At the front of the stage, the SPD's new dual leadership was Manuela Schwesig for her work as party medicine, and for everything that "the Manu" has ever done or said, when it suddenly becomes uncomfortable in the ranks of party congress delegates. Michael Müller, governing mayor of the capital, pushes his way through the rows of seats, gets up in front of Annika Klose, talks to her, shakes her head again and leaves her at the end. Klose, the Berlin Juso chairman, blows first.
One would like to know what Klose thinks. More interesting is, what the scene stands for: With the victory of outsiders Saskia Esken and NorbertWalter-Borjans over Olaf Scholz and Klara Geywitz in the race for the party seat, it had looked as if the power relations in the SPD suddenly reversed. The party teeth, carried by the anti-Groko furor of the base, seemed more present than they had been for a long time. And the Jusos, the original initiator of this fury, never got so strong. But now it shows: The establishment, so the comrades who have lost something - a ministerial post about or a mayor's office - continue to make thick pants. And the winners do not look like they won.
Still on Friday morning was Annika Klose - 27 years old, student of the social sciences in Berlin, a decided Groko critic - drove full of anticipation for the party congress. Once across the city, from the east to the west of Berlin. Already at 7.30 clock she appeared in the City Cube and had registered as one of the first for the debate on the lead application. That secured her a place to speak. Setting the mood with an early serve is a proven coaching tactic. The end of "Keep it up!" This party day should bring from the left's perspective, ideally the end of the grand coalition. In a preliminary discussion, the Jusos had set their party day line: full support for Eskabo, as Esken and Walter Borjans are called party-internally. But that also meant agreeing to a lead request, from which all harsh conditions for the continuation of the Groko are edited out.
A single majority at the top, Klose's expectation, would definitely set out to change the party. In her dawning euphoria she ventured big things: she ran for one of the 24 seats as a member of the party executive committee. If she, a young left-leaning woman from the already left-wing Berlin Land Association, would push into the SPD's power center, this party would no longer be what she was after the party congress. A litmus test for a real departure.
Two days later, Klose strives to remain hopeful. An application to quit the Groko was dismissed by the delegates, adopted by the SPD establishment flushed leading motion, in the election of the executive committee is itself crashing failed. The government advocates are clearly in the majority in the executive committee - and the two new party leaders are surrounded by people who want something different from them. So what about the left break? "The congress has set the course that it can succeed," says Klose. She has confidence in the two new leaders, and that they will try to lead the party out of its mid-fixation, out of the grand coalition. "I stay positive."
What happened to the Groko-Furor?
The optimistic confidence of the SPD left on a fundamental turnaround has dimmed in three days in the Berlin City Cube to the vague hope that this turnaround will come soon, even at Klose. It stands as an example of something that can be puzzled over at the end of the congress: What has actually become of the anti-Groko furor, out of the anger at the coalition with the Union, which heaved Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans into their posts? Has? Where has she escaped, into what has she changed?
If you meet Klose again and again in these three days, you get an idea of what might have happened. One explanation is that part of the anti-Groko rage has turned into defensive energy.
Because the establishment strikes back long and wants to hide Eskabo. Labor Minister Hubertus Heil, advocate of the grand coalition, was expected to face Juso chief Kevin Kühnert, the strongest representative of the left-wing course, in the election to the vice-presidents on Friday in a contest. Klose was already looking forward to the ballot, which was combined with a directional decision. "Finally, this is openly held," she said on Friday. She was also sure how the vote would turn out: Kühnert Heil will sweep out of the hall. She was pleased that the Bureau would evaluate the results of the talks with the Union and not, as the other side wanted, the members of the Government. At the time, she still assumed that the Esskabo friends would be in the majority on the board.
With the new party leadership Klose connects clear expectations. Eskabo was not involved in the government logic, would expand the possibilities of participation, thereby remain tied to the base and keep the party at a clear distance from the government. The longer you listen to her, the clearer it becomes what has become of another part of the anti-groko furor. He has forced himself into rationalizing the belief that the SPD can exist twice: once as a pragmatic government force that makes compromises. And once as a refuge of pure doctrine, on which the Social Democrats may feel as leftists. May the salvation of this SPD be one of the first things to take care of - the future lies with the new partners in the second, Kevin Kühnert.
Shortly thereafter, the showdown between Heil and Kühnert is canceled. Instead of three, there will be five representatives. Direction decision? Postponed. And AnnikaKlose is gradually becoming clear that sound will also prevail at this party convention, in which she recognizes the accompanying music of the creeping downfall of the SPD: One should not rush now. At the end of the party day, Klose knows that the SPD wants neither the big bang nor the radical turnaround. "The party wants both," she says, "stability and reorientation," a kind of "decisive break-up, but beautiful, step by step." In it the SPD is still "very German".
And perhaps it is precisely in this recognition of Annika Klose, also the reason for why the anti-Groko-rage on this party was able to break path: For the radical break the SPD is simply too German.