Christa Luft

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Christa Luft (2010)

Christa Luft (* 22. February 1938 as Christa Hecht in Krakow am See ) is a German economist and politician ( SED / PDS ). After the peaceful revolution she was deputy chairwoman of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Economics of the GDR in the Modrow government and from 1994 to 2002 a member of the German Bundestag for the PDS . From 1963 to 1971 she was an unofficial employee of the Ministry of State Security .

Live and act

Christa Luft's father was a machine fitter and master craftsman in the Mathias Thesen shipyard in Wismar , while her mother worked as a housekeeper and manager of a large kitchen. She attended elementary school in Bobitz near Wismar from 1945 to 1952 and then the secondary school in Grevesmühlen . She passed her Abitur in 1952 at the Workers and Farmers Faculty (ABF) in Halle (Saale) at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU). She then studied from 1956 to 1960 at the University of Foreign Trade in Berlin-Staaken and at the University of Economics (HfÖ) in Berlin-Karlshorst . Her teachers included Gunther Kohlmey , Helmut Koziolek and Hans Mottek .

From 1961 she worked as a research assistant at the HfÖ. In 1964 she was promoted to Dr. rer. oec. PhD . Her dissertation topic was The essential influences of the socialist international division of labor and foreign trade on the usefulness of social work (examined using the example of the receiver tube industry in the GDR) ; Gertrud Gräbig and Manfred Funke were reviewers . From 1964 to 1968 she was a research assistant at the HfÖ and co-responsible for the development of the new teaching discipline Leadership of Socialist Foreign Trade under the direction of Erich Freund , founding rector of the University of Foreign Trade (1954) and co-chair (GDR side) of the Committee for Inner Germans Trade . In 1966 she stayed with this working group on a study visit to the Krupp Group in Essen and to the co-chair (FRG side) of the committee for intra-German trade Carl Katz in Bremen .

In 1968 she qualified as a professor at the HfÖ with the Habiltationsschrift : On the conscious use of the dialectical unity of economic and psychological market factors when exporting the GDR to the socialist economic area and to capitalist industrial and developing countries (The essence of sales psychology in socialist foreign trade) ; Reviewers were Gertrud Gräbig and Horst Tiedtke . In 1968 she was appointed university lecturer for the newly developed subject "Management and Organization of Foreign Trade" at the HfÖ.

From 1967 to 1970 she worked as vice dean for distance learning at the Faculty of Foreign Trade / Foreign Trade Section. In 1971 she was appointed full professor for socialist foreign trade at the HfÖ. From 1973 to 1977 she was director of the foreign trade section . During this time she stayed several times as a visiting professor at the University for Foreign Trade and Tourism in Maribor in Slovenia , a partner institution of the HfÖ. Her academic students include Heike Balzer , Hans Coppi , Angelika Frisch-Fröhlich , Marion Münzer and Frank Seifert .

From 1978 to 1981, Luft was deputy director of the International Institute for Economic Problems of the World Socialist System at the Council for Mutual Economic Aid in Moscow . She intensified her contacts with specialist colleagues in socialist countries and represented the institute at international scientific events and at meetings of UN organizations in Geneva and New York .

In 1981 she was awarded the Patriotic Order of Merit in bronze.

Christa Luft in December 1989 at the 13th Volkskammer conference with
Witho Holland ( LDPD )

Then, from 1982 to 1987, she worked again as dean in the Foreign Trade Section of the HfÖ. As a representative of the largest economic teaching and research institute in the GDR, she took part in delegations, each with her own lectures, at world congresses of economists in Athens , Madrid and New Delhi .

From 1985 Christa Luft was responsible for setting up a regular one to two semester study visit for foreign economics students at the HfÖ at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, and initiated a cooperation with Eastern European scientists from the Paris Sorbonne . A series of bilateral colloquia arose in Paris , Lyon and Berlin . In 1987 Christa Luft was appointed a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the GDR .

