Lenin’s spectacular comeback

The chronicle of the Lenin-monument in Großenhain in Sachsen resembles the plot of a Hollywood film. After the German reunification, the 4,80-metre-high concrete block weighing over ten tonnes was dismantled and hidden in a secret operation with the intention of preserving it from a possible destruction. For 25 years, the colossal monument was considered „disappeared“ until its surprising comeback in 2017 to be re-erected in front of the local Bunker Museum. Weiterlesen

Damnatio memoriae (ENG)

lenin_in_wittstock

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

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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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

Yellow mosaic in front of spooky soundscape

smilinglenin

ENGLISH

Constructed during the Third Reich, taken over by the Red Army after the war, abandoned in the early 90s. This chronological sequence, typical for many Soviet military areas in East Germany, also applies to the old airport in Brand. This complex is out of use since 1992 and if you walk along its paths it feels like being in a horror movie… Everywhere you look, you find ruins and empty buildings, camouflaged behind the trees that are growing wildly around this area. The soundscape, which accompanies this desolating scenario is specially scaring: windows crunch, squealing panels balance from the ceilings, you hear doors slamming – the little ghost town just can’t find a rest! In the middle of this spooky atmosphere the mosaic of Lenin is like an oasis of vivacity: The strong colors, the harmonic blue and yellow combination and the friendly facial expression of the communist leader form a clear contrast to the dusky surrounding. Weiterlesen