Left Party politician wants return of Stasi

Elizabeth Press
Elizabeth Press - [email protected] • 14 Feb, 2008 Updated Thu 14 Feb 2008 16:40 CEST

A Left Party politician has been accused of calling for the return of the Stasi as protection against “reactionary forces.” Christel Wegner, Left Party representative in the state parliament of the western German state of Lower Saxony, appeared to suggest this return to East German policy in an interview with German broadcaster ARD.

“I think that when one institutes societal reforms, one needs an agency once again because one must protect oneself from other powers, reactionary powers, that use the opportunity to soften the state,” Wegner told ARD.

Wegner never specified which “reactionary powers” she was referring to. Critics say that her rhetoric and ideas pointed clearly to the Stasi: systematic observance of the opposition, punishment for critics of the regime and violent destruction of political resistance.

Born in 1947 and raised in West Germany, Christel Wegner had little daily contact with the feared East German security force. She is a member of the German Communist Party. In an interview with the party newspaper in November 2007, Wegner called for a return of the Stasi.

“I was brought up in a communist household. This upbringing and also the solidarity experienced between people whom I met shaped my desire for organized political engagement,” she said in an interview with the communist party newspaper, explaining why she takes such a radical position.

Her comments have been criticized by her colleagues in the Left Party.

“The statements by German Communist Party member Christel Wegner are unacceptable. The leadership of the Left Party is distancing itself (from these comments) in all ways,” spokesperson Alrun Nüsslein told Berliner Morgenpost. Prominent Left Party politician and former East German Gregor Gysi has publicly admonished Wegner. CDU politicians in the Lower Saxony state parliament have called for Wegner’s resignation in response to these remarks.



Elizabeth Press 2008/02/14 16:40

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