Residents save Lenin-monument

In the small city of Bützow in the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern there is still a street named “Leninring”, where a commemorative stone dedicated to the founder of the Soviet Union can be found. The monument stands in front of an apartment block with the typical Socialist architecture style and is in bad shape, partially overgrown with moss. But nevertheless the Communist revolutionary still seems to matter to the residents, who in the year 2011 rebelled against a proposal of the local CDU, to change the name of the street (which would also have meant the demolition of the memorial stone). 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

Lenin in Forst Zinna (ENG)

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Between Luckenwalde and Jüterbog we find the nature reserve of Forst Zinna-Jüterbog-Kellberg, where one of the darkest pages in the history of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany was written. Back in the 19th century, the German army built a military training area, which was expanded by the Wehrmacht during World War II and taken over by the Red Army after the Nazi’s capitulation. This military area included a driving school for tanks. Weiterlesen

Lenin‘s head

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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

At the abandoned military hospital

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Hidden beyond a green curtain of trees and wild growing shrubberies, we can still find the abandoned complex of the former military hospital in Jüterbog. After the Soviets left it in 1993 after using it for 48 years, the buildings were emptied by German authorities and abandoned. Nowadays and after so many years of decay, the main building looks like a location for a horror movie: long corridors with peeled walls, collapsed ceilings, broken windows and two completely rotten operation rooms with a chair and a bed. Weiterlesen

Thorns

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Next to the national road B96 before entering Fürstenberg you can find two big relief walls, a free accessible remnant from the Soviet presence in Germany. It is an historical testimony to see, read and touch, that shows the glorious portrait of the Red Army as the big winner of World War II and also the ideal Communist projection for the post-war period. The monument is abandoned and falling apart, what in turn reflects the current dealing with the East-German past: Nobody wants to know anything about the Soviet heroism, not even about the liberation of Berlin from National Socialism accomplished by the Red Army in 1945. At least this memorial wasn’t demolished, so that even nowadays historians, strollers and curious persons still have the chance to get delighted by this relic. Weiterlesen

The Tank Division in Bernau

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ENGLISH

HauptgebaudeNow that he was relegated from the central spots of the capital, Lenin has got to hang around in remote ruins. In Bernau there are two parcels with big building blocks, which were the headquarter of the Heeresbekleidungsamts – something like a national clothing agency – during the Third Reich. After the war, the Red Army took over the place. The 90. Armoured Division was the last group to use the installations, before they were abandoned in the year of 1993: Where once was a direct train track, in order to deliver asap the new fancy uniforms or the most modern weapons, trees and bushes are growing now completely unwound. And in the buildings, in which generals were discussing the posible development of a third world war, now prevails the decay and a grave silence, which is only interrupted by some distant footsteps and you ask yourself if it’s only the echo of your own ones or maybe the ones of a soldier, which was left behind… Weiterlesen

Lenin in death row

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ENGLISH

Vogelsang, the name sounds very poetic and the landscape around this little village in the region of Oberhavel is quite idyllic. The forest with its tall trees could be part of a fairy tale and actually it conceals some hidden surprises. If you walk from Vogelsang heading north you will get to the ruins of a desolate and decaying military area. During the times of the Democratic Republic of Germany it belonged to the soviet army and there were up to 15.000 soldiers and civilians living in these buildings. During the climax of Cold War nuclear missiles were kept in Vogelsang, in order to be able to attack Paris and London, if the situation would get serious. After using this area for almost 40 years, the soviet army abandoned it in 1994. For two decades it served as exotic, alternative and – because of the rest of ammunition that was spread all around the area – totally forbidden – therefor more demanded tourist attraction. Weiterlesen

The contemplative Lenin of Gera

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ENGLISH

ContemplationIn the form of a statue, Lenin is known almost exclusively in a heroic pose and with a serious look – the great founder of the first socialist state in the world. But in Gera we can find something completely different: In a shady corner in the backyard of the historical court complex in the district of Untermhaus, Lenin is sitting with a very human, quotidian posture and a thoughtful expression. It’s not a big hero, who is represented, but rather a thinker. And the knitted red sock on his left foot definitely completes the uniqueness of this figure, which seems more an existential piece of art than an image of a politic revolutionary. But it’s doubtful that the red sock actually intended to complete this piece of art. It’s rather probable, that this little piece of clothing knitted by the members of a cabaret group, which plays here in the summer season, is a satirical allusion to the pejorative expressionred sock„, used in the past to ridicule left orientated politicians. Weiterlesen