Monika Strauß, born in 1948, comple­ted an appren­ti­ce­ship in the field of tele­com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons and began working at the Mans­feld Mining Combine at the age of 19. There she became head of a workers’ brigade consis­ting of 32 women and was tasked with setting up a new branch of the company for the produc­tion of call coun­ter devices.


In 1970, Strauß became a member of the Socia­list Unity Party (SED) and parti­ci­pa­ted as a dele­gate in the VIII Party Congress the follo­wing year. After a 2‑year evening course in elec­tro­nics, she acqui­red the title of master craft­swo­man in 1971. From 1974 to 1977, she worked in the indus­trial district leader­ship of the FDJ of the Mans­feld combine, where she orga­nised inter­na­tio­na­list work, guided visi­ting dele­ga­tion, culti­va­ted revo­lu­tio­nary tradi­ti­ons and mana­ged press work.


In 1977, Strauß moved to Wanz­le­ben in the Magde­bur­ger Börde and was active in the SED’s educa­tio­nal work there. She studied at the Karl Marx Hoch­schule in Berlin before retur­ning to Wanz­le­ben and taking up a post in the muni­ci­pal secre­ta­riat. During this time she was active in the women’s commission.

The inter­view was filmed on 6 Octo­ber 2021.