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.