Susanne Hennig-Wellsow: The Chair of the Left capitulates – Opinion

For a moment one might think that this is a resignation for personal reasons. In her statement, the previous Left Chairwoman, Susanne Hennig-Wellsow, named her life situation as the first of three reasons. Her eight-year-old son has a right to time with her, she writes. As correct as that may be, there is much more to this resignation. It is a capitulation to the party, in an existential crisis for the party. When Hennig-Wellsow took the lead together with Janine Wissler 14 months ago, both promised a fresh start. They were serious, but had to learn that the left lacked the will to do so. In this party, instead, most of the energy goes into maintaining internal power and dealing with oneself, which often ends in self-harm.

An oppressive example is currently the way sexism is dealt with in the party, which Hennig-Wellsow cites as another reason for his resignation. This has a devastating effect against the background of the structural problems that the party has often diagnosed and then ignored. For years, the left has been arguing about direction, which has been marked by embarrassing headlines and mutual contempt. The camps paralyze each other. That also repels many who want a left-wing force in Germany. The divided camps cared little as long as there was a seat in parliament for everyone. In the meantime, the election results hardly show that anymore.

The only way out would be for the party to finally settle its conflicts and find a clear line again – even if that meant losses and farewells. But the fear of such a renewal is too great. The politician Susanne Hennig-Wellsow, who is known to be very determined, had to recognize this. Their failure reveals how difficult the left’s struggle for survival is becoming.

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