Obituary: Jörg Winter – 40 years active in the Marxist movement

On December 15, 2020, comrade Jörg Winter from Stuttgart, Germany, died at the age of 65. We mourn the loss of our comrade of many years.

The nuclear arms build-up at the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s (especially NATO’s 1979 ‘Dual-Track-Decision’) was the trigger for Jörg to become politically active. He joined the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and soon joined the Marxist wing around the newspaper VORAN, the forerunner organisation of the SAV and today’s Sozialistische Organisation Solidarität (Sol – the CWI in Germany). Jörg became involved in the Stuttgart Young Socialists activities including, among other things, against annual fare increases, in the peace movement, in the solidarity movement with the British miners’ strike, the 1984 metalworkers’ strike for the 35-hour week and against the nuclear reprocessing plant in Wackersdorf.

Because of his profession as a computer scientist, Jörg was organised in the IG Metall trade union. From the mid-1990s, he shifted his focus to workplace and trade union work. He was involved as a member of the works council, finally as a full-time member of the works council, and in various trade union functions until his retirement.

Defending Marxism

The factional fight in the SAV during 2019 was a wake-up call for Jörg to actively defend Marxism. He studied the positions in this political dispute and decided with complete conviction to become a member of our organisation, Sol, and to play an active role. As long as his health allowed him, he participated in meetings and in outside activities. The covid pandemic forced Jörg into domestic quarantine – interrupted by several stays in hospital – because of the extreme danger that the covid infection meant for him. As long as he had enough strength, Jörg took part in online meetings. For the 80th anniversary of Leon Trotsky’s death, he prepared a political introduction for the branch, which unfortunately he could not give due to his advancing illness. 

Jörg always followed and assessed current political developments. He took his compass from Marxist theory. He was not a “loudspeaker”. When he spoke, he did so in a very considered way. He communicated his position calmly, in a convincing and well-founded manner, often enriched with a delicious pinch of dry humour.

With Jörg’s passing, we lose a loyal, reliable and self-sacrificing comrade, and a friend, as well as a part of our political experience of the last 40 years. Our condolences go to his partner and comrade, Lucie Dussle-Winter, and their two children.

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