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The German Bundestag on Monday afternoon. For the last time for the time being, the parliamentary group of the Left Party is meeting behind these doors.

After the split from Sahra Wagenknecht and her supporters, Die Linke has too few deputies in the Bundestag, the parliamentary group has to dissolve. The remaining LEFT parliamentarians now want to apply for the status of a so-called "group" – with significantly fewer rights. How does the party deal with this?

Gregor Gysi, DIE LINKE: "I say:
So, now it's decided. The faction stops. We need to become a group as soon as possible. In between, we are individual MEPs. I've never been funny, too."

Gökay Akbulut, DIE LINKE:
"I am going into our last parliamentary group meeting with mixed feelings. I think we have already been able to achieve a lot politically and have also done a good job. It is all the more sad that we are now parting ways in this form. On the one hand. On the other hand, it is also a new start for us, a new beginning, to form ourselves as a group here and accordingly to make good left-wing opposition politics in the Bundestag."

Karin Vogler, DIE LINKE:
"Of course, that means fewer opportunities for participation here. It means that we have to organize ourselves strongly. Something between melancholy, farewell, sadness and departure.«

They are cautiously combative. But the end of the parliamentary group is a deep cut for the party. Timo Lehmann has been observing DIE LINKE for SPIEGEL for a long time. What is changing now?

Timo Lehmann, DER SPIEGEL:
"The entire apparatus, the factional apparatus, must be dissolved. For example, it goes from the chairman of the parliamentary group to the driver. Logically, it no longer exists. But also over 100 employees who have worked for the group. There was substantive work done, there was work, for example, small questions or motions were formulated, speeches were written down and the like. The left is simply losing something in terms of content."

Review: In October, Sahra Wagenknecht announces her resignation from the Left Party after a long internal party dispute over direction - and announces the founding of a new party.

Sahra Wagenknecht, Bündnis Sahra Wagenknecht:

"We don't want a left two zero. We want a new party for economic rationality and social justice. And I think there's just a big social gap for that."

DIE LINKE is now under pressure: Where is it going in terms of content, how do you distance yourself from Wagenknecht? The co-chairwoman almost two weeks ago at the national party conference:

Janine Wissler, Party Chairwoman THE LEFT:

"I believe that it is also an opportunity to reposition the party now, to raise its profile in a different way. Because, of course, we have also seen that these conflicts of the last few years have of course been totally paralyzing."

But are these more than slogans of perseverance before the descent into political insignificance?

Timo Lehmann, DER SPIEGEL:
"I do believe that there is a chance for a new beginning. But I wouldn't say you can see it yet. But of course there were also people who may have sympathized with one or the other position of the left, but who said that they didn't want to be associated with Sahra Wagenknecht and her foreign policy positions and the like.

So, there is perhaps a chance, also that the left is no longer quite so divided in public perception. But of course, there is still the risk that it won't work out and won't work.

We now see in the West German states, where the Left Party is no longer represented by a parliamentary group in a single state parliament, in not a single West German state. In Bremen and Hamburg, it is still represented in the respective parliaments. And, of course, it could be that the Left Party will once again become a more East German party. But I'd say that's open."

Whether the Left Party will be able to make a fresh start and hold its own against its new competitor Wagenknecht is likely to become clear at the latest in the European elections in June 2024. This will probably be the first time that the two parties will compete against each other.