Would it be different if more members of the Bundestag came from the business world?
I know many of my fellow Members here who have a completely different background and who are doing a great job. That’s why I don’t want to say this as a blanket statement. But, of course, something I’ve observed from time to time: There are also really down-to-earth originals here, and these are mostly those who have already stood on a field, are a seasoned master butcher or were master millers. These originals are dwindling. Now I don’t know whether the political establishment will still have space for these originals, because everything has to be a little smoother, a little more polished. I don’t suppress every word in Rhine Hessian, I speak my dialect now and then. Because I believe that authenticity is part of politics. And to the extent that we’re all trying to make ourselves more uniform here, that’s exactly what’s getting lost. And at the end people say “Oh no matter what he does, they’re all the same anyway”. Well, that’s something I miss sometimes.
Politicians do not know what will happen in the next legislative period. Have you considered that it is always an option to be able to return?
Absolutely. But, I have to tell you in all honesty, there comes a time when you have to make decisions. Last year, when I was re-elected directly to the Bundestag, we had to reorganise our management and my sister took on more responsibility. But, you know, this life given to us all is far too exciting to focus on something like politics alone. I have previously worked in exchange with the DAAD and I have been able to intensively engage in my parents’ business. I’ve now ended up in politics, which I enjoy tremendously. But I am no one to cement his life by saying “It can only go on like this or like that”. I am quite free in my thoughts and I am also open to new things.
Is this kind of freedom good or bad? After all, many companies have problems with succession.
Personally, all of this hasn’t left me unaffected. That’s obvious, isn’t it? I was the one who completed the winemaking apprenticeship. I was the one who had to promise his grandma, “Okay, you’re the fifth generation now, you’ll carry on with it.” I didn’t take the decision lightly a year ago. But there is also a responsibility for the big picture, for keeping the business going. I find myself as a mosaic piece in an entrepreneurial history, in a long line of those who came before and hopefully will come after me. And it is part of my responsibility to say that if I cannot give the company full attention at the moment, things must nevertheless continue in an orderly manner. My sister takes care of that, and I support her to the best of my knowledge. But the driver’s seat, that has now been taken over by someone else. That is part of the responsibility.