On October 28, 1988, she was introduced to the office of Rector of the University of Economics "Bruno Leuschner" (HfÖ) in Berlin-Karlshorst . In her inaugural speech in 1988, she said:

“I want this great potential that we have in the teaching body and among the students to be properly used, so that we don't always have to cheer in retrospect at how wisely the party leadership has again made decisions, but I want us to do so in advance be able to help solve the problems. "

From November 18, 1989 to March 18, 1990, she was appointed First Deputy Chairwoman of the Council of Ministers of the GDR and Minister for Economics in the Modrow government . During this time, I attended the last COMECON meeting in January 1990 in Sofia and in February 1990 I attended the only meeting of both German cabinets in Bonn .

In 1990/91 she headed the chair of "Eastern European Economics" until the decision of the Berlin Senate to liquidate the HfÖ on October 1, 1991. From March to October 1990 Christa Luft was a member of the freely elected People's Chamber of the GDR in the PDS parliamentary group and chairwoman of the budget committee of parliament.

After the HfÖ was closed, she was a board member and lecturer at the Institute for International Education Berlin eV , which she co-founded. The focus of her work there was the training of Russian-speaking business experts from Russia and other successor states of the Soviet Union , Bulgaria and the People's Republic of China . She has been invited several times to give guest lectures on transformation experiences in East Germany at the universities of St. Gallen, Mülheim an der Ruhr, the Free University of Berlin as well as at universities in the People's Republic of China and Vietnam .

From 1952 to 1964 she was a member of the FDJ , since 1958 a member of the SED . She became a member of the PDS and is currently a member of Die Linke .

Between 1994 and 2002, Luft was elected through a direct mandate in Berlin, a member of the German Bundestag . In addition, she received 44.4 percent in 1994 and 42.2 percent of the direct votes in Berlin-Friedrichshain-Lichtenberg in 1998 . She exercised her mandate from 1994 as deputy chairwoman of the PDS group, from 1998 chairwoman of the PDS parliamentary group and its economic policy spokeswoman.

Luft has been a member of the learned society Leibniz Society of Sciences in Berlin since 1993, the German Society for Eastern European Studies , the Open Business Association of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, freelancers and self-employed in Berlin and Brandenburg e. V. , of which she was the first chairman.

Between 2002 and 2012 she wrote regularly for a column on economic policy in the daily newspaper Neues Deutschland , in which Harry Nick , Robert Kurz and Rudolf Hickel were also involved, and since then Luft has been working as an author.

From 2002 to 2008 Christa Luft was chairwoman of the board of trustees of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (RLS) and from 2008 to 2013 an elected member of the board of the RLS. She was married to the economics professor Hans Luft , who died in 2006. Luft and the families of their two sons live in Berlin.

Unofficial employee of the GDR State Security

During her activity in the People's Chamber and before her mandate in the Bundestag, she voluntarily and unsuccessfully had herself checked for an IM activity. Luft had denied contacts with the GDR State Security ("I don't remember that."). Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski had uncovered connections from Christa Luft to the intelligence headquarters to the Federal Intelligence Service . Schalck-Golodkowski named Manfred Suss as their command officer, which turned out to be wrong.

An investigation by the Immunity Committee of the Bundestag in 1998 revealed that Christa Luft was registered under the code name "IM Gisela" in a procedure for the Enlightenment Headquarters of the Ministry for State Security from 1963 to 1971 . She was recruited shortly before her doctorate . She signed a handwritten declaration of commitment on October 31, 1963. In 1963 she delivered “several (three) reports to the MfS against the background of the exposure of an alleged western spy [...]. However, this was only a so-called legend , with the help of which the reliability [...] should be checked. "

Luft declared that he was "ready from 1965 to act as a" cover address "for receiving mail from the MfS. However, the documents available do not reveal whether she actually forwarded mail to the MfS. ”She was available until 1966 as a likely tipster for“ information on people [...] who could be involved in the operational work of the MfS ”. "From mid-1966 to 1971, when the IM process" Gisela "was formally terminated, there are no documents that can be traced back to the unofficial activity [...]."

