There was a stir in the international media over the weekend (20 June 2020) around the unveiling of a new statue honouring the leader of the Russian Revolution, Vladimir Lenin.
The life size statue, originally cast in Czechoslovakia in 1957, was installed by the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD) in front of their headquarters in the west German City of Gelsenkirchen.
Prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the West German government was viciously anti-communist, banning the Party there. The German Democratic Republic built a great number of tributes to socialist figures and WWII memorials, although these have come under attack since unification with the West, many remain in place.
The move comes at a time when statues of racists, slave traders and imperialists are being toppled across the USA and Western Europe.
Unveiling the statue to a crowd of excited supporters, the MLPD’s chair, Gabi Fechtner said that Lenin was an “ahead-of-his-time thinker of world-historical importance and an early fighter for freedom and democracy,”
“The time for monuments to racists, anti-Semites, fascists, anti-communists and other relics of the past has clearly passed,” she added.
The City Council had failed in legal bid to block the monument, with their appeals being blocked by the courts. In a change of tack they have launched an online campaign ‘No place for Lenin’ on their YouTube channel focused on anti-communist propaganda.
Britain’s cities are no strangers to re-homing statues from the Eastern Bloc. In 2017, Manchester saved a Soviet statue of Engels from Ukraine to prevent it being destroyed by the fascist militias which now dominate the country. The statue is now a tourist attraction in the city centre.
It could be noted that if the unveiling had been put back by just one day then it would have made a timely gift to the father of the Great October Socialist Revolution …
Challenge News Desk