There are still nuts to crack

There are still nuts to crack

Bernhard kasper had not expected it to take so long. In 1978, he ran for mayor of ebensfeld for the first time, but it was not until his fourth attempt, in 1996, that he won. The 68-year-old was in office until 2008. Politics as an endurance sport? You can see it this way if you look at the situation of the free voters when bernhard kasper took over the leadership of the district association in 1980. And then look where they are today. A bunch of individualists who wanted to get involved in local politics has turned into a party that has a prospect of getting into government at the state level. Whether that was a thing that pleased hermann ramspeck, the predecessor of bernhard kasper as district chairman? When kasper was elected as the new district chairman 32 years ago, it was not very formal. Ramspeck got him up on stage at a meeting and put him to the vote. How he got into office. "Many of the people who became involved with the free voters had an aversion to parties", says kasper. This was also due to their experiences in the weimar republic and the third reich: "they felt abused by the parties." That’s why for a long time the free voters functioned on a simple basis: the chairman invited to a meeting, there the lists for the elections were drawn up like in the municipalities, that was it. His political work was financed by donations ("sometimes the hat went round") and by shares in the meeting fees of the municipal councils. Kasper then entered politics in a similarly relaxed manner. A school friend told him in 1978 that he had to get involved in ebensfeld. "In a collegial body, everyone should be involved." Everyone should not only have a say, but also a say, he says, explaining why he was attracted to the free voters.
Kasper (comes from schweidnitz in silesia, came to ebensfeld after the war via various stations at the age of 6 years, school education in ebensfeld and bamberg, then the entry at the tax office, where he rose to the specialized company auditor for coarse energy companies. In the process, its proximity to local government also developed, with many of the companies being municipally owned.
As district chairman, he created association structures for the grouping for the 1984 municipal elections – and was always a friend of those who saw the step toward the party as consistent: "we have to go where the decisions are made. And need information." This would only be possible at a higher political level, such as in the state parliament. Now you have to try to do that at the federal level, too. A nut for free voters to crack – under his successor. Kasper will leave office tomorrow at a district meeting, after 32 years. "It’s time for a new generation again."


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