Vogelsang’s Lenin saved from demolition

After the Red Army left its base in Vogelsang, Brandenburg, the abandoned barracks turned into a popular destination for photographers and adventurous tourists. The main attraction was the large mural with a Lenin relief between the old café and the officers‘ house. However, a few years ago, following the decision to renaturalize the area, the demolition of the entire military complex began, which also endangered the Lenin Monument. But finally the monument to the Communist revolutionary was saved in spring of 2017 and taken to Wünsdorf, being placed in front of a museum. 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

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

Red carnations for Lenin

Lenin in Nohra

Since the 19th century, red carnations have been considered a symbol of the international labor movement: Back then they were carried out by the participants of illegal meetings in Germany and France. During the period of the Cold War these flowers would become a distinctive mark of Socialist ideology in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. To celebrate special holidays, people would put them down – and actually still do nowadays – at the grave of soldiers fallen in war or in front of monuments dedicated to the adored state-idols. In Nohra, on a sunny spring day, we found red carnation lying in front of the statue of Lenin. They were not real, but plastic-flowers, maybe because they are cheaper and last longer. Weiterlesen

Thorns

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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

The Tank Division in Bernau

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HauptgebaudeNow that he was relegated from the central spots of the capital, Lenin has got to hang around in remote ruins. In Bernau there are two parcels with big building blocks, which were the headquarter of the Heeresbekleidungsamts – something like a national clothing agency – during the Third Reich. After the war, the Red Army took over the place. The 90. Armoured Division was the last group to use the installations, before they were abandoned in the year of 1993: Where once was a direct train track, in order to deliver asap the new fancy uniforms or the most modern weapons, trees and bushes are growing now completely unwound. And in the buildings, in which generals were discussing the posible development of a third world war, now prevails the decay and a grave silence, which is only interrupted by some distant footsteps and you ask yourself if it’s only the echo of your own ones or maybe the ones of a soldier, which was left behind… 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