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 on October 23 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

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In front of the food-stand

Red Lenin

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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Thorns

Dornen

Next to the national road B96 before entering Fürstenberg you can find two big relief walls, a free accessible remnant from the Soviet presence in Germany. It is an historical testimony to see, read and touch, that shows the glorious portrait of the Red Army as the big winner of World War II and also the ideal Communist projection for the post-war period. The monument is abandoned and falling apart, what in turn reflects the current dealing with the East-German past: Nobody wants to know anything about the Soviet heroism, not even about the liberation of Berlin from National Socialism accomplished by the Red Army in 1945. At least this memorial wasn’t demolished, so that even nowadays historians, strollers and curious persons still have the chance to get delighted by this relic. Weiterlesen

Lenin in death row

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Vogelsang, the name sounds very poetic and the landscape around this little village in the region of Oberhavel is quite idyllic. The forest with its tall trees could be part of a fairy tale and actually it conceals some hidden surprises. If you walk from Vogelsang heading north you will get to the ruins of a desolate and decaying military area. During the times of the Democratic Republic of Germany it belonged to the soviet army and there were up to 15.000 soldiers and civilians living in these buildings. During the climax of Cold War nuclear missiles were kept in Vogelsang, in order to be able to attack Paris and London, if the situation would get serious. After using this area for almost 40 years, the soviet army abandoned it in 1994. For two decades it served as exotic, alternative and – because of the rest of ammunition that was spread all around the area – totally forbidden – therefor more demanded tourist attraction. Weiterlesen

In abandoned Little-Moscow

 

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In every corner of the little town of Wünsdorf you can still find traces of the Soviet occupation. Here was located the biggest military area of the Red Army outside the Soviet Union: 590 hectares with 1000 buildings were surrounded by a wall of concrete, and completely inaccessible to the German population. More than 50 000 Soviet soldiers and civilians were living here and there were daily trains directly from the so called “Russian Station” to Moscow. But actually the military use of this territory began much earlier: In the beginning of the 20th century an infantry school was built here. During the III. Reich it was expanded by the Wehrmacht, who installed many important services here such as the intelligence headquarters. In 1945 the Red Army conquered this complex and a few months later the high command of the Soviet Forces in Germany moved to Wünsdorf and continued to expand the military area so that outside the large wall there were still 6.200 hectares for military training being used by the occupying forces. During the times of the GDR, Wünsdorf used to be called the “Little Moscow“. Weiterlesen

Standing on Hitler’s red granite

Lenin watching football
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From the top of his red colored pedestal the stone-faced Lenin is looking at the abandoned sports field, which was also used as a parade ground. Once upon a time, soldiers used to march here in neat uniforms and greet their hero with dignity and respect, but now the communist revolutionary can only address himself to the trees and bushes. This entire complex is a representation of oblivion, in which you can still though perceive a glint of the past glamour of the headquarter of the Soviet Army in Germany. Weiterlesen

Lenin or the moon

Vor dem Spielplatz

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BurritoThe relief image is crumbling apart and shows several dirt smudges and fissures. Without nose and with many craters, the supposed human head looks rather like an abstract and imaginative representation of the moon, which would actually fit better with the swings and monkey bars in the background. But in fact it is Lenin, who is standing here at the entrance to the huge park Bürgerheide in the small city of Finsterwalde and keeps watch over the playground. Weiterlesen

In the shrubbery

Im Schatten

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It’s quite impressive to see Lenin’s head on the Peetscher Höhe in Fürstenberg, staying alone behind a bush in middle of a wild growing meadow. Surrounded by shrubberies and trees he seems to have camouflaged himself in this remote hiding place. And actually that makes sense: After the German reunification most of the remains of the Soviet military forces in Fürstenberg have been removed or destroyed, including several monuments dedicated to Lenin. But here, seeking shelter in no man’s land, forgotten by supporters and detractors, he seems to have found a safe place to be. Weiterlesen

A ghostly appearence

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GelbIf you go for a walk in the Steinförder Straße in Fürstenberg, you can enjoy the fresh air, the view over the big lake Röblinsee and the bucolic calmness. Most of the houses were recently rehabilitated and next to the garage for the station wagon, you also have a parking lot for the boat – what a noble idyll! But just after the cross with the Waldweg you can see a spot with wild growing trees and bushes. If you take a look behind this picturesque setting, you will find the dusky shadow of a past, that doesn’t want to let go. The main trace of these agitated memories is the ruin of the Officer’s House with the inevitable statue of comrade Lenin. The flaking figure stands here like a ghost as a discomposing witness of past turbulences… Weiterlesen