"Leipzig. 15 Jahre SED. Schaufensterdekoration."
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Picture 40: This picture, taken in 1961 in the city of Leipzig, shows a shop window decoration: a portrait of the Communist leader Walter Ulbricht has been put up in front of the GDR flag. A small poster in the left hand corner shows the words "15 Years of SED", referring to the founding of the Socialist Unity Party, SED, in 1946. The people on the banners are heroes and heroines of the working-class movement, which culminated – according to the poster – in the SED and the rule of Ulbricht, who is shown being congratulated by a woman „of the people“.
Portraits of Ulbricht among vegetable cans in shop windows were typical outpourings of the Communist state-ordered personality cult. Actual samples of such decoration, however, not only appear unintentionally comic to onlookers of today but may also sometimes have been intentionally ironic and subversive. Whether the positioning of this portrait under a lamp which looks rather like a halo was a case of such ridicule, is not known.