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Aufstehen's logo (2018-present)

Aufstehen (German: Stand up) is a left-wing collective movement founded by Die Linke politician Sahra Wagenknecht in 2018. Its co-founders and participants include leading members of Germany's left-oriented parties as well as supporters from science and the arts. Their aim is to exert pressure on German political parties and to bring about a shift to the left in politics and society. This includes focusing on the issues concerning voters lost to new right-wing movements which have recently emerged in German politics. Inspirations for the movement include Jean-Luc Mélenchon's movement La France Insoumise and Momentum, the organisation founded in support of the British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.[1][2]


The founding of the movement had been debated for months when its website was launched on 4 August 2018. It was officially launched on 4 September 2018 at a press conference in Berlin.[2] Among the founders are members of The Left, the SPD and the Greens. Notable figures involved include the sociologist Wolfgang Streeck and SPD politician Simone Lange, who was defeated for the leadership of the party in 2018 by Andrea Nahles.[2] The background to the founding of the movement is the surge of right-wing parties worldwide, including Germany. The founders of Aufstehen argue against the rise in social injustice and urge leftist parties to unite in order to bring about a change in German politics.[1] Wagenknecht has also stated that the continuation of the grand coalition of the CDU/CSU and the SPD after the 2017 federal election was also a stimulus to the founding of the movement, arguing that this would lead to a continuation of policies that would increase economic inequality and insecurity and benefit far-right groups such as the Alternative for Germany.[2]


Aufstehen, an "extreme left"[3] collective, is according to some media "hostile toward immigration".[4][5] Wagenknecht, who advocates "against an open-border policy for Germany",[6] considers open borders to be politically naïve.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Wagenknecht-Projekt: "Aufstehen" - linke Sammlungsbewegung formiert sich". Spiegel Online. 3 August 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Sunkara, Bhaskar; Baltner, Adam (11 October 2018). "Standing Up to Merkel". Jacobin. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  3. ^ "A far-left German anti-migrant party: Interview with Dominik Grillmayer". Radio Télévision Suisse (in French). 22 August 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2019. The movement is based on anti-immigration values.
  4. ^ Qvortrup, Matt (7 September 2018). "Germany's radical left is fueling anti-immigrant sentiment". CNN. Retrieved 13 January 2019. The movement is unashamedly populist -- and hostile toward immigration
  5. ^ Jamie Dettmer (27 August 2018). "Red-Brown Alignments Unnerve Europe's Centrists". VOA. Retrieved 13 January 2019. Aufstehen presents a leftist case for limiting migration and aims to stem the defection of provincial voters
  6. ^ David Adler (29 January 2019). "Meet Europe's Left Nationalists". The Nation. Archived from the original on 8 December 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2019. targeted Wagenknecht for her vocal position against an open-border policy for Germany
  7. ^ Christina Brause (3 August 2018). "Was man über Sahra Wagenknechts Sammelbewegung schon weiß". Die Welt (in German). Retrieved 13 January 2019. But the biggest point of dissent in the party is migration policy. Wagenknecht considers open borders to be politically naïve.

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