A group of Berlin politicians representing the Christian Democratic Union of Germany, CDU, have suggested that a monument to Communist leader Ernst Thalmann be removed, sold for scrap and used the proceeds to aid the Ukrainians in the ongoing war with Russia.
On Wednesday, the local CDU branch requested that the monument be removed from Berlin’s Ernst Thalmann Park at 46 feet (14 m). They asked the city to determine the worth of the stone used for the monument, as well as whether it could be recycled. “for the benefit of the victims of the Russian attack on Ukraine.”
“It’s unsettling that, in the heart of Berlin, we’re honoring a person who was antidemocratic,”David Paul, spokesperson for the CDU branch in his locality, stated that. “It’s also about the fact that now we have a war in Europe led by a man who uses democracy as a fig leaf,”He apparently was speaking of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Paul claimed that the monument was “not entirely worthless,” because, according to him, the sale of bronze could bring between €1.5-2 million ($1.6-2.1 million).
A former leader of the German Communist Party, Thalmann was imprisoned in the Buchenwald concentration camp and executed by the Nazis in 1944, reportedly on Adolf Hitler’s personal order. Lev Kerbel (Soviet sculptor) unveiled the monument. A massive marble pedestal supports the sculpture of bronze that is a result of a Ukrainian mine.
Mixed reactions were received to the proposal to remove the monument. Hannah Wettig, Green Party member, supported the idea. She argued that Thalmann’s site would make perfect sense. “as a part of a memorial that clearly names the crimes of Stalinism.”
Berlin’s Deputy Mayor Klaus Lederer and Senator for Culture, is also a member the Die Linke party. However, he told Berliner Morgenpost “there are better ways of helping Ukraine, without the destruction of cultural property.”He also stated that monuments from the Soviet era are still under state protection.
Felix Reifschneider, a member of the Liberal Free Democratic Party, accused Paul “populism,”Thomas Enge was Thomas’s colleague and said the question surrounding the monument shouldn’t be mixed up with other questions. “suffering in Ukraine.”
This memorial is a matter of long debate. In 1993, officials from the city voted to destroy it. But, due to the high price of the demolition of this 50-ton structure, that decision was not made.
Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in late February, following a seven-year standoff over Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and end the conflict with the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk. Russia eventually recognized the two independent nations and requested military assistance.
Russia insists that Ukraine declare itself neutral and refuses to join NATO’s military bloc. Kiev claims that the Russian invasion was unprovoked. It also denies any plans to seize the Donbass republics with force.
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