On October 14, 1990, the five new federal states held their very first Landtag [state parliament] elections. This photo shows an SPD campaign rally with Oskar Lafontaine in Bitterfeld (Saxony-Anhalt) on October 10, 1990. During the GDR, Bitterfeld was an important center for the chemical industry, but after unification industrial shutdowns put numerous jobs at risk. Although Lafontaine was skeptical about unification, the SPD had still nominated him in September 1990 as the party's candidate for chancellor in the upcoming all-German Bundestag elections in December 1990. It was in this role that he traveled to election events such as the one pictured here. His efforts to boost his party's performance in the Landtag elections bore little fruit, however: in the end, the SPD won a majority only in Brandenburg. In the other four new federal states, the CDU emerged as the strongest party in the elections.
The poster in the foreground reads: "Tradition and future. SPD." Photo: Waltraud Grubitzsch.