuring dozens more.
The shocking tragedy, which followed a spate of jihadi terror attacks earlier this year, has heaped yet more pressure on Mrs Merkel’s hated open door migration policy.
But in her annual New Year’s Eve address the under-fire leader was unrepentant, insisting that ordinary Germans should continue to attend public events despite the risk to their own lives.
She said she was “so convinced” that Germany would emerge from its migrant chaos stronger, and bizarrely stated that the public mourning following the Berlin attack had filled her with confidence for the country’s future.
Speaking on national TV she said: “So what of the confidence that I spoke of at the beginning? Confidence in the midst of deep grief for the dead and injured?
“I think we could feel it here in Berlin and in many other German cities even in these difficult days – in the comfort that we were able to give or to receive.
“And in our firm determination to counter the terrorists’ hate with our humanity and our solidarity.
“By carrying on with our lives and our work, we are saying to terrorists ‘you are murderers, full of hate, but you do not determine how we live and want to live. We are free, humane, open’.”
Mrs Merkel said it was “especially bitter and disgusting” when asylum seekers carried out terror attacks, but said the shocking devastation in Aleppo vindicated her decision to fling open the country borders.
Speaking about her migration policies, she added: “All of that – it is reflected in our democracy, in our rule of law, in our values.
“They are the antithesis of the hate-filled world of terrorism, and they will be stronger than terrorism. We are stronger together. Our state is stronger.”
But her remarks were immediately mocked by prominent critics online, who said the German leader was now a serious security threat to the safety of her own people.
Others pointed out that the embattled Chancellor had been a vocal supporter of EU free movement including the Schengen open borders policy, which has allowed terror attacks to happen in France, Belgium and Germany over the last 18 months.
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage blasted: “If Mrs Merkel is serious then she will put an end to the Schengen Area in 2017.”
Meanwhile ex Republican congressman Joe Walsh tweeted in response: “Wow. Merkel at least calls it ‘Islamic terror’. She said the ‘I’ word.
“Too late for Germany though. She let them in.”
Political analyst Mike Doughty, who is a US Navy veteran, blasted: “Angela Merkel thinks we can stop terrorism with compassion. That is the stupidest thing I’ve heard so far. But Barack Obama has 19 more days left.”
US conservative commentator Basima Faysal said that Mrs Merkel was admitting that the people who welcomed to Germany were now its most “severe threat”, mockingly calling the Chancellor a “mad genius”.
And Katie Hopkins questioned whether the beleaguered leader was “off her rocker when she says we can beat terror with openness”, adding: “I prefer locks, walls and extreme vetting.”