Lenin in the Olympic Village

The Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936 were held during the Nazi regime and the National Socialist regime used them to project a positive, modern image of itself. The Olympic Stadium in Berlin-Westend was built for the sporting competitions and 18 kilometres to the west, in the Brandenburg Elstal, the accommodation for the international athletes was erected. 80 years have passed and now part of the rotten complex of the Olympic Village is being redeveloped into luxury flats, while the rest is left to decay. Among the abandoned buildings is the Hindenburghaus, named in honour of the former Field Marshal and President of the Reich, a cultural centre where a Lenin mural can still be found today. And of course, one might ask how this Lenin painting came to be placed in a sports complex built by the Nazis. Weiterlesen

A Lenin monument that is none

One of the most surprising chronicles of Lenin monuments in Germany is that of the statue ensemble „Hessendrescher“ in Groß-Gerau. This work by the artist Mario Derra has been standing in front of the historic town hall of this small West-German town since 2007 and shows five figures from the pre-industrial era: three peasants threshing grain and, a little further away, a woman with a child. One of the threshers clearly shows the facial features of Lenin: The leader of the October Revolution holds up the flail and appears relaxed despite the hard work. He probably already suspects that the oppression of the agricultural workers will soon be over. Weiterlesen

Lenin relief brought back to light

Old photos of the Soviet barracks in Möhlau show a relief with a side portrait of Lenin. For years it was thought to have been lost when the Soviet army left, because the remaining stele was blank. But after a quarter of a century of weathering, the top layer of the stele began to peel away and surprisingly, the red colour of the former monument and the outlines of Lenin’s head appeared, although diffuse and blurred. We immediately set out in the hope of restoring the original relief.

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Mural renovated and extended in graffiti style

While exploring abandoned objects one constantly comes across graffiti, tags and other works of „street art„. They have become part of the unique landscape of abandoned places. However, they rarely have a concrete connection to the historical sites in which they are located and many visitors tend to perceive them as foreign bodies or disturbing elements. An exception can be seen in Möhlau, where a graffiti artist first renovated a monumental Lenin mural of the Soviet army, only to expand it with a stylized Soviet flag. Weiterlesen

The hidden mural

On the former airfield in Sperenberg (Brandenburg) there is still a flaking Soviet mural with Lenin inside an abandoned building. It is a difficult discovery even for experienced Urbex explorers, because the corridor to the room can only be reached through a small hole in a wall. But first you have to find the right building in this vast ghost town. Weiterlesen

In the Ruhr Area

 

Almost exactly 35 years to the day after the last inauguration of a statue of Lenin on German soil (Schwerin, 22.6.1985), a statue of the Soviet revolutionary leader was unveiled in Gelsenkirchen on 20 June 2020. The 1.2-tonne, 2.10-metre-high cast iron sculpture is located in front of the headquarters of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD) at the corner of Schmalhorststraße/An der Rennbahn in the district Gelsenkirchen-Horst. Weiterlesen

Pale memory

Once hundreds of neat soldiers of the Soviet Army marched here past the tribune of honour and the two freshly painted murals. Today, however, this is only a pale memory of times past. As pale as the colour of the two Soviet steles: One shows a Red Army soldier, the other Lenin. Although the Soviet revolutionary leader has been abandoned for almost 30 years, his stony gaze and charisma still remain on the former parade trail. Weiterlesen

The golden Lenin

With a fresh, golden layer of paint Lenin shines again in its old splendour. This bust certainly deserves it; after all, its history is one of the most spectacular monumental chronicles in Germany. It is a sculpture from the Soviet Union stolen during World War II, which was to be melted down in Küstrin-Kietz and turned into raw material for the arms industry. Out of ideological conviction, however, two workers of the scrapping company hid the bust and thus prevented its destruction.
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