Fürstenwalder statue set up again on Leninsquare

After the military withdrawal in 1994, a statue of Lenin was left behind in the military area of the Soviet Army in Fürstenwalde. The sculpture is presumably a creation of the members of the army from the 1970s. After a long period of uncertainty, the monument was brought into the private collection of the association IFA-Freunde Trebus (Fürstenwalde) in 2015, where it is part of a large exhibition of GDR vehicles, everyday objects and monuments. Weiterlesen

Strausberg’s Lenin in Trebus

In the year of 2015 a typical scene from the period immediately after the German reunification was seen again in the city of Strausberg: A Lenin-statue being lifted by a crane truck, in order to prepare its removal. The sculpture had been lying in the backyard of the Museum for Local History since 1991, covered by a black plastic. The German Communist Party had proposed its re-erection, but neither the mayor nor the director of the museum were convinced of the idea. Instead, they decided to give the statue to the cultural association “IFA-Freunde Trebus” (from the city of Fürstenwalde), in order to be exposed together with a collection of cars and everyday objects from the GDR. 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

Lenin‘s head

head

 

On April 29th 2016 the exhibition „Unveiled – Berlin and its monuments was solemnly inaugurated at Zitadelle Spandau. Its main exhibit is a two-meter large head of Lenin with a weight of 3,5 tonnes. It is made of red granite and used to be part of East Germany’s biggest Lenin-monument. After the reunification, the statue was banished from Berlin, dismantled and buried in a forest nearby. This head was especially dug up for this exhibition and attracted a lot of popular and media attention. The explanation for this high interest was not only the figure of Lenin itself, but especially the amazing history of this monument, which could serve as the script for a Hollywood-movie. 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…

Weiterlesen

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

Lenin stays

Bronzelenin

ENGLISH

While many of the last monuments dedicated to Lenin in Germany are in danger of being demolished or crumbling away in front of an abandoned barrack, the Lenin in Riesa has guaranteed a safe and well-tended existence. Since 1991, when the figure was moved into the little park next to some Soviet war graves, there is no longer any threat. It can stay there as heroic sentry and enjoy the sun and fresh air. Analyzing the statue, one could think, that behind the iron expression there is a light smile on Lenin’s face: Probably he is just glad about the ironic and happy end of the story of his overhasty removal from the former Lenin Square. Weiterlesen

A heroic rescue

Foto 1

ENGLISH

Zwischen BögenIn October of 1943 a train coming from the Russian city of Pushko arrived at the train-station of Eisleben. The wagons were filled with scrap metal bulky metallic objects, spoils of war from the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The whole shipment was meant to be taken to the Krughütte, a production plant nearby, in order to be melt down. The soviet forced laborers, which were unloading the wagons, didn’t believe their eyes, as they suddenly found in middle of bells, artillery shells and pieces of boats a three meter high statue of Lenin, made of bronze. Their national hero had come to support them in these hard times – it was a miracle! They decided to hide the statue under a mountain of scrap and saved it from destruction. Weiterlesen