In The News
For our Russian readers, a story about an exhibition at the Museum of Political History of Russia in St. Petersburg marking of the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union, which features original poster designs from The Wende Museum's Ferris collection.
The Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War offers priceless insight into how people lived under communism, and how they came to challenge it. Some items in the museum recall the overstuffed apartments of Muscovites, replete with ceramic plates celebrating the 1980 Moscow Olympics and multivolume editions of the writings of everyone from Karl Marx to Jack London. Other items speak about the dramatic changes of the late 1980s. Take, for instance, an eight-inch plaster bust of Vladimir Lenin mass-produced in the German Democratic Republic in the 1960s. What makes this particular bust unusual is the paint job it received—in neon pink and turquoise—during protests against the Communist regime in the fall of 1989. Lenin’s figure had gone from being a ubiquitous part of East German everyday life to being a symbol of protest.
More than 20 years after the collapse of communism here, Hungary's government is holding a vast rummage sale, auctioning off socialist-era paintings, sculptures and photographs that have been gathering dust in storage. The proceeds will be used to help clean up after another reminder of central planning: an industrial accident that in October left villages in western Hungary flooded with caustic red sludge—waste from a once state-owned aluminum factory.