Bernd Riexinger

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bernd Riexinger (2018)

Bernd Riexinger (born October 30, 1955 in Leonberg ) is a German politician of the party Die Linke and ver.di - union secretary . Before it merged with the then PDS , he was a member of the WASG and, together with Katja Kipping, has been one of the two party leaders of the successor party Die Linke since June 2, 2012 . In the 2017 federal election he was elected a member of the German Bundestag via the state list of the party Die Linke Baden-Württemberg .

Origin and education

Bernd Riexinger (2013)
Bernd Riexinger (2014)

According to his own statements, Riexinger comes from a working class family. As a staunch pacifist , he refused military service . After finishing secondary school and business school, Riexinger trained as a banker and worked for Leonberger Bausparkasse until 1980 . From 1980 to 1990 he was an exempt works council at Leonberger Bausparkasse and received further training in labor, collective bargaining and social law. He has been the union secretary since 1991. Riexinger is a member of the initiative to network the trade union left and participates in the social forum movement in Germany. Riexinger was the managing director of the Stuttgart district of the ver.di union .

Left politician since 2007

He was a member of the interim state board of the party Die Linke in Baden-Württemberg and before that chairman of the Baden-Württemberg state association of the WASG and later a member of the executive board of the party Die Linke in Baden-Württemberg . Riexinger is close to the Socialist Left , a trade union , left-wing socialist party that is classified by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution as left-wing extremist , and is therefore counted among the left wing.

Riexinger was one of the initiators of 2003 protests against the former by the federal government of SPD and Alliance 90 / The Greens introduced Agenda 2010 .

On May 30, 2012 Riexinger announced his candidacy for the federal chairmanship of the party Die Linke and was elected on June 2, 2012 with 53.5% of the votes as one of the two federal chairmen. He prevailed against Dietmar Bartsch . He was confirmed as party chairman both at the Berlin party congress in May 2014 with 90% and at the party congress in Magdeburg in 2016 with 79%. In June 2018 he was re-elected at the party congress in Leipzig with a result of 74%. He has shared dual leadership with Katja Kipping since 2012 . In June 2015 he was nominated as the top candidate for the Baden-Württemberg state elections in March 2016 . However, Riexinger could not win a mandate because the left clearly missed entry into the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg.

Member of the Bundestag since 2017

In 2017, Bernd Riexinger was elected a member of the Bundestag via the state list of the Left in Baden-Württemberg and, at the age of 62, won a mandate for the first time in his political career.

Political positions

In November 2013, Riexinger requested asylum for the whistleblower Edward Snowden . In October 2016, he described Frank-Walter Steinmeier as a candidate for Federal President as "ineligible". He justified this position with Steinmeier's participation in the implementation of Agenda 2010 , the “architect” of which Riexinger sees him.

European positions

In EU politics, Riexinger opposes a return to national currencies and “exit illusions”. He also considers the demands for a European monetary system with coordinated national currencies to be a “dangerous mistake”. In doing so, Riexinger opposes concepts from Heiner Flassbeck , Wolfgang Streeck , Jean-Luc Mélenchon , Stefano Fassina , Oskar Lafontaine and Sahra Wagenknecht . Rather, it is a matter of "forming a third pole against the neoliberal EU and rampant right-wing populism and neo-fascism in Europe: consistently solidarity, internationalist, radical democratic and class-oriented for a re-establishment of Europe from below". To this end, common interests of wage earners should be formulated across borders and the forces for a different Europe should be strengthened and pooled.

In April 2020, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic , Riexinger spoke out in favor of the introduction of so-called corona bonds at European level . He justified this by stating that Germany, as the “economically strongest country in Europe with a strong export orientation”, could not have any interest in Spain or Italy, for example, “falling into the abyss” due to the consequences of the pandemic. According to Riexinger, this would primarily benefit EU-critical and right-wing populist forces.

Asylum policy

At the party congress in June 2018 in Leipzig, he advocated “safe, legal escape routes and open borders”, thereby distancing himself from the parliamentary group leader Sahra Wagenknecht , who described this position as “unworldly”.

