After the Wagenknecht speech in the Bundestag: the last one turns off the light

Ulrich Schneider, the most prominent social lobbyist in the republic, has left the left. The occasion is Sahra Wagenknecht's speech in the Bundestag.

Ulrich Schneider at the federal press conference on Monday

Has declared his departure from the Left Party: social lobbyist Ulrich Schneider Photo: Jörg Carstensen/dpa

So now Ulrich Schneider. While they loudly propagated a "hot autumn against the social indifference of the government", the chief executive of the Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband left the Left Party of all people. What is probably the most prominent social lobbyist in the republic has left because of a no less prominent ex-parliamentary group leader who has been claiming for years that the left no longer cares about social issues. Sounds crazy right? But it is understandable.

The reason for Schneider's departure is the unspeakable Appearance of Sahra Wagenknecht last Thursday in the Bundestag, in which she claimed in a speech dripping with nationalism that the federal government had “started an economic war” against Russia. What she launched there was too much for him, Schneider tweeted on Monday evening.

However, that is only part of the truth. Because that also includes the fact that he had given his previous party another chance. She didn't use them. On Saturday, Schneider attended the Closed conference of the party executive in Rathenow, Brandenburg part. There he also listened to the discussion with the incorrigible parliamentary group leader Dietmar Bartsch. Only then did Schneider leave. It was more than a spatial farewell.

the first newly elected party leadership in June around Martin Schirdewan and Janine Wissler could have sent a clear signal at the weekend that they are not willing to tolerate a faction leadership that continues to offer Wagenknecht and their fan club a forum for their destructive actions. If Schirdewan and Wissler had been courageous, they would have accepted the demands of the Open letter from East German state politicians Katharina König-Preuss, Jule Nagel and Henriette Quade adopted: Wagenknecht excluded from the parliamentary group and Bartsch and Amira Mohamed Ali resigned. They weren't brave.

Cleavage just not yet officially completed

The party leadership should have understood that it is no longer enough to complain without consequence. She didn't get it. Instead, a toothless resolution was passed warning of a split in the party. Without mentioning horse and rider. And as if it wasn't already there. In fact, the split just isn't officially complete yet.

The Wagenknecht camp has broken with the left. It only looks with contempt at all those in the party who do not want to go along with its German-national and socio-politically conservative course. With him, a democratic-socialist alternative to the left of the SPD and the Greens is no longer possible. It doesn't help if the party leadership swears by the unity of the party. Nothing goes together anymore.

Behind the scenes, the Wagenknechtians have long been working on the separation. Although one of their most fanatical, the ex-member of the Bundestag Diether Dehm, at the Berlin UZ press festival of the DKP has already betrayed the goal: a competitive candidacy for the 2024 European elections. The Left leadership also knows this, but draws the wrong conclusions from it. She doesn't want to provide any excuse for the imminent spin-off by hook or by crook. So that as few as possible go along, she wants to make it as difficult as possible for Wagenknecht & Co. to present themselves as victims of exclusion.

Wake-up call or tipping point?

This tactic has one serious flaw: it means that more and more people who urgently need it in order to have a future are turning away from the Left Party in frustration. Just like Ulrich Schneider. Because he and numerous other democratic leftists with integrity simply can no longer stand the right-wing populism of Wagenknecht & Co. in a party.

Her farewell is a gradual one. Schneider is not the first and will certainly not be the last. One goes this week, the other the next. The party crumbles. To the delight of the Wagenknechtians. At some point they will go with a bang – when all that's left is a shambles. And the Left Board is still looking on dumbly.

It's tragic: In the polls, the Left Party just seemed to be picking itself up again. The successful Demonstration in Leipzig against the anti-social crisis policy of the traffic light coalition gave many members new courage. Then came Wagenknecht's speech, which documented that none of the internal party problems had been solved. The burgeoning hope has given way to frustration.

Schneider's resignation must be a "wake-up call" a member of the federal board of directors sniffed. There have been many wake-up calls that have gone unanswered. Schneider's decision could be more: a tipping point.

In view of the social devastation that the traffic light coalition apparently wants to put up with, a strong left-wing opposition on the streets and in the Bundestag is more urgent than ever. But things are getting darker and darker for the Left Party. self-inflicted. The break with Wagenknecht & Co. should have happened long ago. However, the current party leadership obviously lacks the courage and strength to do so. And Dietmar Bartsch turns off the light at the end.

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