The growth in working class support for Germany’s Die Linkspartei, [The Left Party] as expressed in recent regional election results and national opinion polls has clearly rattled Capital and its gofers in the Bundestag and media. This time in an attempt to halt the party’s rising popularity, reactionary forces have been rifling through the dustbin of history and dug up an old story about Gregor Gysi, one of the Left Party most charismatic leaders, who at one time was a member of East Germany’s Socialist Unity Party. [SED]
Unsurprisingly, as all of these parties have suffered at the ballot box due to the rise of the Left Party, politicians from the Christian Union parties, the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens, and the FDP have called for for the head of Gregor Gysi by demanding that he should submit his resignation from national political leadership.
As anyone will know who has witnessed Gysi’s regular appearances on German TV, he is a very able fellow who had managed to turn the progressive wing of the Stalinist SED into the PDS, a left reformist party. Which eventually merged with Left social democrats led by the former Finance Minister Oskar Lafontaine, and the more radical WASG, to form the Left Party.
It is vital that Left Party members hold their nerve over these attacks; and understand they are politically motivated designed to drive down support for the LP. On no account must any party member join the chorus that is demanding Gregor Gysi’s head.
Below is the DW-world-DE web sites take on this story.
German Left-Wing Leader Accused of Working for Stasi
Politicians from across the political spectrum have called on a top Left party parliamentarian to resign amid new allegations that he was an informer for the Stasi secret police in communist East Germany.
Parliamentarians from Germany’s biggest political parties attacked Left party parliamentary chief Gregor Gysi on Wednesday, May 28, saying he should bear the consequences of having provided information to East Germany’s Stasi secret police.
He should own up to his responsibility, politicians from the Christian Union parties the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the FDP said, with calls for an explanation, apology or even resignation.
“The departure is overdue,” said Christian Democrat Thomas Strobl. “Take the necessary consequences.”
Social Democrat Stephan Hisberg, one of the founders of the East German SPD, accused Gysi and his Left party of “lying and betraying.”
Gysi, a lawyer, has been battling allegations he colluded with the East German secret police for years. He responded to the attacks on the floor of the Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament, with an impassioned speech. He rejected the allegations, saying that politicians from other parties had for years used every means to try to damage him personally in order to harm his party.
At issue this time is a 1979 meeting between Gysi and two East German dissidents, one of which was his client Robert Havemann. The head of the Stasi archive, Marianne Birthler, had provoked the new debate with comments she made on ARD television on Wednesday, in which she alleged that documents in the archive’s possession concerning the meeting stemmed from an informer who could only be Gysi.
Gysi took legal action against ZDF television after it broadcast similar comments Birthler made last week.
At a Left party convention last week, Gysi rejected the accusations, saying he had never consciously or willingly cooperated with the Stasi.
Threat from the Left?
Left party leader Oskar Lafontaine had called for Birthler’s dismissal.
“The boss of the Stasi [archive] is not in the position to exercise her duties objectively and impartially,” he said.
The Left party was established by trade unionists and former Social Democrats a year ago. It is Germany’s third-largest political party.
DW staff (ncy)