Willy Brandt was great, but dead. We should get used to the idea that we have to get along without him now. It does not save us a higher being.

- Tobias Dünow (@TobiasDuenow) 21st October 2019

The stale smell of social democracy ensured for decades that the SPD forgot its roots as a workers' party as well as its painful history. Leftist traditionalism was a cultural history of pride in achievement and conquest, in the bitterly paid, historically unique (the speech of Otto Wels against the empowerment law of the Nazis!) And dignified enduring. In the 156 years since the founding of the General German Workers' Association, Social Democracy has done a lot for the country, often enough heroic. Even in gloomy times, this gave comrades the feeling that they were on the right side of history. It was a matter not only of the mind, but of the heart. The SPD was a party with soul.

That's not her anymore today. A comrade like Tobias Dünow, former spokesman for the SPD and now housed in the state representation of Lower Saxony, follows a trend towards the cool ahistorical. No party has treated their chancellor as badly as the SPD (and the CDU has really tried with Helmut Kohl), no party can be so happy about statesmanship triumphs as the Hartz reform, hardly a party so often wows away from the Efforts of Realpolitik like the SPD. A cracking SPD boss like Franz Müntefering knew how to complain about it. A Hanseatic candle straight as Helmut Schmidt also.

Ulf Poschardt is editor-in-chief of the Welt Group. At this point he writes alternately with Anja Reschke, the presenter of the ARD program "Panorama". © Lengemann / World

The party is developing into a postmodern farce, a left-wing popular opinion. She was having a good time at regional conferences. In the process, the party lacks the pull of power that has to do with the great historical shoes that must be attracted by the followers of Bebel, Lassalle and Brandt. You can not do it anymore. That's why the heritage is almost cynically wiped away. The substance, format and charisma of a Willy Brandt would have to drive all his great-grandchildren to stop off and into the boot camp.

The bar is high, Brandt's knee-jerk in Warsaw was the biggest moment of post-war history before the fall of the Wall. That was only possible because Brandt, knowing all about the history of his country, his party and his biography, knew what he was doing. He felt it. It was not a strategy. He did it for all of us. We can not do without him because he still shapes us.