Mr. Gysi, we have so far talked with Joschka Fischer, Wolfgang Schäuble, and Alice Schwarzer, more than 70 years of the Federal Republic of Germany. You are jealous that you have four decades of the West?

no. Such Considerations, I grew out of it. My parents lived in 1948 in the American sector of Berlin in Nikolassee. They might have to stay. No idea what would have become of me. I don’t want to suffer, in retrospect, that I had not lived in the West. You called it, just had other problems than I do.

The 50s

you grew up in Johannisthal in Berlin’s East. There is a certain smell, a sound that you associate with your Childhood?

noise is not, smell not, but: silence. At Johannisthal, it would not have come up with the idea to live in a big city. Had a little Cosy. We also said: “We drive into the city,” when it went in the direction of Friedrichstraße.

Was tenant-at home?

my dad occasionally, my sister and me anyway, but my mother is not.

her parents were convinced Communists. It was felt that in the home Gysi?

In the case of my mother, I’m not completely sure. She had connected the movement of my father. That was also real. But they had a different culture, they had a noble mother and a commoner father. It has also been marked. This mixture is what we felt as children.

it Was a lot of talk about the war?

It was relatively speaking a lot about the Nazi dictatorship, less about war, more about the consequences.

The Holocaust, the were the others? The in the West?

That was a General Problem of my Childhood: that the Nazis had remained Essentially in the West, in the Offices, and we the feeling had, we are the counterpart to those who don’t want to deal with their past, apart.


the second Name of The five-year-old Florian. His father, Klaus Gysi, joined in 1931, the KPD, and later became the GDR’s Minister of culture.


Ever at the dinner table is not over: Go on, if you like it here?

Not at home. But after I had bitched about the GDR times, said to me: “You can also like to go to Mr. Globke is over.” Because I was mad.

West Berlin was a distant world for you?

no. I got in Schöneweide S-Bahn, and in Baumschulenweg was said: “We would like to point out that you are leaving the democratic sector of Berlin” – then I was in West Berlin. Unlike other children I was allowed to swap but no money, not driving around, the have banned my parents. The other went into the “Aki”, to the cinema, and told me then, what great movies they had seen. I was only allowed to visit my grandma in Nikolassee, the mother of my mother.

“Rose learned from the ruins”?

Clear. I’ve also sung. And then we were allowed to sing all of a sudden, because of “Germany United Fatherland”.

in 1958, had their parents divorce. More of a shock, or a teaching example?

That was a bit of a shock. Since my mother suffered, my sister and I suffered. It also had the advantage that my dad did things with us, we would have never experienced if he would still be with us usual: circus, theater, and Friedrichstadt-Palast. And we went to eat well. Also to the “Ganymede”. You number test in Mark of the GDR, but they were Berlin’s always from the West. Once, there was frog legs, other Times snails. I owe – so if you want – the divorce of my parents.

On a scale of one to ten: How much of the West stuck in Gregor Gysi?

Too little. The other children saw West Berlin is different than I am. For me, it was rather foreign. In the GDR there were no toy guns, all of them had something, I just don’t. Including I’ve suffered already! So: a 3.

‘ 60s

Shortly before the construction of the wall, she strolled the Ku’damm. They had at least Westmarch?

That was not necessary. Shortly before Ulbricht had said, unasked, that no one had the intention to build a wall. If it else has noticed any, my father knew since the day that she comes. He called a friend, a wealthy Frenchman with a Mercedes and a Chauffeur, which led my sister and me right through West Berlin. We ate in the Hilton Restaurant, went to the cinema, were at the victory column, saw the Kurfürstendamm. This was typical of my father. He thought: Before the wall comes up, you need to leave it once the kids show.

did you Feel walled in?

I was 13. August 1961 in Seehausen in the Altmark in the summer holidays. Since I was the King of Berlin. On this day there was no bread, and the trains no longer went. My hope was that the continues to this in the school time. Unfortunately, they drove back. When I came back to Berlin – that was spooky, too many military vehicles, to many tanks. You had the feeling that it is a different age. At the time, I thought the wall is a maximum of two years.

