Bisky was somebody completely respected, and warmly liked, in his party – Die Linke, and before that the PDS. He died unexpectedly on Tuesday, four days before his 72nd Birthday.
German politician Lothar Bisky has passed away. He had two spells as leader of the successor party to the East German communists and helped form the Left party.
Bisky’s death at the age of 71 was announced by the parliamentary leader of the Left party, Gregor Gysi, on Tuesday.
In a statement released later, Gysi and his two party co-chairs expressed their sorrow at the loss of one of the Left’s key figures since the fall of the East German communist regime and reunification.
In the statement. they said Germany had lost a great mover and shaker of recent times and that Europe had lost a dedicated champion of “the project of the political, social and economic unification of the continent.”
The statement also described him as a “leader and shaper of the Left party,” saying he had fought for a “strong German and European left-socialist party.” Deutsche Welle.
Der Speigel says,
Bisky was twice leader of the PDS: 1993-2000 (succeeding Gysi) and from 2003 to 2007. He took over after the merger of the PDS with the West German Election Alternative (WASG) together with Oskar Lafontaine and they managed, for three years, the leadership of the new party “Die Linke”. At the party congress in Rostock in 2010, he did not run for office. His succesors were Klaus Ernst and Gesine Lötzsch .
Bisky 2007-2010 was Chairman of the European Left – since 2009 he was a member of the European Parliament. In March 2012 Bisky resigned from the leadership of Die Linke. He cited health problems as his reason.
“Left is unthinkable without him”
For Die Linke Bisky was, in recent years, powerful integrating force. Again and again he managed to overcome the serious battles between the Eastern and Western German parts of the Party, which regularly saped the Party’s morale. He resisted making sharp comments. Bisky stood out with his pleasant manner from some other top comrades. …
There is a Wikipedia entry on Lothar Bisky which highlights some, perhaps, less admirable aspects of his past. That is, about his links with the Stasi.