Gregor Gysi delivered the German Unification Symposium lecture entitled "The Challenges of Unified Germany," on October 27, 2015 at the German Historical Institute Washington.
Gregor Gysi, the most prominent representative and former chairman of the German “Left” Party (Die Linke), visited the German Historical Institute in Washington DC to deliver a lecture on “The Challenges of Unified Germany,” which was followed by a panel discussion with Marcus Pindur, U.S. correspondent of the German radio station “Deutschlandfunk.” Among other topics, Gysi addressed the current development, controversial history, and future of Die Linke (Left Party), whose parliamentary group in the German Bundestag he chaired from 2005 until this year.
Dr. Gysi has been an important and at times divisive public figure in post-unification Germany. Prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall and unification, Gysi was a member of the SED's Gorbachev-inspired reformist camp. As a licensed attorney in East Germany, he defended several prominent dissidents. After the fall of the GDR regime, Gysi headed the SED and guided the party's transformation from the post-communist PDS to the Left Party. Known as one of the most talented speakers in the German Parliament, he recently announced his resignation as chair of the party’s parliamentary group. In 2003, Gysi published Was nun? Über Deutschlands Zustand und meinen eigenen (What Now? On Germany’s State and My Own). The event at the GHI provided a unique opportunity to reconsider this question in a much more challenging political context.