In June 1995, Christa Luft again applied to the Gauck authorities at the time for inspection of the files and subsequently learned details of the Operative Personal Control (OPK) on her person, which was initiated by the MfS in 1977 . The MfS produced duplicate keys to her apartment, which remained there until it was closed in 1990. After the MfS inventory was taken over by the Gauck authorities, the keys were in their possession without informing them as the apartment owner.



  • The essential influences of the socialist international division of labor and foreign trade on the usefulness of social work in the receiver tube industry of the GDR . Dissertation of April 2, 1964, Berlin School of Economics, 1964.
  • For the conscious use of the dialectical unity of economic and psychological market factors when exporting the GDR to the socialist economic area and to capitalist industrial and developing countries . ‹The essence of sales psychology in socialist foreign trade›. Habilitation thesis . of July 24, 1968, Berlin School of Economics, 1968.
  • with W. Kupferschmidt, E. Legler, S. Sälzler: Foreign economic activity in production and foreign trade companies. Publishing house Die Wirtschaft, Berlin 1974.
  • Socialist foreign trade - intensive type of reproduction - economic growth. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1989.
  • The East German economy two years after monetary union: the market - playground for the daughters. 1993, signature of the German National Library : "1996 A 12398"
  • Between the turn and the end. Aufbau-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Berlin 1991, ISBN 3-7466-0055-3 . (3rd, extended edition, 1999, ISBN 3-7466-7021-7 (AtV; 7021))
  • Trust report. Becoming, growing and decaying a German authority. Construction-Verlag, Berlin / Weimar 1992, ISBN 3-351-02403-7 (construction non-fiction book).
  • The next turning point is sure to come. Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-7466-7008-X .
  • The pleasure in property. On the trail of the German trust . Orell Füssli, Zurich 1996, ISBN 3-280-02308-4 .
  • Demolition or departure? Why the east is our chance. Aufbau-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-7466-8526-5 (AtV; 8526: Aufbau-Thema).
  • Wendeland - facts and legends. Aufbau-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-7466-7049-7 (Aufbau-Taschenbuch; 7049).
  • Economic background - facts and legends. GNN-Verlag, Schkeuditz 2012, ISBN 978-3-89819-388-7 .

Publications as co-author / co-editor after German reunification (selection)

  • Melancholy reflections on missed opportunities along with some [sic!] Lessons for the future. In: Problems of Unity. Just blood, sweat and tears? Metropolis-Verlag, Marburg 1991, ISBN 3-926570-33-4 .
  • Shock therapy instead of prophylaxis. GDR and Comecon 1989/90. In: The short time of utopia. The "second GDR" in the forgotten year 1989/90. Elefanten Press Verlag, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-88520-510-6 .
  • Into the social market economy without work and property? In: Mandate for German Unity. The 10th People's Chamber between the GDR constitution and the Basic Law. Leske + Budrich, Opladen 2000, ISBN 3-8100-2771-5 .
  • We didn't want to be a follower any more. In: The Privilege of Comparison: Experiences of East German celebrities before and after 1989. Militzke, 2009, ISBN 978-3-86189-822-1 .
  • German duality - or: how much difference can the unity take? PapyRossa Verlag, Cologne 2010, ISBN 978-3-89438-447-0 .
  • Behrens' search for a socialist reform economy continues. In: One cannot be a Marxist without being a utopian ... VSA-Verlag, Hamburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-89965-405-9 .
  • Economic theory in two social systems of Germany-experiences-deficits-challenges. (Co-editor). Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Texts 74, Karl Dietz Verlag, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-320-02279-2 .
  • Foreword: GDR economy - ailing and bankrupt? Your captains failure? In: Now let's talk. What can be learned from the GDR economy today. eb edition berolina 2013, ISBN 978-3-86789-816-4 .