Climate protection

In July 2019, Riexinger told Funke Mediengruppe that in view of global warming, all airlines must be nationalized. Due to the dramatic social consequences of air traffic, it should not remain market-based and unregulated. It is related to the approval of the privatization of the formerly better regulated and publicly owned flight market that a fierce competition has arisen to the detriment of the climate and the employees.

»Climate protection is a question of social justice. There is no climate protection without social justice, but also no social justice without climate protection. "

- Bernd Riexinger : Die Tageszeitung , February 27, 2020, page 11, interview


Riexinger came under fire after he replied in March 2020 at a panel discussion as part of a “strategy conference” of the party in Kassel to a speech from the audience in which there was talk of the shooting of rich people, “[...] we do not shoot them, we are already using them for useful work ”. After "heated discussions", calls for resignation and criticism from within the party, Riexinger apologized. He described the speech as unacceptable, albeit “obviously ironic”, but regretted not having immediately rejected it unequivocally.

Publications and speeches (selection)


Web links

Commons : Bernd Riexinger  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Matthias Meisner: Kipping and Riexinger will be at the head of the left in the future . In: Der Tagesspiegel Online . June 2, 2012, ISSN  1865-2263 ( [accessed June 9, 2018]).
  2. Interview: Daniel Brössler, Thorsten Denkler: "I was never a pupil of Lafontaine" . In: . June 15, 2012, ISSN  0174-4917 ( [accessed June 9, 2018]).
  3. Bernd Riexinger: Ways out of the political crisis of the trade unions (PDF; 51 kB), in: UTOPIE Kreativ, H. 111 (January 2000), pp. 52–56
  4. Bernd Riexinger is running for federal chairmanship . Stuttgarter Zeitung, May 30, 2012
  5. Kipping and Riexinger lead deeply divided Linke Spiegel Online, June 2, 2012. Accessed June 3, 2012
  6. Election of the party executive committee . Die Linke, June 2, 2012
  7. Left Party Congress: Kipping and Riexinger remain party leaders . In: Spiegel Online . May 10, 2014 ( [accessed June 9, 2018]).
  8. ^ Left Party Congress: Kipping and Riexinger re-elected with moderate approval . In: ZEIT ONLINE . ( [accessed on June 9, 2018]).
  9. ^ WORLD: Party conference in Leipzig: Kipping and Riexinger re-elected as left-wing chairmen . In: THE WORLD . June 9, 2018 ( [accessed June 9, 2018]).
  10. Riexinger will be the top candidate in Southwest New Germany on June 19, 2015
  11. FOCUS Online: Left boss Riexinger: Bundestag should force Snowden asylum . In: FOCUS Online . ( [accessed on June 9, 2018]).
  12. ^ Left boss: Steinmeier as Federal President candidate "ineligible" . In: . 2016, ISSN  0174-4917 ( [accessed on June 9, 2018]).
  13. Bernd Riexinger: Counter-power and left EU criticism instead of exit illusions - Prague Spring . October 25, 2016 ( [accessed June 9, 2018]).
  14. LINKE EU criticism, but specifically: DIE LINKE. Retrieved June 9, 2018 .
  15. Bernd Riexinger: Counterpower and left EU criticism instead of exit illusions (new Germany) . ( [accessed on January 18, 2019]).
  16. Bernd Riexinger: “As a wealthy person, you have to go through it”. , April 10, 2020, accessed on May 26, 2020 .
  17. Party leader Riexinger: The refugee issue is about the “heart and soul” of the left . In: FAZ.NET . ISSN  0174-4909 ( [accessed June 9, 2018]).
  18. WORLD: Sahra Wagenknecht calls commitment to open borders “unworldly” . In: THE WORLD . June 8, 2018 ( [accessed June 9, 2018]).
  19. Left boss Riexinger calls for nationalization of airlines , Welt-online from July 27, 2019
  20. Anna Lehmann, Pascal Beucker: "We do not want to preach renunciation". In: February 27, 2020, accessed February 28, 2020 .
  21. Link boss Riexinger because of statements about rich people in distress. Spiegel , March 3, 2020, accessed March 4, 2020 .
  22. Violent discussion about statements at left-wing strategy summit. Süddeutsche Zeitung , March 3, 2020, accessed on March 4, 2020 .
  23. ^ "Shootings of the Rich" - Scandal at Left Conference. Die Welt , March 3, 2020, accessed on March 4, 2020 .