Irakische Botschaft-1392

The GDRs Iraqi Embassy

A visit to the abandoned Iraqi embassy of the GDR.
6 Sep ’13 by Sara Architecture

Remember Saddam Hussein? The Iraqi dictator was a pretty big fan of the GDR and loved to support the communist regime. Good times came to an end when the wall fell and the Gulf War was over. By 1991, the Iraqi embassy of the GDR was abandoned. After the reunification of Germany and a brand new established government, the Iraqi staff were forced to leave the building. They must have been in a hurry, for now visitors of the ruins can still peek into the remnants of the embassies work (if they understand any Arabic anyway).

The Iraqi embassy was built in the 70s. The Iraqis were the first non-socialists to recognize East Germany back in the days.  And now the building is subject to a certain ownership curiosity: while the building technically belongs to Germany, the rights to it  are still with Iraq. Nobody knows what to do with these historical leftovers, and so the building rots away and  in it  the documents and personal archives of a whole nation. We didn’t find any of the alleged weapons and explosives they had bunkered here during the GDR times, but maybe someone else beat us to the mission.

It used to be easy to enter via the front gate, but someone locked the door and barbed the fence with wire- apparently this is soon going to be a proper exhibition of the remnants so they locked it down to save the rest of the stuff that’s in there from thieves. When we made our first steps we hadn’t expected anyone to be there because it wasn’t dark yet and on a weekday afternoon, but many people were actually hanging out there enjoying themselves.

You can see that this building was simply left without a notice. Among the rubble and dirt you can find pictures and hand-written letters, newspapers, books, everything you can find in an embassy. But it’s also pretty clear that people have taken stuff from here regularly.  The former Iraqi embassy was gilled like a fresh fish. Typical scenario: furniture kaputt, walls and ceilings breaking down, shattered glass, graffiti and trash everywhere with only a hint of what this could have looked like years ago.

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