Debate in Die Linke: Shoot the Rich? Or Send Them to the Gulag?

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.”

Video transcript:

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.
 

7 thoughts on “Debate in Die Linke: Shoot the Rich? Or Send Them to the Gulag?

    • Most countries have it.The first Concentration Camp was for Netherlands in South Africa done by the Brits…

      Once i heard a drunk women” I vote DIE LINKE” because they made some trouble…im sure she lived on welfare for decades…

      The LEfties think only the rich get what they need….but they will get it first…the rich will fly away.

      Also the Punk Scen forget that the were opressed in Socialist countries,in GB tourists made photos with them…

  1. Communism is coming back to Germany speedway!!, this Bodo Remlov who won this crooked election in Thüringer, it’s a Communist to the core , people protect your country, end of democracy is around the corner, get rid of this old parties , Linke , Greens, SPD , CDU , FDP , it’s only AFD who can save You nobody else ..

  2. “They sound like Bernie Sanders’ supporters, don’t they?”

    No, they sound to me like a bunch of German left/green extremists, wishing for rainbows and unicorns.

    Bernie wants to return some of the unearned income to those who earned it. He is too pragmatic to want to shoot people or send them to a gulag. He has to be: he has to work with a largely neoliberal Congress of both Democrats and Republicans.

    • I said “Bernie Sanders’ supporters“. Perhaps you haven’t watched Project Veritas’ undercover videos of Sanders’ campaign people.

      • Indeed you did and no I haven’t. I already hear and read my fill of nonsense from supporters of many German politicians. I do not ignore it, as it shapes what will be feasible, but to add another country’s worth would just be too discouraging.

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