kirschbaum_e- Erik Kirschbaum is a Reuters correspondent in Berlin. -

Will the party that traces its roots to Communist East Germany's SED party that built the Berlin Wall soon be in power in a west German state?

Or is the rise of the far-left "Linke" (Left party) in western Germany to the brink of its first role as a coalition partner in a state government with the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) simply a political fact-of-life now so many years after the Wall fell and the two Germanys were reunited?

Will a "red" government in Saarland scare away investors and doom the state, as its conservative state premier Peter Mueller argues in a desperate fight to his job?

Or will the new leftist alliance in Saarland be able to better tackle state's woes, as the SPD state premier candidate Heiko Maas insists?

Depending on your Weltanschauung, that's what Sunday's election in three German states boils down to -- an emotional debate about whether the ex "Communists" in the form of the Left party should be allowed to be part of the next Saarland government or not.