Image by Robby Block

Public art in East Berlin – Social realism

Next time you are on Alexanderplatz don’t forget to look up. Socialist art adorns a number of the buildings surrounding the square. Most likely all the work you see was done by one man, Walter Womacka. The mosaic depicting the socialist vision of a brighter future on the Haus des Lehrers? Womacka. The fountain some guidebooks claim locals call “the whore’s brooch”? Womacka. The space-agey bronze frieze on the side of Haus des Reisens? You guessed it, Womacka!

A short journey away from Alexanderplatz sits the former State Council of the GDR, now ironically the European School of Management, an upper-crusty, private business school, home to some beautiful Womacka stained glass windows. Unfortunately you need permission to get in, though you can sneak a peek behind the guard before she sullenly throws you out. No worries, as just across Unter den Linden at the main building of the Humboldt University, a much more egalitarian place of higher learning, you will find another glorious stained glass by Womacka, featuring socialist superstars admonishing Germany’s best and brightest to strive for a better future.

Finally, if you head back over to Alexanderplatz you can find two more socialist era bronzes, although not by Staatskünstler Womacka. One is the rather large and imposing statue of Marx and Engels at their eponymous forum. Across the river at the Hochschule für Musik you will find depictions of Karl Liebknecht’s premature proclamation of the German Free Socialist Republic from the Berlin City Palace in 1918.

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Details about this spot



Alexanderplatz 1, Berlin

Opening Times

24 hours daily


Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)