Contributions to meeting reports of the Leibniz Society of Sciences

  • Future of work - work of the future. Volume 66, year 2004.
  • Globalization - design task versus practical constraint. Volume 74, year 2004.
  • Ricardo's Theorem of Comparative Advantages - Increased Prosperity for All? Volume 100, year 2009.
  • The financial independence from the real economy - over-accumulation as a source of crisis. In: Meeting reports of the Leibniz Society of Sciences in Berlin . Volume 107, 2010, pp. 37-57. (Digitized version)
  • The dilemma of neoclassical dogmas - Against intellectual monoculture, for plurality in economic science - analysis using the example of economics. Leibniz online, year 2015, No. 20.
  • The German export surpluses - a comment from a macroeconomic perspective. Leibniz online, Volume 2017, No. 25.

Contributions to treatises of the Leibniz Society of Sciences

  • The latest crisis has stimulated the system debate. In: Capitalism and Crises Today - Challenge for Transformations. trafo Wissenschaftsverlag, Berlin 2011.
  • Practical failure of neoclassical dogmas - a chance for macroeconomic thinking? In: Theory Development in the Context of the Crisis. trafo Wissenschaftsverlag, Berlin 2013.

National and international publications (selection)

  • International Investment cooperation within the CMEA area. In: Structural change, economic interdependence and world development: proceedings of the 7th World Congress of the International Economic Association, Madrid 2/1987. (together with Lutz Maier).
  • Foreign trade, growth of the Socialist National Economy and comprehensive intensification. In: Soviet and Eastern European foreign trade. 24/1988 (together with Helmut Blessing and Gerhard Grote).
  • Nothing against Erhard. In: Wirtschaftswoche. 43/1989.
  • German-German dialogue. In: WSI-Mitteilungen. 2/1990.
  • Economic relations between the GDR and the CMEA countries. In: Reforms in foreign economic relations of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union: proceedings of a symposium conducted in association with Osteuropa-Institut Muniche and Südost-Institut Munich 1991.
  • Who brought the GDR's eastern trade down? In: Disput. 20/1994.
  • Perspektivy ekonomitsheskikh swjasei meshdu Vostochnoi Germanii I Rossiei. In: Problems of Theory and Practice of Management. Moscow 4/2001.
  • Central and Eastern European countries to the European Union - a qualitative new process of social transformation. In: Research Institute of the International Scientific Association for World Economy and World Politics eV Berlin, reports. July 2003.
  • The financial markets detached themselves of the real economy - over-accumulation as the main source of capitalist crises. In: World Review of Political Economy. PLUTO JOURNALS London. vol. 1, Number 2, Summer 2010.
  • Refused joint new beginning - processing and disposal instead of using and expanding future-proof potential of the GDR economy. In: Yearbook for research on the history of the labor movement. 2010 / I.
  • Democratic socialism - the programmatic goal of the Left Party (DIE LINKE) in Germany. Theses for an international conference in Sozhou (China) 2011.
  • Free trade and power relations. On the criticism of classical free trade theorems. In: Journal of Marxist Renewal. No. 98, June 2014.
  • Bilateralism - Multilateralism - Supranationalism - Nationalism: Findings in a comparison of Comecon and EMU. In: Research Institute of the International Scientific Association for World Economy and World Politics eV Berlin, reports. July 2011.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Berliner Zeitung . April 28, 1981, p. 4.
  2. Of course I saw what was unfortunately going wrong in the GDR. Deutschlandfunk , December 29, 2011.
  3. New column in the »nd« on our own account , on nd-online, from August 6, 2012.
  4. Everyone had bright eyes . In: Der Spiegel . No. 41 , 1995, pp. 76-92 ( Online - Oct. 9, 1995 ).
  5. Nickis on bare skin . In: Der Spiegel . No. 43 , 1994 ( online - 24 October 1994 ).
  6. ^ GDR lexicon: Manfred Süß (MfS)
  7. a b c d e Dieter Wiefelspütz: Report of the German Bundestag: Printed matter 13/11104 from June 19, 1998. In: German Bundestag: Drucksache 13/11104 (online publication). June 19, 1998, accessed April 6, 2014 .
  8. ^ The deputy chairwoman of the PDS in the Bundestag, Prof. Dr. Christa Luft explains :, PDS press release, No. 376, dated June 21, 1995, original document