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Ernst Thälmann had moved the masses during the Weimar Republic. He failed to bring about the “victory of communism”. The fact that communism had long since perished in the hail of bombs during the Second World War and that many of his comrades – who had escaped from Nazi terror – had been murdered by the henchmen of the Communist Party under Stalin was concealed by the SED regime, or perhaps chalked up as collateral damage. Just as Thälmann himself had been previously.

The “victor of history” created for a system that became history itself only three years later. Eternal bronze, incomparable power of Socialist Realism. Incomparable? Thälmann looks remarkably similar to the Lenin monument in Cuba – also designed by the highly decorated Soviet sculptor of choice for the Chairman of the State Council. The Berlin vernacular christened the alleged gift from the Soviet Union “Lemann”. But it was pure German workmanship. The GDR’s entire annual production of bronze.

It could have been worse. It could have been more attractive. Lighter, more imaginative. Things turned out different.

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