ERNST THALMANN, WHO IS THIS MAN?

DECEMBER, 2017

Ernst Thälmann Park was christened in 1986, one hundred years after Thälmann’s birth and three years before the fall of the Berlin wall. Despite this history, the statue remains along with his namesake on this park in Prenzlauerberg.

Thälmann grew up in Imperialist Germany and became a pro-labor and anti-war activist.  He went on to join and lead the German communist party during Weimer Germany, the years between the two world wars.  After Hitler was elected to power, he was imprisoned by the Nazis.

There is some speculation that Stalin could have negotiated for Thälmann’s release yet chose not to and instead created a cult of personality after his death.

The East German government spent millions of dollars on a series of films glorifying his life and Eastern Bloc countries around the world taught of his legacy and monumentalized his life through naming streets and programs after him.

Today the area houses people, a theater, a gallery and swimming pool and the park has both expanses and pockets of calm and wilderness.

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