“Auftrag: Kunst”

Deutsches Historisches Museum

After reunification, even the old image-icons of the GDR (East Germany) were taken down. From the objects that decorated the waiting room at the party’s headquarters to the 10,000 paintings commissioned by the SED (United Socialist Party of Germany), memorabilia disappeared from factories, administrative offices, and organizations intended to serve the people. These works were placed in a former bank vault on the Leipziger Straße in Berlin, not far from Potsdamer Place. Put into storage it was taken out only to be stored at another site.

All of this caused a major scandal. The media, artists, and politicians demanded to know where these cultural artifacts were being held. The committee that had removed these works from public view (in the former GDR a great deal of public art, particularly murals, was produced) had made no effort to distinguish between Socialist realism, depoliticized

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