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The Cosmonaut of Potsdam | Exploring Potsdam

The Cosmonaut of Potsdam | Exploring Potsdam

2024-03-01 11:33:54

Potsdams a pleasant place – but it surely’s simply not fairly as cool as its youthful brother Berlin. No matter Potsdam does it’s all the time seemingly second class to Berlin. Its bought the unique Brandenburger Tor (Potsdam 1770, Berlin 1788, Königsberg 1860), the Stadschloß they restored is cheaper (and was completed faster) than Berlins (120 million to 590 million) they usually’ve bought much less canine shit on the streets, however for causes that be – Potsdam has the doubtful honour of simply being a 1 day vacationer vacation spot – decreased to Sans Souci and a espresso on the Brandenburger Tor.

The Garnisonskirche in Potsdam

There’s extra to Potsdam than Sans Souci, and exploring town requires extra than simply 1 day – that is one thing that even I’ve solely slowly begun to comprehend. Regardless of being solely a 20 minute practice experience away, ive solely managed to go to Potsdam 7 occasions up to now 8 years. Berlin is a tough metropolis to depart – but after I heard that there was an East German Mosaic which was rumoured to be demolished, there was cause sufficient for me to enterprise down and test it out.

With a little bit little bit of analysis I came upon that the Mosaic was a part of the “Datenverarbeitungszentrum” (briefly DVZ) – a Information Heart which was chargeable for serving to smaller companies who lacked their very own Information Facilities with Billing (information acquisition, processing, archiving) and software program improvement within the DDR. So whats all this concerning the Mosaic being demolished? Effectively to grasp the destiny of the Mosaic and the DVZ, one wants to return just a few years.

Potsdam survived the vast majority of the second world conflict comparatively undamaged (compared to different bigger cities in Germany). A lot of the destruction occurred throughout a raid on the 14th of April 1945 – which left town heart, the Stadschloß and the previous market fully destroyed.

The Garrison Church of Potsdam – constructed below Friedrich Wilhelm I. in 1722 was hit and broken by a number of bombs which did not detonate on affect. Whereas a number of items of the invaluable stock had been saved, the church was gutted by a fireplace when one of many bombs ended up detonating. The church sustained much more harm after the soviet military began shelling town.

potsdam garnisonskirche before and after world war 2
Left: The Garnisonskirche in Potsdam round 1900 | Proper: The bomb broken Garnisonskirche in April 1945 (Proper Picture: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-J31422 / CC-BY-SA 3.0)

The Garrison Church was one of the crucial vital baroque church buildings in Potsdam. It was not solely one in every of Potsdams most spectacular landmarks, but additionally served as the primary place of worship for the Prussian aristocracy and navy. It was right here that the navy was ready for conflict and obtained its blessings, and it was right here the place Frederick the Nice was laid to relaxation.

Massive elements of Potsdam remained in ruins after the conflict and efforts to rebuild it remained sluggish at finest. Regardless of having burnt all the way down to the bottom and being a logo of the aristocratic and militaristic Prussia of the previous – the folks determined to rebuild the church. Up till the mid Sixties, church companies had been held within the remnants of the tower, which at that time was made publicly accessible once more.

Walter Ulbricht (Basic Secretary of the SED), well-known for his anti Prussian and anti church stance – disregarded the general public’s affection for the church and ordered it demolished in 1967 because it was “disturbing the event of a socialist cityscape in Potsdam”.

The Datenverarbeitungszentrum in Potsdam

After the church was demolished in 1968 – the development for the Datenverarbeitungszentrum begun. Sarcastically – as a result of terrible situation of the subsoil – the development of the DVZ in Potsdam grew to become the most costly of its type within the historical past of the DDR.

The Rechenzentrum in Potsdam was designed and constructed by the Architect collective “Sepp Weber” for the VEB “Maschinelles Rechnen” between 1969 and 1971. The advanced consisted of a Multistory constructing with places of work and a constructing for giant capability computer systems.

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Der Mensch bezwingt den Kosmos

The Rechenzentrum was adorned with a big Mosaic generally known as “Der Mensch bezwingt den Kosmos” by Fritz Eisel, which wrapped itself across the complete constructing. The Mosaic consisted of 18 – 2,9 meters by 3,2 meter massive photographs depicting the relativity formulation by Einstein, the cosmos, scientists, spaceships, Juri Gagarin and an compulsory quote by Karl Marx:

„Je weniger Zeit die Gesellschaft bedarf um Weizen, Vieh, and so on. zu produzieren, desto mehr Zeit gewinnt sie zu anderer Produktion, materieller oder geistiger. Ökonomie der Zeit – Darein löst sich schließlich alle Ökonomie auf. Ökonomie der Zeit, Sowohl wie planmäßige Verteilung der Arbeitszeit auf die verschiedenen Zweige der Produktion bleibt additionally erstes ökonomisches Gesetz auf Grundlage der gesellschaftlichen Produktion.“

And in English:

“The much less time the society requires to supply wheat, cattle and so on., the extra time it wins for different manufacturing, materials or psychological. Economic system of time, to this all economic system finally reduces itself. Society likewise has to distribute its time in a purposeful means, with the intention to obtain a manufacturing satisfactory to its general wants.”

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Fritz Eisel

Fritz Eisel was one of the crucial influential painters and graphic artists in East Germany. Born in 1929 in Hessen, he joined the native Communist Get together in 1946 and commenced work as a truck driver. In 1947 he utilized and was accepted for a course on the College of Structure and Advantageous arts in Weimar.

