Lenin in the Communist Curve

In the course of our documentation of all German monuments to Lenin, it became increasingly clear that despite the frenetic destruction of all leftovers from the GDR in the early 1990s, the Soviet revolutionary hero can still be found in the most unexpected places. This is also the case at Seepark Lünen, a 63-hectare green space in the Ruhr region. When the recreation area was created in 1996 as part of the National Garden Exhibition, nine Soviet monuments that had landed in Lünen by chance were also erected. To the present day, they stand there as an unconventional tourist attraction. Weiterlesen

The Lenin Statue of the Socialist Youth Organization

In the permanent exhibition „Our History – Dictatorship and Democracy after 1945“ in the Zeithistorisches Forum Leipzig there is a larger-than-life statue of Lenin. However, not much is known about this black statue made of zinc alloy. Neither its creator, nor the year of its erection, nor its former location are documented; all that is known is that it came from the holdings of the socialist youth organization Free German Youth (FDJ). Weiterlesen

Lenin peeling off

Two red stars can still be seen on the rusted gate. It stands wide open and leads nowhere, because the garages and warehouses behind it have been demolished in the meantime. Dismantling and complete renovation in Krampnitz are proceeding rapidly, and all traces of the Soviet Army will probably be erased in the coming months and years. Also the red stars and an already heavily weathered Lenin mural. Weiterlesen

In the shadow of Perestroika

The hall is dark and has to be lighted with a torch. Now Lenin appears on the back wall in a resolute forward march. Behind him are symbolic buildings and infrastructure of the Soviet Union as well as a waving red flag with a Roman XXVII. Apparently, the mural was created on the occasion of the 27th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), which took place in Moscow from 25th February to 6th March 1986. There, the General Secretary of the Central Committee, Mikhail Gorbachev, introduced the political reforms of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) with which he wanted to modernise the Soviet Union. This process failed and only five years after the announcement of the plans, the USSR disintegrated. Weiterlesen

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