Ernst Thälmann Memorial

Hidden Berlin Instagram feed (6 November 2015)

Berlin is known for plenty of things, not least its controversial art. And this 14m high bronze monument to Ernst Thälmann is one GDR memorial that continues to divide opinion. Ernst Thälmann (1886-1944) headed the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) during the Weimar Republic years. Arrested by the Gestapo in 1933, he was shot on Hitler’s orders after 11 years in solitary confinement. Thälmann was revered in GDR Germany – so much so that in 1986, the East German government laid out a park in his name, and unveiled this striking monument. Created by Soviet sculptor Lew Jefimowitsch Kerbe, the bust was – and still is – a symbol of communist East Germany. After reunification in 1990, many argued it should be torn down. However, after its bronze propaganda plaques were removed, the statue stayed, and is now a protected monument. Heading up his dishevelled park and staring distantly down Greifswalder Straße, Thälmann is an eerie reminder of times gone by in East Germany. #PrenzlauerBerg #Berlin #HiddenBerlin #HiddenPlaces #Communism #ErnstThälmann #ErnstThälmannPark #GreifswalderStrasse #Monument #KPD #WeimarRepublic #EastGermany #EastBerlin #BerlinArt #BerlinMonuments #Denkmal

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