Two red stars can still be seen on the rusted gate. It stands wide open and leads nowhere, because the garages and warehouses behind it have been demolished in the meantime. Dismantling and complete renovation in Krampnitz are proceeding rapidly, and all traces of the Soviet Army will probably be erased in the coming months and years. Also the red stars and an already heavily weathered Lenin mural.
The military complex in Krampnitz near Potsdam was built between 1937 and 1939 as the new headquarters of the cavalry and armored troop school of Nazi-Germany. In 1945, the Soviets took over the site, which covers more than 100 hectares. After their departure in 1992, the site stood empty for a long time, occasionally serving as a film set, such as for „Mein Führer“ (Dani Levy, 2007) or „Inglourious Basterds“ (Quentin Tarantino, 2009). In 2011, a construction company presented a master plan for the construction of approximately 1800 apartments on the abandoned site. The plan was given the green light, so currently all the buildings constructed by the Soviet Army are being demolished, while the buildings designed by Berlin architect Robert Kisch for the Wehrmacht are under monument protection and will be preserved. After being gutted and thoroughly renovated, the new housing units are planned to be built there.
In the complex one can still find last traces of the Nazis and especially of the Soviet Army. Both on the walls and inside some of the buildings, several murals and reliefs have been preserved, although not always in good condition. In a former cultural centre, a deteriorated painting is dedicated to Lenin, whose portrait is badly peeling off. To his right is written in Russian one of his famous quotes: „One can become a communist only if he enriches his knowledge with all the treasures of knowledge that mankind has worked out.“ The sentence is taken from Lenin’s speech „The Tasks of Youth Organizations“, which he held on October 2, 1920, at the III Congress of the Communist Youth Division. Here he emphasized the importance of critical examination and further development of the knowledge of the old, traditional school in order to build a new communist educational system.
On the left side of the mural, the priorities listed by Lenin for the „economic rebirth of the country“ can be seen by means of a constellation with different elements. The military as protection of the revolution, the teachings of Marxism, and the modernization of science, technology, and industry are emphasized in both the speech and the mural.
Unfortunately, the countdown to the destruction of this great historical record is already running and there is no rescue option in sight. The mural will probably disappear in short time, but Lenin’s dream of universal proletarian education, forming free and equal people, will remain.