He then transferred and completed his research on the Dresden Academy of Advantageous Arts in 1951. He joined the German League of Visible Artists that very same yr – although he nonetheless felt below skilled and determined to simply accept a suggestion to attend the Academy of Arts in Leningrad till 1957.

volkstanz frankfurt oder fritz eisel
“Volkstanz” – 1960, Fritz Eisel – Frankfurt Oder

After 1957 he returned to east Germany and commenced working as a contract artist (with a stint as a truck driver by way of Mongolia, India and Vietnam). In 1970 he took a instructing publish on the Dresden Fine Arts Academy, the place he obtained a professorship in 1973. In 1975 he was appointed Rector.

After refusing to serve a 3rd time period due his objections to educational adjustments imposed by the state he moved close to Schwerin and entered his most efficient inventive part . Apart from creating the Mosaic on the Rechenzentrum in Potsdam, he left his mark in type of a uncommon mosaic in Frankfurt Oder in 1960 named “Volkstanz” and one other mosaic in 1984 in Hoyerswerda. Fritz Eisel handed away in 2010 in Langen Brütz.

And right here’s a little bit trivia about Fritz Eisel. Fritz Eisel had 2 kids – one in every of them being the creator and Journalist Carla Kalkbrenner. You would possibly acknowledge the final title – shes the mom of the well-known DJs  Paul and Fritz Kalkbrenner. The extra you realize.

east german computer parade
ADN-ZB Uhlemann Berlin, 4 July 1987: A delegation from Erfurt takes half within the 750th anniversary of Berlin with a presentation of “Desktop Computer systems” from Sömmerda | Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1987-0704-077 / CC-BY-SA 3.0

A 5 12 months Plan

Even the DDR understood the significance of Computer systems and microelectronics – however there was a extreme lack of funds because the state diverted money earmarked for investments and technological innovation again into the state funds. To counteract this, the DDR siphoned off the remaining funding funds from different industrial sectors and pumped it into the Microelectronic Sector.

Inflexible 5 yr plans and the overall lack of innovation compelled east german digital companies such because the VEB Robotron and Mikroelektronik Erfurt to reverse engineer laptop chips (with a little bit little bit of assist from the Stasi) however finally did not hold tempo with western innovation. This led to fascinating penalties such because the renaming of the phrase Heimcomputer (dwelling computer systems) to Klein Laptop (small computer systems) because the state realized that the personal demand couldn’t be met with present manufacturing requirements.

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There was even a joke going round – that when the Politbüro got here to the DVZ to compute the assorted outcomes and any doable obstacles for its 5 yr plans, the computer systems got here to the end result that they need to eliminate the Zentral Kommite.

The Cosmonauts Secret

And heres the little secret. It looks as if when the Mosaic Panels of the Cosmos and the Cosmonaut (on the west aspect) had been put in, the builders weren’t full paying consideration as they’d unintentionally switched the place of the 2 outer panels and rotated one in every of them by 180 levels. For the previous 44 years, the marginally “summary” cosmonaut mosaic has now been gracing the streets of Potsdam. It’s considerably unusual although that in all that point – not even Eisel sought to right the error. 

The “Unique”

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And that is the way it was speculated to appear to be

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The Rechenzentrum in Potsdam survived German reunification and tailored. It upgraded its gear and shortly took on new worthwhile tasks. However over time the corporate and the constructing grew to become out of date. The constructing has seen a number of tenants since then, most lately a gallery and a College Sports activities division. At this level Potsdam was extra preoccupied with rebuilding its former Prussian glory – from Stadtschloß to Garnisonskirche.

And the Rechenzentrum was now in the way in which of the mentioned Garnisonskirche. Plans had been set in movement to tear down the constructing – however due to the engagement of locals and politicians, town resolve to save lots of the mosaic from destruction. It was deliberate to relocate the Mosaic to an area sporting floor of a faculty, then over to a college campus. On the finish of 2014 it appeared just like the plans had been remaining – and a demolition deadline of 2017 was set.

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The Rechenzentrum in 2015

However as that is Germany, large-scale tasks don’t appear to go in line with plan. A large debate broke out concerning the usefulness of a militaristic Prussian church and prolonged authorized battles ensued. As of August 2015 – it appeared like a brief compromise has been discovered.

The Rechenzentrum – all 5000 sqm of it – would be rented out to artists and inventive for the subsequent 3 years. That signifies that the Prussian Garnisonskirche has 3 years to attempt to legally push by way of its constructions plans and demolish the DVZ. Or not. As quickly as one “compromise” is discovered, one other plan crops up. As of September 2015 the next choices have come up:

  1. If the church tower isn’t rebuilt by 2030, the DVZ stays as a Cultural Constructing.
  2. The Church Tower is reconstructed between 2016 and 2019. The remainder of the Church is constructed between 2019 and 2023 – enabling artists to make use of the DVZ till 2018.
  3. The Church Tower is reconstructed between 2016 and 2019. The remainder of the Church isn’t reconstructed. The DVZ stays as a inventive hub for artists till 2045.

So it looks as if town and all events concerned aren’t going to expire of time – or plans anytime quickly. The place the mosaic will find yourself is up within the air, however for the foreseeable future it aint going wherever.

The Rechenzentrum in Potsdam Deal with

Dortustraße 46
14467 Potsdam

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