The engraved portrait of Lenin

When the Soviet Army left East Germany in the early 1990s, a vast network of empty barracks and ghost towns was left behind. There are still traces, leftovers and some mysteries of the Soviets to be found there today. One of these enigmas is the Lenin head, about one meter high, carved into the wall in the abandoned complex in Kummersdorf. 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

Quotes

In some barracks of the Soviet Army in Germany, apart from monuments in honour of Lenin, some quotes from the revolutionary leader can still be found. Like the statues, busts and reliefs, the inscriptions are also highly endangered and are gradually disappearing as a result of conversion processes, the atmospheric conditions or acts of vandalism. Here are the last remaining quotations of Lenin in former installations of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany:
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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

Kopie eines Reliefs

1_Dallgow

Die Gemeinde Dallgow-Döberitz liegt südlich von Falkensee, nur wenige Kilometer von Berlin entfernt. Im dortigen sowjetischen Kriegsfriedhof  – einer von den vielen hierzulande – liegen 628 im Kampf um Berlin gefallene Soldaten und Offiziere der Roten Armee und einige Armeeangehörige, die nach 1945 auf deutschem Gebiet stationiert waren und hier verstorben sind. Das Ehrenmal entstand unmittelbar nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg und steht unter Schutz des deutsch-russischen Kriegsgräberabkommen. Es wurde 2014 gründlich saniert. 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