The last trip was another challenge. The bad weather, all the traffic. Full concentration was required. “We managed to get around it,” says Thorsten Zopf. They were on time – despite everything.

A day later, the Left Party’s parliamentary group is history, but the sign is still hanging next to the door. Jakob-Kaiser-Haus, room 3835, Thorsten Zopf, chief driver. Knock once, come in friendly, ask the most important question first: How are you?

“How are you supposed to go?” says Zopf, 56, warm smile, gentle voice. “It’s all kind of surreal.”

He offers water and takes a bottle for himself. Then he looks at the crate of drinks in the corner of the office and shakes his head. “It all has to go too.”

Zopf spent this St. Nicholas morning at his desk. He entered his working hours for the last time and accounted for travel and fuel costs for the last time. “Everything has to be right,” says Zopf. He then locked the fuel card away. It’s now invalid anyway, he says.

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