In the midst of life

We introduce five new members of the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag) with unusual occupations.

Occupations of members of the Bundestag: Stephan Pilsinger (CSU) is a doctor.
Stephan Pilsinger (CSU) is a doctor. CSU

Germany. The Bundestag is supposed to be a mirror of society – made up of members with a wide range of life experience. Nevertheless, certain professions are represented particularly frequently: 115 of the 708 MPs are lawyers, for example. Teachers and university lecturers are also well represented with 26 members. We present five MPs with rather unusual occupations.

I would like to contribute my experience in health and nursing.

Stephan Pilsinger (30), CSU, doctor

"I've been involved in local politics for a long time, but always wanted to become a doctor. After graduating, I worked in an urban hospital for three years. Maybe in future I'll work part-time in a general practice to remain grounded in my profession. I would like to contribute my experience in health and nursing to politics."

“In politics I drop all the masks.”
 Michel Brandt (27), Die Linke (The Left), actor

“Giving up my great job hurts. I studied acting and I'm still involved at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe. But as an MP you can focus on issues in a totally different way. When I'm on stage, I play a role, but in politics I drop all the masks. I'm interested in cultural and educational policy, but also in issues of migration and human rights. I want to contribute to a strong opposition.”

Occupations of members of the Bundestag: Michel Brandt (The Left) is an actor
Michel Brandt (The Left) is an actor Die Linke

“Explaining Germany has taught me a lot.”
Claudia Müller (36), the Green Party (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), tour guide

“One of the jobs I've had was working as a tour guide. Explaining the interrelations between German and European history and politics to international guests has taught me a lot. When you decide to go into politics, you have to realize that it's a long, stony and often frustrating road. But it's worthwhile, because you gain a lot of experience and can change things.”

Occupations of members of the Bundestag: Claudia Müller (Green Party) is a tour guide
Claudia Müller (Green Party) is a tour guide Bündnis90/Grüne

“I regard the work as a parliamentarian as a great challenge.”
Jan Nolte (29), Alternative for Germany (AfD), soldier in the Federal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr)

“I've been a soldier in the Bundeswehr since 2008 – and it's an option for me to continue in this career. The Bundeswehr is apolitical, of course. But it has taught me patriotism, honesty, courage, camaraderie and loyalty. I regard the work of a parliamentarian as a great challenge. As a member of parliament I support, among other things, moderate immigration only into the labour market, and a social system that guarantees a decent pension.”

Occupations of members of the Bundestag: Jan Nolte (AfD) is a soldier with the Bundeswehr
Jan Nolte (AfD) is a soldier with the Bundeswehr AfD

Women are often disadvantaged in their work.

Josephine Ortleb (31), SPD, restaurant specialist

“In the Bundestag, I would like to take a stand for equal living conditions throughout Germany and a plannable future for young people. Equality between men and women is also an important concern for me. My line of business – I'm a restaurant specialist and have worked as a manager in my parents' restaurant – is mainly carried out by women. There and in many other areas I see how disadvantaged and relatively poorly paid they are. I feel well prepared for the work in the Bundestag. In catering, like in politics, you have a lot to do with people, and there are no fixed working hours.”

Occupations of members of the Bundestag: Josephine Ortleb (SPD) is a restaurant specialist
Josephine Ortleb (SPD) is a restaurant specialist SPD

Transcript writer: Nicole Sagener 

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