Sami Khedira believes Germany's experienced players – including himself – must take responsibility for the defending champions' shambolic title defence.
Joachim Low's side crashed out of World Cup 2018 with a 2-0 defeat to South Korea in Kazan, with Sweden and Mexico progressing from Group F.
Toni Kroos' sublime winner against Sweden had given Germany hope heading into Wednesday's encounter, but Low's men again failed to find any semblance of form against a disciplined South Korea side.
But Khedira, who along with Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Manuel Neuer made his World Cup debut in 2010 and was part of the triumphant squad in 2014, insists it is the "leaders" within Germany's squad that must take the blame for a first opening-round exit since 1938.
"Now is one of the hardest moments for the entire team and also for me personally," the Juventus man said.
"We said before the tournament that it is the world champions who lead and shape the team. The leaders must be the first to take the fall.
"If you are so quiet and soundless, you have to take responsibility for it. It was not enough, I'm so sorry.
"The last 10 years have been sensational. At some point such a shipwreck is expected. That it has come now is all the worse."
It is the first time since the 2004 European Championships that Germany have been knocked out in the first round of a major tournament.