Column “Berliner Truffle” 14: The happiness of socialism

Building a socialist republic is a walk, not a march. Although, there are already marches in the pillar hall of the Federal Ministry of Finance on the monumental mural by Max Lingner.

But not quite as martial as in 1941, when the facade of the then “Reich Air Ministry” on Leipziger Strasse was still decorated with a horribly propagandistic “soldier relief”.

In the GDR, the monumental box became the “House of Ministries”. In 1952, new propaganda tailored to this German state was posted on the wall: Max Lingner’s 24 meter long painting “Aufbau der Republik”, which was fired in tiles made from Meissner porcelain.

The monumental mosaic in the pillar hall on Leipziger Strasse.
© imago images/imagebroker

A crazy sight today, which in combination with the severe character of Ernst Sagebiel’s Nazi building and the “Monument of June 17, 1953” embedded in the ground in front of it, seems as rich in contrast as it is full of history. Although tourists easily overlook the mosaic behind the pillars.

The plant survived the moving in and out of the trust and also the moving in of the Ministry of Finance. FDJ girls, singing pioneers, workers, farmers, scientists and families move happily singing and waving flags from left to right. There are also officials with briefcases.

The harmonious, earthy brown, red and yellow tones are contrasted by the blue of the shirts and the bright sky, the idyll of which only darkens over the factories in the background.

At the request of the SED grandees Ulbricht and Grotewohl, Max Lingner had to change his design several times and bring it into line. He hated that mural there that survived the GDR.

Every Sunday, the “Berlin Truffle” series presents works of art in public space.

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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