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#BTW21 - Politics for the Youth @picturealliance/BorisRoessler

Politics for the Youth

What inspires young people in Germany to get involved in politics? We asked five young politicians from Germany´s leading political parties about why they joined their party and what topics they are focusing on at the 2021 parliamentary elections. Short videos and accompanying interactive materials in English and German encourage students to explore the German political landscape via personal trajectories, compare politics in Germany to politics in the US and reflect about their own ways of getting involved in the political life of their communities. 


Introductions

Anna Kassautzki, SPD Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

Introduction (in German with English Subtitles)
Anna Kassautzki

Get to know Anna Kassautzki, a SPD politician who lives in Greifswald, in the northeastern part of Germany. What did she study and what does she do for fun? 

Deniz Gedik, Spokesman Junge Grüne Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

Introduction (in German with English Subtitles)
Deniz Gedik

Meet Deniz Gedik, the Spokesperson for Young Greens/Junge Grüne, the youth party of Bündnis 90/die Grünen in Baden-Württemberg. 

Domink Abel, District Chairman Junge Union Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

Introduction (in German with English Subtitles)
Domink Abel

Meet Dominik Abel, a District Chairman with Young Union/Junge Union, the youth party of the CDU. 

Maurice Klaus, Spokesman Junge Linke Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

Introduction (in German with English Subtitles)
Maurice Klaus

Meet Maurice Klaus, Spokesman of the Young Left/Junge Linke fraction in Baden-Württemberg. 

Valentin Christian Abel, Spokesman Junge Liberale Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

Introduction (in German with English Subtitles)
Valentin Christian Abel

Meet Valentin Christian Abel, spokesman of the Young Liberals/Junge Liberale fraction. 

YOUR TURN: INTERACTIVE FUN 

How well do you know the politicians? Fill out their profiles. 
Federal Election 2021 Illustration (detail): © Goethe-Institut e.V.


What's in a name?

Anna Kassautzki, SPD Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

What does the name of your party stand for?
SPD, the Social Democratic Party

Anna explains the meaning of her party`s name, SPD, or Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands. 

Domink Abel, District Chairman Junge Union Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

What does the name of your party stand for?
CDU, the Christian Democratic Union

Dominik explains the meaning behind his party´s name, the Christian Democratic Union of Germany, or the CDU. 

Maurice Klaus, Spokesman Junge Linke Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

What does the name of your party stand for?
Die Linke/The Left

Maurice talks about the name of his party, die Linke/the Left. 

Deniz Gedik, Spokesman Junge Grüne Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

What does the name of your party stand for?
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen

Deniz explains the meaning of his party`s name, Bündnis 90/die Grünen. 

Valentin Christian Abel, Spokesman Junge Liberale Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

What does the name of your party stand for?
FDP, The Free Democratic Party

Valentin discusses the name of his party, the Free Democratic Party, or the FDP. 


What topics are important to your party?

Anna Kassautzki, SPD Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

What are the main principles of your party?
SPD Topics

Fighting climate change, environmental pollution, the future of work, fair wages and fair chances for everyone, are some of the causes that Anna´s party, the SPD, is focusing on. 

Valentin Christian Abel, Spokesman Junge Liberale Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

What are the main principles of your party?
FDP Topics

Free markets and the deregulation thereof, expanding IT- infrastructure, digitalization and civil rights are some of the topics the FDP is focusing on at this year´s parliamentary elections. 

Deniz Gedik, Spokesman Junge Grüne Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

What are the main principles of your party?
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen Topics

Social justice, ecology and an open and diverse society are the three main pillars of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen. 

Domink Abel, District Chairman Junge Union Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

What are the main principles of your party?
CDU Topics

The rule of law, secure borders, a free-market economy, limiting public debt and a strong European Union is what the CDU is advocating for at this year´s parliamentary elections. 

Maurice Klaus, Spokesman Junge Linke Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

What are the main principles of your party?
Die Linke Topics

Gender equality, pro-immigration policy, anti-racism, anti-fascism and the dignity of the human life are at the center of Die Linke. 

YOUR TURN: INTERACTIVE FUN 

Federal Election 2021 Illustration (detail): © Goethe-Institut e.V.


Why did you join your party?

Anna Kassautzki, SPD Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

Why did you join your party?
Freedom, equality and solidarity

What motivated Anna to join the SPD? Freedom, equity and solidarity. 

Domink Abel, District Chairman Junge Union Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

Why did you join your party?
Strong Federalist System

Dominik joined the CDU because for him it is important that Germany has a strong federalist system. 

Valentin Christian Abel, Spokesman Junge Liberale Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

Why did you join your party?
Advance through Education

Valentin Christian wants a state that helps you get where you want, but let´s you decide the direction. 

Deniz Gedik, Spokesman Junge Grüne Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

Why did you join your party?
Fighting Climate Change

A liveable planet is impossible without fighting climate change for Deniz, who joined the party after participating in a student exchange. 


What do you find most interesting about the electoral system in the United States?

Domink Abel, District Chairman Junge Union Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

What do you find most interesting about the electoral system in the United States?
Popular Vote

Dominik finds it interesting that even though a president may have won the popular vote, s/he may still not be elected president. That is different in Germany and Europe. 

Anna Kassautzki, SPD Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

What do you find most interesting about the electoral system in the United States?
Systemic Injustice

Anna thinks that the electoral system in the US is unfair: A president can be elected without the majority of votes, one has to register to vote and in some states you can`t vote if you have been imprisoned. 

Deniz Gedik, Spokesman Junge Grüne Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut

What do you find most interesting about the electoral system in the United States?
Direct Democracy

Deniz thinks that the US system, the world`s oldest democracy, is more democratic than the German system, as the representatives of the federal states in the US senate are elected directly. 

Your turn: INTERACTIVE FUN 

Federal Election 2021 Illustration (detail): © Goethe-Institut e.V.


Disclaimer

In conceiving this project, our team reached out to all parties currently represented in the German parliament. We have included videos from all parties who agreed to participate in the project. 


Team and Contact

Kerstin Hämmerling Kerstin Hämmerling | Photo: Mark Römisch © Goethe-Institut Boston Steffen Kaupp Steffen Kaupp | Photo: Mark Römisch © Goethe-Institut Boston Ajkuna Hoppe Ajkuna Hoppe © private Eva Baker Eva Baker © private
Kerstin Hämmerling, Language Consultant
Steffen Kaupp, PhD, Director Language Programs, Goethe-Institut Boston 
Ajkuna Hoppe, Educational Liaison, Goethe-Institut New York 
Eva Baker, Director Language Programs, Goethe-Institut New York 

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