Historical Critical Commentary on the Ernst Thälmann Monument
Ernst Thälmann Monument and Park since 1990
After the Peaceful Revolution, a public debate lasting several years began about the name of the residential area and dealing with the Ernst Thälmann Monument. The discussions reflected the different points of view regarding the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Positions ranged from immediate demolition of the monument to its use as a place of learning.
In May 1993, the Prenzlauer Berg district assembly (Bezirksverordnetenversammlung) decided to dismantle the monument. The demolition was not implemented due to a lack of financial resources. In 1995, the monument was listed as a historical monument. In 1997, most of the residents of Prenzlauer Berg voted to keep the name “Ernst-Thälmann-Park“.
In the 1990s, the park and the monument were neglected. In the meantime, the residential area became a meeting place for right-wing youths, and the Thälmann monument was daubed repeatedly with Nazi slogans.
In 2014, the building ensemble Ernst-Thälmann-Park was listed as an historical monument. A residents‘ initiative has been campaigning for the park and the monument since the end of 2012.
In 2019, the Pankow district office launched the competition “Artistic commentary on the Ernst Thälmann Monument“. The project “THINKING FROM THE PEDESTAL“ by Betina Kuntzsch was selected from 110 applications and realised in 2021.