Germany: Lenin statue unveiled in Gelsenkirchen after court gives green light

The Marxist-Leninist Part of Germany (MPLD) unveiled a statue of Russian Revolutionary figure and first leader of the Soviet Union Vladimir Lenin in the West-German city of Gelsenkirchen on Saturday. Party supporters were out in force waving red flags and singing songs as the red veil was removed from the depiction of the former Soviet leader. Several protesters also showed up at the ceremony, with police intervening to keep the peace and maintain order. After the ceremony, representatives of the Marxist-Leninist party spoke to the press. German Marxist-Leninist Party Leader Gabi Fechtner explained that they had simply found and bought the statue on the internet. When asked about how she planned to protect the statues from vandals, she said «we are assuming that we can do this with the help of the people, and one can also say that we are of course calling on the police to support this... We are as well counting on state power, so to say, to defend this democratic right and according support this statue being able to stay here.» The unveiling comes following a heated dispute between the MLPD and the city authorities, which had previously tried to ban the statue, an attempt which was overturned in court. Statues of Lenin were once present right across the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), but this is believed to be the first one ever to be erected in Germany’s west. The original date was set for March 14 this year, coinciding with Lenin’s 150th birthday and the 38th anniversary of the founding of the MLPD, but was postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
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