June 63, John F. Kennedy speaks in front of the schöneberg city hall: “I am a Berliner.” You felt addressed?

you Know, that Kennedy has made a decision about my life? Because Khrushchev asked him: What do you think of Berlin? Kennedy answered: West Berlin must remain free. If he had said: the Whole of Berlin must remain under the four-power status, would have been built the wall around Berlin. I would have then, formally, to the East, but always in the West. That has shaped my life. A set of an American President! We, as children of Berlin said: We will travel in the GDR. We felt not really to belong to.


“I am a Berliner,” says US President Kennedy in 1963, in front of the schöneberg town hall. “He has decided about my life,” said Gysi.


your favorite Beatle?

Paul McCartney. He was so different. My mother said at the time: they’re always the same, always the same song. I never thought I’d say this, but I with my son, when he heard AC/DC.

in 1967, in the case of the SED. The first step on the career ladder?

There were lawyers who were not in the SED. By my parents ‘ house, the question for me is not stock. I was not convinced to stand on the right side of history, with many defects, so stupid I am Yes, but on the right side.

you have Jewish roots. Did you feel anti-Semitism?

no, also later. What I felt was a deep-seated Intellectual hostility. A certain Humor liked officials not irony she also liked, she was rather foreign. But I could not be otherwise.

Have sparked the student unrest in you, the hope that the West could turn for the Better?

The APO was directed against the dusty, encrusted beings at the universities and against the parents and grandparents who had not worked up the Nazi history. Both of these came together. And the rescue was Willy Brandt. As I have understood the importance of a government can be change. Even if the Union would have realised that you talk with the GDR leadership, the entire East otherwise would have to deal with – you would not be able to explain the change to their constituents. You can’t turn into questions of principle, so without Further to 180 degrees.

your place in this time?

Paris. I thought it can’t be that I have to wait until retirement until I can once again see Paris. I was wrong twice, as far as the wall. At first I thought it stands for a long time. Then I thought, it is eternal.

Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll. The sequence is correct?

Vice-versa. I knew the Rock ‘n’ Roll, before the other came or came not.

How much the West, Gysi was in Gregor?

a Little more by the students ‘ movement and the Soviet invasion in the CSSR. The Prague spring of 68 gave us hopes of the military were wiped out. A 4.

‘ 70s

you Have followed Willy Brandt’s visit to Erfurt in the West or in the Ostfernsehen?

Both. I switched in such situations the channels. In Erfurt, they cried: “Willy Brandt to the window!”. Since I have not been amazed that the state security got a handle on it. Brandt was also in Buchenwald. He had a wreath for Rudolf Breitscheid, a murdered social Democrats. As they pressed him again for Ernst Thälmann in the Hand. Told me about my father.

The kneeling in Warsaw …

That was something Special. The population of the Federal Republic of Germany had the power to choose a such as Willy Brandt, had fought against the Nazis, was for me a tremendously important Signal. I thought, this is a cultural change, in which the GDR is not over. The knee impressed me, because I knew he also attracts anger and hate in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Have you talked to later with the East German spy Günter Guillaume on Brandt?

Once. Had the point of view: I don’t know why everyone get so upset, I didn’t helped.


Gysi and his sons George (left) and Daniel. At the beginning of the Seventies, a lawyer, separated from his first wife.


track and field question: Renate Stecher, or Heide Rosendahl?

Then, of course, Renate Stecher. I was always on the side of the GDR athletes. For many sports fans from the GDR, there was a clear order: first the own people, then the FRG-athletes, then the Western world, the third world, then the United States, finally, the socialist world and at the very end of the Soviet Union. Me annoyed so much with me already that is why the athletes from the USSR were more to the front.

Ever in the inter-store bought?

in 1974, not yet, later. The Problem was not the inter shop. The Problem was that the SED-voice guidance. That’s not possible. We had, in fact, two currencies, and the whole principle of merit was so confused – one is diligent and gets a bonus of 100 Mark East, the other is lazy, but has a aunt in the West and gets 200 Mark West, and it is much better. You have to, for economic reasons, maybe allow it, but you have to publicly explain why it is so.

you Know, what are you on 22. June 1974 21.03 at have made?


