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.