The dictator from Mongolia

Militzer & Münch transports Stalin statue to Berlin

A Berlin exhibition currently highlights the GDR’s (German Democratic Republic) personality cult around Joseph Stalin and commemorates the victims of his dictatorship. For the exhibition, Militzer & Münch transported a two-ton bronze statue of the Soviet dictator from Mongolia to Berlin.

During the GDR era, a statue of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin stood in East Berlin until 1961, when it vanished in unresolved circumstances – to this day, the statue remains missing. In Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, historians recently discovered an identical bronze statue from the same series by Russian Soviet sculptor Nikolai Tomsky. Until the end of the Soviet Union, this Stalin monument stood in front of the Ulaanbaatar National Library – today it is owned by a private collector.

The Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, a museum and memorial at the location of a former Stasi (the GDR State Security Service) prison, is exhibiting the statue to remember the role the dictator played in the GDR and to commemorate the victims of his regime. Following a recommendation from the German Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation, the museum assigned Militzer & Münch with the complete transport – and the project required high-precision work from the team.

“When transporting a five-meter, two-ton statue, every step in the process has to be done correctly”, says Sven Wolthusen, Branch Manager of Militzer & Münch Berlin. “To lift the monument onto the truck undamaged, we had to be extremely precise working the crane. We filmed the entire loading process. We can use the material as a reference for the return shipment.”

Militzer & Münch Berlin filmed the entire loading process of the Stalin statue in order to use the material as a reference for the return shipment.

Across Eastern Europe

The bronze statue travelled the 8,000 kilometer distance from Ulaanbaatar to Berlin in 14 days, transiting Russia, Belarus and Poland. Militzer & Münch employees in Minsk, Bad Reichenhall and Berlin were involved in the project as well as a Militzer & Münch office in Mongolia. “Apart from the usual transport services including customs management, our team was also responsible for erecting the statue”, says Sven Wolthusen.

Press event in Berlin

When the transport reached Berlin, the Militzer & Münch team temporarily positioned the statue for a press event at the location where the East Berlin Stalin monument had originally stood – in the Karl-Marx-Allee, the former Stalinallee from 1949 to 1961.

“After the well-attended media event, we picked up the statue by crane to erect it again, just a couple of kilometers away, at the venue of the exhibition in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen”, says Sven Wolthusen. “It will be standing there until the end of June. Of course, we’ll also handle the return transport.”

The exhibition at the Hohenschönhausen Stasi Victims Memorial runs until June 30, 2018

The Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial is exhibiting the statue to remember the role the dictator played in the GDR and to commemorate the victims of his regime.

Train model from Moscow

For his 70th birthday, the East Berlin Transport Company gave Joseph Stalin a detailed model of a subway train of the Berlin U2 line. However, the dictator never laid eyes on the model as it was part of an exhibition that Stalin didn’t visit. Today, the model is part of the Moscow Polytechnic Museum.

The museum gave the model to the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial as an item on loan for the exhibition. Militzer & Münch Moscow does the transport including handling and customs management, from Moscow to Berlin and back.