As Jürgen sparwasser scores the 1:0 in world Cup game against Germany.

it was a small Triumph. I would like to know whether the Politburo sat together in Wandlitz and the champagne corks popped.

in the mid-Seventies. Writing your doctoral Dissertation: “from The perfection of the socialist law in the legal implementation process”. Your best thought?

where is a permissible Interpretation of the Law, and where the breach of the law begins with the Interpretation? – so I’ve engaged me and also the Supreme court of the GDR law violations detected. That is why the Dissertation has not been approved for the exchange with the West. But you could read in the GDR.


“A small Triumph”: 22. June 1974, Jürgen Sparwasser scored the 1:0 for DDR in the world Cup preliminary round

©Wolfgang Weihs/DPA

in 1976, the Wolf is shown Biermann. Have you followed his concert in Cologne?

Yes, and I was a little bit scary, because I knew what happened. To deprive him of citizenship is a huge mistake. Thus, the peace was broken by the state leadership with critical artists had made. The could live with the compromise that Wolf Biermann is not allowed to sing in the GDR, but also is not locked up. The deprivation of citizenship has triggered a wave and then Honecker had not the power to undo them.

her painful esters of compromise in the GDR had to make?

was that I was able to insist in negotiations on the exact observance of the laws, but they themselves are not criticized.

Have you known anyone who has known someone who has one of the 10.000 VW Golf won, which were delivered in 1977 in the GDR?

Our Schätzi …

The housekeeper of their parents.

… was friends with a woman who worked in a television factory, and was married to a man who drove in the building material supply Truck, and said to me: “That was really a measure for workers.” Had the Volkswagen. The difference to me.

The regime critic Rudolf Bahro was represented by them by a lawyer. He was sentenced to eight years in prison in 1979, but in the Federal Republic of deported. That was a good Deal.

It was the only possible one. The Department of state and law had feared that he would move to the West about the GDR. I said, he does that. He also has never. I knew him.

How much the West end of the Seventies stuck in Gregor Gysi?

I would say: 4,5.

The 80s

the billion loan extended For how many years has the existence of the GDR?

Franz Josef Strauß wanted to endanger in any case, the existence of the GDR. He was with Honecker agreed that, when it comes to the third world war, in Germany begönne. The United States and the Soviet Union would prevent 48 hours to be had, that the war will spread to France, or Poland – Germany, but would have been entirely destroyed. The wanted bouquet and Honecker?

Jealous of the fact that in the West, hundreds of thousands against the retrofitting went on the road?

Well, of course. For us, the demonstration was very limited.


1976: The GDR songwriter Wolf Biermann is expatriated. 13. November, he gives his legendary concert in Cologne, Germany.

©Wilhelm Bertram/DPA

Have you eaten after Chernobyl mushrooms?

Oh, Yes. At the Ostbahnhof there were a lot of Polish stands – and before that, always a maniac snakes. After Chernobyl, the poles were still there – but no one more. Since I have bought them all up. For whatever reason, I have no fear in this regard.

when did you feel that it goes with the GDR to an end?

that was when it came to the sanctions according to the Luxemburg-Liebknecht Demo, 1988. As a disabled people, which were then released under the condition that you have to go temporarily in the West. Idiot, it’s not really. A country always has two possibilities. It can prohibit and it must then bind. Or it can allow some. If it can’t do both, it is at the end.

Are you on the Morning of the 4. In November 1989, the day of the Alexanderplatz Demonstration, have been nervous?

of Course. It was the first Time I’ve spoken at a rally. And then the same hundreds of thousands were there. I wrote down the speech. However, it was too long.

your best sentence?

