Critique is taken personally in the German culture when it is communicated in a condescending or aggressive way. Germans react very sensitively to personal insults or attacks. There is absolutely no place in German feedback discussions for any form of personal insult.
The ongoing Euro crisis has tested the nerves of both political and business leaders alike in Germany. Chancellor Merkel‘s former Chief of Staff criticized harshly a colleague by saying Ich kann Deine Fresse nicht mehr sehen – „I‘m getting tired of seeing your Fresse“. Fresse is an idiom for an animal‘s mouth. He was forced to apologize in front of Parliamentary Caucus, but remained in his position.