Party Congress of the Left – Party Congress of Rage

It doesn’t matter with whom SuperIllu talked in the Erfurt trade fair – everyone was convinced: This is about the sausage and nothing less than the existence of the left. Lost elections have been paving the way for the party for some time, which actually had reason to celebrate because of its 15th anniversary…

Instead, long faces, anger and, as the highest of the positive feelings: purposeful optimism. In addition, two topics are currently causing heated controversy, which also erupted at the party congress: the internal handling of sexism and the position towards Russia in the Ukraine war; associated with the discussion about arms deliveries.

First of all: Party leader Janine Wissler was confirmed in office under her leadership despite the sexism scandal sticking to her from her time in Hesse and various election slippers, albeit with a weak result of 57.37 percent. Martin Schirdewan (61.3 percent) made it to her side as co-chairman. Sören Pellmann, thanks to whom the left is still represented in the Bundestag, lost his candidacy.

One thing had already caused particular excitement in the run-up: the amendment made by Sahra Wagenknecht, who was absent due to illness, regarding the attitude towards Russia. It provided for more emphasis on the role of the West and NATO in the assessment of the Ukraine war – and was rejected by vote.

Here are some of the countless voices we caught on the ground. They paint a picture of a party divided in many ways, about which faction leader Amira Mohammed Ali told us: “The polls are bad, the situation is very difficult – but we have a chance to get out of this valley because we are needed.”

But is that possible given the turmoil in your political homeland? Read and decide for yourself.

A young delegate is outraged by the “blanket rejection of weapons”. Peace does not come from prayer alone

Weapons deliveries to Ukraine must not be allowed, they will prolong the war and bring more destruction.

Hans Jürgen Scholz

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The delegates Uschi Monsees from Thuringia and Hans-Jürgen Scholz from Saxony-Anhalt

I want alternatives. Simply rejecting weapons and sanctions across the board is not enough. There’s not even a proper discourse about it. I’m not a fan of guns, of course not. But I can’t think of anything better right now to help the local people defend themselves. Peace does not come through prayer. And many in the party see it as I do

Sofia Fellinger

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Sofia Fellinger, delegate from Cologne. Her family is from Ukraine

I am the leader of the party with all my heart. We want to clarify the allegations that are being made with the help of a commission of experts. We take this very seriously. I only found out about it at the end of last year and took action immediately…

Janine Wissler, party leader confirmed in office

A “bitter aftertaste” is lamented and: “Klungelei”

Janine Wissler’s apology was good in itself, but it came very late. A bitter aftertaste remains. Her re-election is not an acquittal as to her role in the matter. In parts of the party one simply feels morally very superior and therefore finds it difficult or impossible to admit mistakes. A lot of things are dismissed as conspiracy thinking. In addition, there are two major power alliances in our party. Both are characterized by cliques, many are primarily concerned with securing power. Actually, we always criticize how politics is corrupted in our system. But we do not draw any conclusions for ourselves from this.

Jan Schiffer

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Jan Schiffer from the youth association “Solid”

This matter has been made into a scandal against you. And it can’t be that a man messes around and the woman is punished. Janine took all this with her. I believe her that she didn’t cover for anyone there.

Claudia Kramer-Neudorfer, Baden-Württemberg State Association

The party executive has presented a good, clearly formulated basis – without ‘yes, but’. We clearly name the aggressor without qualifying anything, as Sahra Wagenknecht’s amendment does. Nevertheless, we criticize NATO and have already done so in the past.

Janina Boettger

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Janina Böttger, State Chairwoman of Saxony-Anhalt

A hard accusation is countered just as hard: “Infam” he is

The accusation against Sahra Wagenknecht of a lack of empathy and a lack of solidarity with Ukraine is disgraceful, as power-political instrumentalization was deliberately pursued. The passage in question had been accidentally deleted. But of course that was good food for the opponent.

Delegates who wish to remain anonymous

I support Sarah’s amendment. She has always distanced herself from the Russian war of aggression, but not in the front row… But we expected it to be rejected and now we have to get out of this together

Susanne Herhaus

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Susanne Herhaus, leader of the Wuppertal parliamentary group

We have to go back to where we started because we are no longer perceived as a caregiver, we no longer give people a sense of security. The social aspect has receded into the background, while internal troubles have come to the fore.

The delegate Uschi Monsees from Thuringia (photo above)

The ex-boss’s injury-related limp: a symbol of the state of the party?

I hope that our modern course will be further developed and that we will not just reduce ourselves to the welfare state and peace. Issues such as climate protection must also be of great importance to us. This is a question of survival – and our answers are better than those of the Greens.

Bernd Riexinger

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Ex-party leader Bernd Riexinger

Janine Wissler’s speech was great and I hope that it will be confirmed with a large majority. But the applause gives you an idea.

Claudia Kramer-Neudorfer, Baden-Württemberg State Association (immediately after Wissler’s speech)

It was “brave” of the party leader to want to know it again in view of her poor balance sheet

Janine said a lot of good things, but what she didn’t say: why does the left reach so few people under her leadership? I lacked any self-criticism and self-reflection. I also didn’t find out what she wants to change. It’s courageous to come back with this record at all… It reaches the souls of the delegates, as we have seen here, but not those of the voters.

Delegates who wish to remain anonymous

I have seldom heard Ms. Wissler speak so well, she was very well prepared and dealt with all topics, to put it that way… However, we are not a general store. That was too wishy-washy for me.

Susanne Herhaus, chair of the Wuppertal parliamentary group (photo above)

It will be interesting to see whether the much-needed calm and harmony – both atmospheric and programmatic – will return to this party, which will make it possible for many to vote again.

© SuperIllu

SuperIllu chief reporter Björn Wolfram spoke to parliamentary group leader Amira Mohammed Ali at the federal party conference of the left in Erfurt