Two. The first came at the beginning and referred to the state security: “I have me, which is usually my way down, this time everything, so I know afterwards what I really said …” And the second sentence was: “I wish for every household to have a telephone and that the phrase ‘I don’t want to tell you on the phone’ for always, the story belongs to.” Not bad, is it?

you understand why so many of them at the fall of the Berlin wall wept?

Yes, of course. A longing was fulfilled.

And yourself?

no, not cried. It has touched me. My companion I said: “This is the beginning of the end of the GDR, I have to think now for the first time.” Also, I had the next day a murder case. And I know the German judicial system. Due to world events, not a negotiation.


1989: Gysi is the head of the SED/PDS, and gets his choice of a broom as a gift. The job: to clean.

©ADN Central image/DPA

you are on 9. December 1989-elected with 95 per cent, of the Chairman of the SED/ PDS. It was clear to them that they were writing history?

Sometimes it is. In December 1989, I was on the phone with Mikhail Gorbachev. The said to me: “If you give up on the SED, the GDR. If you give up the GDR, the Soviet Union.” I said: “you Know, on the shoulders of a small Berlin-based lawyer my club ranges. I don’t need the whole Soviet Union.” That was the only Time he had to laugh.

How much the West was the end of the Eighties in them?

Before that, the West had been growing in me already. With my new role, he took off again, because I knew that You are obliged to represent Eastern German interests. 4.

The 90s

her first encounter with Helmut Kohl?

According to the Bonn round in the Bundestag. It was my first speech, the first and second series of the SPD called all the time when I give you your property back. I had the Egon Bahr, long since, could not talk, at his request, the public about it. That’s why I said: “ladies and gentlemen of the SPD, but they had very close contacts to Erich Honecker. If you had asked him back their property – that would have shown guts. Today, it is not very brave.” Kohl was sitting in his chair, and laughed, and stuff.

regrets Ever to have a Ostprodukt against a Western product replaced?

The bun. The tasted in the GDR, much better, not so bloated.

you Have embarrassed yourself time for Easterners?

Well, of course. For Wessis.

Because of opportunism and the lack of solidarity on the other?

I was at the beginning of 90 in the case of the generals of the NVA, one had quite a lot of Tinsel. The Interesting thing was that the siezte me. I said that I came to make you a proposal – namely, the conscription will be abolished. For that, I would have a noble and a base motive. “The noble motive is that the DDR just stops. You can’t seriously committed to young people under threat of criminal prosecution, to go in a army to defend a country that gives up.” And the base motive? “If we abolish the compulsory military service, must Kohl introduce you again. And the give I to him.” Then to me said: “Mr. Gysi, we have learned a craft. We are soldiers that can defend their country. So how could we defend the GDR, we can defend, of course, the Federal Republic of Germany.” But they had no Chance. The breakdown of solidarity, there was, disturbed me.


1990: Gysi considers his first speech in the Bundestag, and attacks the SPD. Chancellor Kohl, amused as can be.

©Wolfgang Kumm/DPA

when you have recognized the force of the Stasi allegations unfold against you?

it took a little while to get my lawyer said: “you need to fight back against it.” And then I defended myself. And you know what? That was good, it has changed the attitude of the members of my party to the rule of law is positive. The Mainstream was against me. The courts have decided for me anyway. Therefore, the independence of the judiciary has become so important.

the Gauck-authority Dominated the view of the GDR?

Yes, very. It suggested that the security of the state was the most powerful Organ of the GDR. That was not true. That was the party. Ultimately, the party leadership has decided what was allowed to make the security of the state and what is not.

Gerhard Schroeder could Have been Chancellor if he would have been in the GDR?

no, it’s the type of the not. The Merkel, it is only because the Union had a heavy donation crisis. Suddenly, what is not turned, because all of them had to do in the West somehow have something to do with, just from the East. As have told to the guys in the Union: We can make the girl for two years as Chairman, and then we will send you wiedhe home. Her talent was to send these home.

How much the West was in them?

In the nineties, was logically a lot of the East in me, because that was my role. But culturally Holt was the West’s hard – so: 5.

The zero years

yet somewhere millions from the SED assets?

