A controversy has emerged in Germany recently over remarks made at a party strategy conference for Die Linke (The Left). A participant casually referred to shooting the rich “one percent”, and was smilingly corrected by a colleague, who said the rich would simply be sentenced to forced labor.
They sound like Bernie Sanders’ supporters, don’t they?
Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:
Below is an article on the same topic from Bild (also translated by MissPiggy):
Brutal Revolutionary Fantasy on the Left
CDU General Secretary: “The attitude of the Left is abhorrent”
March 3, 2020
After the brutal fantasies of revolution in the Left Party, the party and left-wing leader Bernd Riexinger (64) are reaping sharp criticism!
CDU General Secretary Paul Ziemiak (34) speaks of a “disgusting attitude” that a participant in the party’s strategy congress showed on the weekend in Kassel. She called for “a revolution, if we shot one percent of the rich,” and needed an energy transition for heating and mobility.
The fantasy of violence was rewarded by the spectators with roars and applause. Instead of directly reining in his party friend, Left-wing leader Bernd Riexinger fuelled the statement.
Right next to her on the podium, Riexinger listens calmly. His clarification follows: “We don’t shoot them, we use them for useful work.”
For CDU General Ziemiak, the derailments on the left are confirmation of why the federal CDU rejects any cooperation with the party.
To classify Riexinger’s reaction to the Congress (“We don’t shoot them, we use them for useful work.”): In the Soviet Union, historians estimate that more than 30 million people were retrained in labor camps and forced into inhumane labor. Reluctant estimates suggest that about three million of them died in the process.
Criticism, outrage — consequences?
A wave of outrage is sweeping through the political landscape after the scandal came to light.
CSU General Secretary Markus Blume (45) demands: “After this video Bernd Riexinger has to explain himself and suffer the consequences. The resignation from the party chairmanship is inevitable.”
But he obviously isn’t considering it. Rather, he relativizes the shooting fantasy as “recognisably ironic,” though he regrets not having “unequivocally rejected” it.
“For the clarification, even if a participant’s comment at the strategy conference is now completely taken out of context, it was and is unacceptable. I regret that I did not immediately reject it unequivocally.”
— Bernd Riexinger (@b_riexinger) March 3, 2020
His own party trembles following such ignorance. The left-wing politician Bodo Ramelow (64) plans to stand for re-election for the office of prime minister in the state parliament of Thuringia on Wednesday. The statements come at an untimely time for him.
“Anyone who wants to shoot people and boasts of a revolution with or by violence has nothing in common with my canon of values. Such a statement at a conference of my party is unacceptable and should never have been smilingly ignored!” said Ramelow. Even unchallenged irony with the statement that one wanted to shoot “the one percent” was not acceptable to him.
The former head of constitutional protection Hans-Georg Maaßen (57, CDU) calls on his party friends in Thuringia, in response to the video, to prevent a left-wing Prime Minister Ramelow from doing so in any case.
Hubertus Knabe, 61, the former director of the Stasi Memorial in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, is unimpressed by the derailments on Twitter: “When leftists are among themselves, they show their true face.”
When #Linke are among themselves, they show their true face
— Hubertus Knabe (@hubertus_knabe) March 3, 2020
Mark Hauptmann (35, CDU), a member of the Bundestag from Thuringia, criticizes: “The Left is extreme, it is radical, it is forgotten by history, it is the old SED.” He, too, rejects any kind of election of Ramelow as prime minister.
The #LINKE is extreme, it is radical, it is forgotten about history, it is the old #SED. She is not a partner for us — neither in the federal government nor in the Länder. Therefore, there can be no active or passive choice of #Ramelow. @CDU@cdu_thueringen @cdu_fraktion_th
— Mark Hauptmann (@MarkHauptmann) March 3, 2020
In the FDP, which is often perceived as a rich party, the debate about the left-wing statements is conspicuously restrained. After the election of the prime minister in Thuringia, they had to take clear criticism for their demarcation from the Left. A reaction from party leader Christian Lindner or general secretary Linda Teuteberg: misreporting.
The FDP member of the Bundestag Alexander Müller (50) however confirms his opposition to the Left: “Anyone who still believes that the Left is a normal party should urgently take a closer look at this force.”
|00:00||I just wanted to mention briefly that a turnaround in energy policy is necessary after a revolution.|
|00:06||Because even after we’ve shot 1% of the rich, we’ll still want to use heating and have mobility.|
|00:15||Well, that’s how it is. We have to come down from this meta-level. The current discussion is about|
|00:23||whether that will happen in 2030, 2035 or 2050, but what does that mean? By building up the|
|00:32||renewable energy infrastructure, the wind energy, the solar energy… —Please finish up. Thank you.|
|00:44||I just wanted to say, we won’t shoot them; we’ll give them useful work to do.