|Member of the Bundestag|
27th September 2009
|Vice-President of Die Linke|
15th May 2010
16 July 1969 |
|Political party||Die Linke|
|Domestic partner||Oskar Lafontaine (2011-)|
Sahra Wagenknecht (born July 16, 1969 in Jena, Thuringia) is a German politician. She is a Member of the Bundestag, author, and a member of the National Committee of the Left Party. Since May 2010 she is deputy chairperson of Die Linke.
Early life 
Wagenknecht was born on July 16, 1969, in the East German city of Jena. Her mother worked for a state-run art distributor. Her father, whom she never met, was Iranian. She was cared for primarily by her grandparents until 1976, when she and her mother moved to East Berlin. While in Berlin, she became a member of the Free German Youth (FDJ). She completed her Abitur exams in 1988 and joined the Socialist Unity Party (SED) in early 1989.
From 1990 until 1996 she studied Philosophy and New German Literature in Jena, Berlin and Groningen. Her final thesis covered the topic of the young Karl Marx's interpretation of Hegel. The dissertation was published as a book in 1997.
Political career 
After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the transformation of the SED into the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), Wagenknecht was elected to the new party's National Committee in 1991. She also joined the PDS's Communist Platform, an orthodox Marxist faction.
In the 1998 German federal election, Wagenknecht ran as the PDS candidate in a district of Dortmund, garnering 3.25 percent. Following the 1999 European elections, she was elected as a PDS representative to the European Parliament. Among her duties in the parliament is serving on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Delegation, as well as the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly.
Following the merger of the PDS and the WASG that formed the Left Party, Wagenknecht considered campaigning for the position of party vice-chair. However, party leaders such as Lothar Bisky and Gregor Gysi objected to the idea (primarily because of her perceived sympathies for the former German Democratic Republic). Following the controversy, she announced that she would not run for the post. Wagenknecht successfully contested a seat in the 2009 federal election in North Rhine-Westphalia. Being in the Bundestag she became the left party's spokesperson for economic politics. On May 15 she was at last elected vice-president of the left party (75,3%).
Wagenknecht has argued that the Left Party must pursue radical and anticapitalist goals, thereby remaining distinct from the more moderate Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Green Party. She has criticized the Left Party's participation in coalition governments, especially the Berlin state government, which has made cuts to social spending and privatized some services.
She has expressed strong support for the rise of left-wing leaders in Latin America, such as Hugo Chávez. She serves as a spokesperson for the Venezuela Avanza solidarity network, and she is an alternate on the European Parliament's delegation for relations with Mercosur.
Personal life 
Wagenknecht married businessman Ralph-Thomas Niemeyer in May 1997. However, on 12 November 2011 Oskar Lafontaine stated publicly that he and Wagenknecht had become "close friends" (eng befreundet), both being by now separated from their respective spouses.
- European Parliament profile
- "Günter Gaus im Gespräch mit Sahra Wagenknecht" from Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb), 11 February 2004.
- "Kurzbiographie" from www.sahra-wagenknecht.de (29 June 2007).
- Your MEPs : Introduction : Sahra WAGENKNECHT - European Parliament profile
- DIE LINKE.NRW (Party website), "," (21 April 2009).
- "Nicht mitkungeln, sondern kämpfen," statement co-signed by Wagenknecht (28 April 2007).
- "Kuba und Lateinamerika agieren selbstbewusster als früher" Linkszeitung (10 December 2005).
- "Betrugsverdacht - Ermittlungen gegen Sahra Wagenknechts Ehemann," Der Spiegel (19 December 2001).
- FAZ zur Wagenknecht/Lafontaine
- Beziehung mit Wagenknecht: Lafo in Love Spiegel Online vom 12. November 2011
- "Lafontaine stellt Wagenknecht als seine Freundin vor". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 2011-11-12.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Sahra Wagenknecht|
- (English) Official website
- (English) European Parliament profile
- (English) Video of Wagenknecht interview on The Real News Network, 26 September 2012
- (German) Official website
- (German) Left Party profile
- (German) Video of Wagenknecht at 2008 Left Party Congress at YouTube