Gudrun Mertschenk was born in 1954 in Wittenberg, in the district of Halle. From a young age, she was a member of the Free German Youth (FDJ) and active in the Singers’ Club. Singing took her to the 10th World Festival of Youth and Students held in Berlin in 1973. She then studied history and wrote her thesis on the Chilean trade union CUT. From 1982 to 1990 she worked for the International Federation of Teachers’ Unions (FISE).
From an early age, she followed developments in Latin America with great interest. Following the 1973 coup in Chile, Mertschenk work with and maintained close ties with Chilean refugees living in the DDR. After 1990, she travelled the continent many times.
The interview was filmed on 23.08.2023.