Leipzig’s giant Lenin-bust ends up in Burg

The story about how the biggest German Lenin-bust ended up in the small town of Burg (Spreewald) more than two decades after the reunification is another of the surprising chronicles of Lenin-monuments in Germany. Weiterlesen

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At the border

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In April 2016 a bust of Lenin was erected only a few meters from the border between Germany and Poland. During World War II, this sculpture had been stolen by the German army in the Soviet Union and sent to Küstrin-Kietz, in order to be destroyed and reused as a raw material for the arms industry. But two workers of the scrapping facility decided to hide it, saving it from the imminent smelting. Weiterlesen

Damnatio memoriae (ENG)

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The abandoned military area of Wittstock has turned into a ghost town. Entire apartment buildings, schools, office-blocks and hangars are falling apart. In front of the former cultural center we find an image, which is rich in contrasts: Lenin is standing there with his typical statesmanlike pose, but he is mutilated and completely covered with lichen. It was not possible to get more information about this act of vandalism, but the view of this half-destroyed statue seems like an exemplary representation of the neglect of the East-German monumental landscape. Weiterlesen

At the Lenin Square?

In the year of 2015 a typical scene from the period immediately after the German reunification was seen again in the city of Strausberg: A Lenin-statue being lifted by a crane truck, in order to prepare its removal. The sculpture had been lying in the backyard of the Museum for Local History since 1991, covered by a black plastic. The German Communist Party had proposed its re-erection, but neither the mayor nor the director of the museum were convinced of the idea. Instead, they decided to give the statue to the cultural association “IFA-Freunde Trebus” (from the city of Fürstenwalde), in order to be exposed together with a collection of cars and everyday objects from the GDR. Weiterlesen

In the shadow of the Berlin Wall

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When the allies designed the border separating West-Berlin from the Eastern occupation zone, which would become the Democratic Republic of Germany, they set the line just before the city of Falkensee. After the building of the Berlin Wall, this small city lay literally in its shadow. When after decades of separation, Germany was finally reunited, the local population didn’t want their past, marked by the division, to be simply forgotten, so that in contrast to what happened in other towns, some monuments and elements of the life in the Socialist Germany were preserved. That’s why even nowadays we can still run into Lenin or Karl Marx in Falkensee. Their busts are exposed in the backyard of the museum for local history just in front of an authentic part of the Berlin Wall.

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Lenin in Forst Zinna (ENG)

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Between Luckenwalde and Jüterbog we find the nature reserve of Forst Zinna-Jüterbog-Kellberg, where one of the darkest pages in the history of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany was written. Back in the 19th century, the German army built a military training area, which was expanded by the Wehrmacht during World War II and taken over by the Red Army after the Nazi’s capitulation. This military area included a driving school for tanks. Weiterlesen

At the abandoned military hospital

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Hidden beyond a green curtain of trees and wild growing shrubberies, we can still find the abandoned complex of the former military hospital in Jüterbog. After the Soviets left it in 1993 after using it for 48 years, the buildings were emptied by German authorities and abandoned. Nowadays and after so many years of decay, the main building looks like a location for a horror movie: long corridors with peeled walls, collapsed ceilings, broken windows and two completely rotten operation rooms with a chair and a bed. Weiterlesen

Lenin and the twelve disciples of the October Revolution

 

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In a small park in Strausberg there is still standing a stone slab with a relief reminding the Communist Revolution in 1917. It was unveiled in April of 1970 on the occasion of Lenins 100th birthday. Around the central figure of Lenin there is a group of attentive listeners, including some soldiers and seaman recruits. Lenin is surrounded by exactly 12 persons, which could be seen as an allusion to Jesus’ apostles, particularly having in account that the honors to the Soviet hero often show parallel features to the worship of saints and concretely to the representation of Jesus Christ. In reality the image shows the historical meeting of the 10th October of 1917 (after the Gregorian calendar), which served as preparation for the revolution. Persecuted by the authorities, Lenin managed to return secretly to Petrograd and met 12 members of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik party, in order to plan the seizure of power. Weiterlesen

In front of the food-stand

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Though the style of Soviet Realism, which dominates amongst the public monuments with politic relevance in the entire Eastern Block, was not precisely known for its variety, it’s quite surprising, in how many different forms it was able to represent Lenin. For instance in the 3 meters statue of Eberswalde made of red granite, the role of strong statesman isn’t specially emphasized, being Lenin rather presented as a dreamy thinker: With one hand in the pocket and the other grabbing his coat collar, his glance gets lost in the distance. He is wearing the Swedish fisherman cap, which he bought in 1917 in Stockholm, on his way back to Russia after many years of exile in Central Europe, and looks a little bit fatter than usual. If it wasn’t for the unmistakable facial features, one could think to be standing in front of the figure of a Scandinavian Fisherman, looking into the infinite ocean…

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