How she realized that she is not good for a politician

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Sahra Wagenknecht

She was a member of the PDS board at the age of 21.

(Photo: AP)

Frankfurt It's all about this: “Sahra Wagenknecht – The Biography” makes it understandable why one of Germany's most successful female politicians announces their withdrawal in March 2019. Ostensibly, it's a burnout. But this has a lot to do with the fact that Wagenknecht had decided with her successful candidacy for the board of the PDS at the tender age of 21 years for a career for which she was ill-equipped by socialization and character.

The fact that she even went into the top politics, where she met with much approval and great hostility, biographer Christian Schneider looks like a wrong decision. “Sahra is not a pack leader,” explains Wagenknecht's husband Oskar Lafontaine in the book. She lacked any experience with cliques and similar groups, apart from a brief interlude as punk.

This is the author: Christian Schneider is a habilitated social psychologist and executive coach. With his insightful and professionally sound approach, he draws a coherent and enlightening image of a contradictory personality. What drove Wagenknecht to found the collecting movement “Getting Up”, which brought her so much inner-party annoyance, he makes just as understandable as the reasons for their retreat, as their hopes were not fulfilled.

That disturbs: Passagewise, the scientist goes through with Schneider, the many tapeworm sentences demand a lot from the reader. Fortunately, these passages in the back focus on Wagenknecht's inner-party struggles in the last few months before their resignation. He does not have to read who was following the press reports anyway. Especially since Schneider – very much to the benefit of the rest of the book – so neutrality is considered that this chapter does not really entrain.

That's surprising: If one reads about Wagenknecht's childhood and youth in the GDR as a bookworm, as an extreme loner and bullied outsider, as a convinced communist and extreme non-conformist, one hardly believes that such a person can make it to the opposition leader in the Bundestag.

C. Schneider: Sahra Wagenknecht – The Biography.
campus
Frankfurt 2019
272 pages
22,95 Euro

Wagenknecht nevertheless followed the career path, because her intellectual models Marx and Hegel, whose entire works she had worked through, had little left for knowledge without action. Wagenknecht reveals her further career planning in Proust's questionnaire: “A writer whose books trigger debates”. For this career goal, the 50-year-old does not have to overcome internal resistance.

It's tailor-made for her. She has already landed a bestseller with the soon written “wealth without greed”. It can build on this with a rested continuation, which substantiates their ideas of a better ownership system. And to debate the right strategy for the consumptive leftist parties, now devoid of factionalism, it will have something to contribute, which can provoke lively debate.

More: Sahra Wagenknecht beckons and fascinates many. Now she resigns as left-wing faction leader. What does that mean for your party?

Agenda (t) Literature (t) Wagenknecht (t) Left (t) Biography (t) Resignation (t) Book Critic (t) Politician (t) The Left (t) Sahra Wagenknecht (t) Christian Schneider

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