Lenin and the victims of fascism

During my investigation about German Lenin-monuments, the name of Sassnitz often appeared in different documents and lists. In April of 1917 Lenin had spent a night in this East-German harbour-city, before taking a boat to Sweden in order to continue his trip to Russia. On the occasion of this historical episode, a memorial stone, a bust and a small museum in honour of Lenin were erected in Sassnitz during the 60s and 70s. Weiterlesen

At the border

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In April 2016 a bust of Lenin was erected only a few meters from the border between Germany and Poland. During World War II, this sculpture had been stolen by the German army in the Soviet Union and sent to Küstrin-Kietz, in order to be destroyed and reused as a raw material for the arms industry. But two workers of the scrapping facility decided to hide it, saving it from the imminent smelting. 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

In the shadow of the Berlin Wall

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When the allies designed the border separating West-Berlin from the Eastern occupation zone, which would become the Democratic Republic of Germany, they set the line just before the city of Falkensee. After the building of the Berlin Wall, this small city lay literally in its shadow. When after decades of separation, Germany was finally reunited, the local population didn’t want their past, marked by the division, to be simply forgotten, so that in contrast to what happened in other towns, some monuments and elements of the life in the Socialist Germany were preserved. That’s why even nowadays we can still run into Lenin or Karl Marx in Falkensee. Their busts are exposed in the backyard of the museum for local history just in front of an authentic part of the Berlin Wall.

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Lenin in Switzerland

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During his last month of exile before travelling back to Russia, where he would lead the October Revolution, Lenin lived in Zürich. He spent most of his time in libraries, working on his political texts, or in cafés, where he often met other Russians living in exile. On the weekends, he liked to go with his wife, Nadeschda Krupskaja, to the Zürichberg, a green hill nearby. It was in that moment when Lenin wrote his essay “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism”, one of his most important works. Weiterlesen