Le Monde (France): in Germany the monument to Lenin, a controversial

Lenin — a symbol of the future? That’s considered a small ultra-left German party, which opened on Saturday, the monument to the Soviet leader in Gelsenkirchen (North Rhine-Westphalia). At least, ambiguous initiative.

“After the financial crisis and coronavirus youth (…) understand that the capitalist system in which we live, has no future,” says Communist activist Lena (23). She was one of 800 people (according to the organizers, the police are not voiced other figures), which gathered for the opening ceremony of metal statues, where waving in the wind red flags, and grills grilled sausages.

Ironically, 30 years after the fall of the Berlin wall, which marked the end of communism on German soil in the face of the GDR, revolutionary and statesman Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov was awarded the first monument in this city in the West of the country.

Controversial initiative

Statue with a height of 2.15 meters was cast in the Czech Republic in 1957. It was originally planned to officially set it in March to the national headquarters of the Marxist-Leninist party of Germany, but the epidemic of the coronavirus was forced to postpone the event.

Lenin “was a ahead of time thinker of world importance, the first advocate for freedom and democracy,” says the motion. In the current period of widespread criticism of capitalism and the search for other solutions “we condemn the lack of discussion about socialism as the alternative to development”, — said the leader of the party Gaby Fechtner.

Not everyone agrees with this point of view. The event was watched by a large police force, as it was expected associated with protest demonstrations. Political authorities even tried to block the initiative in court. “Lenin symbolizes violence, repression, terrorism and terrible human suffering”, — said in a resolution of the General Council of Gelsenkirchen.

Gaby Fechtner, in turn, claims that her party is “very reasonable” and draws inspiration from great historical figures. In addition to Lenin, she praises the philosophers and the fathers of communism, Marx and Engels, the founder of China, Mao Zedong and dictator Joseph Stalin.

Germany demolished any statues

The initiative is this tiny party stands out against the background of how the world is crumbling statues of figures of the colonial era after the death of George Floyd. Gained momentum after the murder of a police officer in may, the movement Black Lives Matter received a certain response in Germany: in Berlin held a few demonstrations.

Unknown also poured red paint on the statue of Bismarck in Hamburg. The fact that the “iron Chancellor” and the Creator of the unification of Germany in 1871, adopted in 1884 at the Berlin conference on the partition of Africa among the European powers.

Anyway, in a country not torn down any statues in contrast to the UK, USA and Belgium. Initiative for the renaming of streets Adolf Luderitz (this merchant has played a large role in the colonization of Namibia) and Carl Peters (active colonizer of East Africa) have failed because of opposition from residents.

In a country where decades of dealing with the Nazi past, “we have not made much progress on colonialism, what has long faced France, the US and the UK,” — said URTA Evert, Director of the Museum of the Citadel of Spandau in the West of Berlin, where old statues, which, in its opinion, has nothing to do in public.