Nah. I signed the document in 1990, the foreign assets transferred to the trust. And within the GDR, I can exclude it. I had also signed that we would have to pay back three times the amount, if there is any amount would have been found. Since we would have ruined us.

Have you thought on 9/11: The changed the world more than the fall of the wall?

no. Although the terrorist attack in New York has changed the world. But the end of the Cold war has changed the Western world because the East has been missing in social questions from now on as a corrective. The state socialism had its best consequences for the citizens in the West.

when have you believed the first Time the unit?

The interior of unit will last for a Generation, which is due to the fact that is still not the same pay for equal work is not paid, there’s still the same amount of pension. In the 29. The year of German unification beyond the pale! And then, the first youth after the fall of the Berlin wall the GDR was, as I would have thought it possible.

Oskar Lafontaine’s main motive: revenge of the SPD?

no. He was deeply hurt. But at the core it was him, a left-wing party.


1999: Gysi private with his wife, Andrea Lederer (“a Western woman”) and the joint daughter, Anna

©Andreas Altwein/DPA

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg today Would be the Chancellor, if he had not faked his PhD thesis?

Nah. To do this, he was an idea too vain. The Union is not so popular.

the Germans Are in the wrong Places too strict?

no. I have understood, the scientists in the case of Guttenberg, and in other cases. If you say that doesn’t matter, you make yourself vulnerable. You may have noticed that so far all the fake dissertations come from the West? In the West, some had the option of the employee. Then the cheating, of course. So what there was in the GDR. You must write to test it alone.

How much the West was in them?

I married a Western woman. What do you mean, how it changed! I am at least at 8.

10 years

when was Angela Merkel is at the Zenith?

in the middle of the last legislature. Since it was considered the most powerful woman in the world. If you would have said that it will stop at the end of the legislature, then that would have been a departure in a blaze of glory.

How many refugees per year, can cope with Germany?

In any case, more than many believe.

And how many Nazis the country coped?

Actually, no. But there are even now times there. The can only be not too strong.

Joschka Fischer, has entrusted to us: “In politics you have to deal with many idiots.” He has to be right?

I would say so never. But: The policy of civil servants, because we have no break times. After break times, after 45 personalities, such as Wehner, Brandt, Adenauer, Strauss and others. And after the upheaval of the GDR people like de Maizière, Gauck, Merkel and maybe came I also.


2007: (yet) Since to Since with Oskar Lafontaine. Gysi, together with the Saar countries until 2009, leader of the left group.

©Torsten Leukert/Imago

Ever imagined what would have happened if the East would have connected the West?

Well, of course. I could give you today, the name for the First secretaries of the district lines, the SED in Bavaria.

your best stolen Pointe?

Here I do from my information, the right to refuse to use.

In which talk show you have to go?

“Who’s a millionaire?” will I be invited, but don’t trust me. Fear of embarrassment. So therefore, the Late-Night Show with Letterman, but only when I speak perfect American, so never.

How much the West is in them?

I am now finally German.

… what will remain of Gregor Gysi

your best decade?

My mutigstes the Nineties. But my best was the following, because I rejected first by the majority of the population, but was then accepted.

The best decade of the Federal Republic of Germany?

This began after a 68.

Would you please bring the concepts of Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll in the relevant order.

The questions in a 71-Year-old Seriously? Since it is not frequency, but relevance. Drugs to fall out.

earning airline miles?


Are you? in your life again “The capital” of Marx to read

I’ve read in my life, the first Band – and that was enough for me.

The ten best speakers in German history: Rosa Luxemburg, Gustav Stresemann, Joseph Goebbels, Franz Josef Strauss, Carlo Schmid, Joschka Fischer, Gregor Gysi, Friedrich Merz, Oskar Lafontaine, car Sahra servant, Guido Westerwelle.

Wehner is missing! The could 18 Relative clauses and found it’s still the right Conclusion. I would never find.

It was already eleven. There are two too much are so even.

Then, we delete Goebbels, for reasons of content.

It is too much is still …

Na, then swipe still me.


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