Pinko Commies17 Feb 2008
Card-carrying Communists infiltrating the inner circle of government... sounds like an accusation of the McCarthy era. But the headline comes from 2008 Germany, and the Communist in question resides in our neighbor community of Buchholz.
The Left Party was able to enter the state parliament in Niedersachsen election last month with 7% of the vote. Among their newly elected candidates is Christel Wegner from Buchholz, a member of the German Communist Party (DKP). Last week she gave a television interview in which she defended the East German Stasi (as useful against "reactionary forces") and claimed the Berlin Wall was built to keep West Germans out of East Germany.
The Left Party is the successor (once removed) of East German SED, but says it has "learned from history" and is trying to distance itself from Ms. Wegner, especially since the negative publicity could hurt their chances in the Hamburg election next weekend.
Maybe the Left Party should make sure that the candidates they field have learned from history as well. By the way, their list for Hamburg also includes DKP members.
Update 18 Feb 2008 Today the Left Party parliamentary faction in Niedersachsen voted to expel Christel from their ranks, and the national Left Party will consider a measure to no longer list "crossover" candidates from other leftist parties. Christel remains a faction-less member of the state parliament.