Lothar Bisky

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lothar Bisky
Lothar Bisky Headshot Bundestagwahl 2005.jpg
Lothar Bisky in 2005
Chairman of The Left
In office
16 June 2007 – 15 May 2010
Serving with Oskar Lafontaine
Preceded byhimself (as Leader of the Party of Democratic Socialism)
Succeeded byGesine Lötzsch
Chairman of the Party of Democratic Socialism
In office
29 June 2003 – 15 June 2007
Preceded byGabi Zimmer
Succeeded byhimself (as co-leader of The Left)
In office
31 January 1993 – 14 October 2000
Preceded byGregor Gysi
Succeeded byGabi Zimmer
Member of the European Parliament
for Germany
In office
14 July 2009 – 13 August 2013
Succeeded byMartina Michels
Member of the Bundestag
for Brandenburg
In office
18 October 2005 – 14 July 2009
Succeeded bySteffen Hultsch
ConstituencyThe Left Party.PDS List
Vice President of the Landtag of Brandenburg
(on proposal of the PDS-group)
In office
13 October 2004 – 20 October 2005
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byGerlinde Stobrawa
Leader of the PDS in Landtag of Brandenburg
In office
26 October 1990 – 13 October 2004
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byDagmar Enkelmann
Member of the Landtag of Brandenburg
In office
26 October 1990 – 20 October 2005
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byKerstin Meier
ConstituencyPDS List
Member of the Volkskammer
for Potsdam
In office
5 April 1990 – 2 October 1990
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born(1941-08-17)17 August 1941
Zollbrück, Pomerania, Nazi Germany
(now Korzybie, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland)
Died13 August 2013(2013-08-13) (aged 71)
Leipzig, Germany
Political partySED (1963–1989)
PDS (1989–2007)
The Left (2007–2013)

Lothar Bisky (17 August 1941 – 13 August 2013) was a German politician. He was the chairman of the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), the successor of East Germany's Socialist Unity Party (SED). In June 2007 he became co-chairman of The Left (Die Linke) party, formed by a merger of the PDS and the much smaller Labour and Social Justice – The Electoral Alternative. From 2007 until 2010 he was the President of the Party of the European Left. Also, he was the Publisher of the socialist newspaper Neues Deutschland.


Bisky was born in Zollbrück, Pomerania, Germany (now Korzybie, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland), from where he came after 1945 as refugee to Schleswig-Holstein in northern West Germany. In order to get a free university education he emigrated to Communist GDR at the age of 18, and after facing initial doubts due to his heritage was allowed to join the Socialist Unity Party in 1963, but did not rise to leadership positions until shortly after the fall of communism and the resulting purge of hardliners from the party. He was rector of the University of Film and Television (Potsdam-Babelsberg) from 1986 to 1990. In 1991 he became a member of the board of directors of regional television channel ORB (now part of RBB).

Stasi informer[edit]

In 1995, it was discovered that Bisky had been an informer for the Stasi. The Stasi records on his wife referred to his activities as an informant.[1]: 63  Subsequent investigations revealed that Bisky was registered by the Stasi with the code names of Bienert between 1966 and 1970, and as Klaus Heine[2] from 1987. Lothar Bisky was also described in Stasi records as zuverlässig (reliable), the highest level of trust for an informer.

When Bisky was promoted, the Main Directorate for Reconnaissance (German: Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung) of the Stasi issued a statement where Bisky was described as "a reliable comrade, who strictly follows orders and always is honest with the Ministry for State Security (Stasi)" ("ein zuverlässiger Genosse, der sich strikt an die gegebenen Anweisungen hält und gegenüber dem MfS stets ehrlich war").[3][4]

Political career[edit]

In 1990 he was a member of the Volkskammer and beginning in 1990 he was a member of the state parliament in Brandenburg.

He was chairman of the PDS from 1993 until his resignation in 2000 over a defeat for the executive committee on support for United Nations military intervention. He was re-elected chairman in 2003 after this "left turn" had cost the party its seats in the Bundestag in 2002. Bisky was seen to be on the moderate, social democratic wing of the party and was a long-time close ally of the party's most prominent figure, Gregor Gysi. He was often regarded for his abilities to lead meaningful discussions between parties of completely opposite viewpoints, be it within his own party or in media events with other groups.

The party returned strongly to the Bundestag in the 2005 election. Bisky, one of 54 Left MPs, was nominated by his party to become one of the six vice presidents of the Bundestag. When the new Bundestag was constituted on 18 October, however, he failed three times to be elected. Several MPs explained this with the fact that he was an informant of the Stasi. Later, he failed a fourth time, and subsequently gave up his bid for the vice president position which was given to Petra Pau instead.

Personal life[edit]

Lothar Bisky was married and the father of three sons. His oldest son, Jens Bisky, is a journalist and writer and the second-oldest, Norbert Bisky, is a painter. His youngest son, Stephan Bisky, died in late 2008 while working towards his neuro-informatics doctorate at the University of Edinburgh.[5]

He died in a hospital in Leipzig as a result of falling down the stairs in his apartment in August 2013.[6]


  1. ^ Knave, Hubertus (2007). Die Täter sind unter uns: Über das Schönreden der SED-Diktatur [The perpetrators are among us: On the euphemisation of the SED dictatorship] (in German). Propyläen. ISBN 978-3-549-07302-5. LCCN 2007425546. OCLC 494271443. OL 16316014M.
  2. ^ Helmut Müller-Enbergs; Andreas Herbst. "Bisky, Lothar * 17.8.1941, † 13.8.2013 Rektor der Hochschule für Film u. Fernsehen Potsdam-Babelsberg, Bundesvorsitzender der PDS bzw. Linkspartei". Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur: Biographische Datenbanken (in German). Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  3. ^ Staadt, Jochen (7 November 2005). "LOTHAR BISKY: "Ein zuverlässiger Genosse"" [LOTHAR BISKY: "A reliable comrade"]. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). ISSN 0174-4909. Archived from the original on 18 November 2020.
  4. ^ Stern :Stasi-Akte Bisky, Die Sache mit "IM Bienert"[permanent dead link], 20. Oktober 2005
  5. ^ Howarth, Angus (31 December 2008). "Son of political leader found dead in Edinburgh flat". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  6. ^ "Lothar Bisky tot: Die leise Autorität - Politik - SZ.de".

External links[edit]