Gerhard Thieme

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Gerhard Thieme, 2010

Gerhard Thieme (born March 15, 1928 in Rüsdorf ; † May 27, 2018 in Berlin ) was a German sculptor and medalist . His sculptural works in public space, which are often very important in terms of urban history, can be found in numerous places in Berlin.


Gerhard Thieme learned wood carving, which is widespread in the Ore Mountains, in his youth . After an apprenticeship as a pattern draftsman (textile designer) from 1942 to 1945, Gerhard Thieme initially worked as a retrainer in agriculture. In 1948 he began studying with Fritz Koelle at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden , which he continued in 1950 at the University of Fine and Applied Arts Berlin-Weißensee until 1952. From 1952 to 1956 he was a master student of Fritz Cremer at the Academy of Arts in Berlin . From then on he worked freelance in Berlin.

Study trips took him to Czechoslovakia , Poland , the Soviet Union and Hungary .

In 1956, while working with Fritz Cremer, he took the death mask off the dead Bertolt Brecht and played a key role in the expansion of the Buchenwald Group . Gerhard Thieme has removed more than fifty death masks, among others from the politicians Otto Grotewohl , Wilhelm Pieck and Walter Ulbricht , the painters Max Lingner and Otto Nagel , the composer Hanns Eisler , the writer Ludwig Renn , the dancer Gret Palucca and in 1993 his old one Master Fritz Cremer .

In his book Young Visual Artists of the GDR in 1965 , the art scholar Wolfgang Hütt described the creation of small sculptures by Gerhard Thieme, which reminded him of the creation of wooden sculptures. Intensive observation of movement sequences and detailed representations made the small sculptures Thiemes unique. Hütt pointed out that this, however, can be a hindrance to the creation of monumental sculptures. This almost seems like an invitation, because three years later, Gerhard Thieme's 3.40 meter high and 800 kilogram heavy sculpture construction worker was created , which could not be more monumental. The loving giant repeatedly tempted passers-by on Berlin's Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse to shake hands. The wear and tear caused in this way gave the sculpture the nickname Goldfinger .

The Tröpfelbrunnen Climbing Children was initially a commissioned work for the Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg . For the design, he visited a school class during physical education in order to record typical climbing and gymnastics postures. The city leaders liked the designs so much that the 3.10 meter high fountain was erected in Berlin-Pankow . It was restored in 1992 and 2004.

Gerhard Thieme made numerous awards and gifts for the party and state leadership of the GDR , such as small reliefs by Karl Marx , Friedrich Engels and Ernst Thälmann .

Works (selection)

  • 1956 bronze sculpture Adam Mickiewicz monument (Weimar)
  • 1956 bronze sculpture of a nude girl , Berlin, Rahel-Hirsch-Weg
  • 1963 bronze sculpture construction assistant , Berlin, Sterndamm
  • 1968 bronze sculpture construction workers , Berlin, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße
  • 1969 bronze sculpture Karl Marx Monument , Neubrandenburg, stored in 2001, re-erected in a new location in 2018
  • 1970/72 Tröpfelbrunnen Climbing Children , Berlin, corner of Berliner Strasse and Breite Strasse
  • 1972 Archimedes bronze sculpture in Treptower Park near the Archenhold Observatory in Berlin
  • 1972 bronze sculpture reading boy , Schwerin, Bertolt-Brecht-Straße
  • 1972 Tröpfelbrunnen Berliner Types , Berlin, Rathausstrasse in the Rathauspassagen
  • 1973 Markthallenbrunnen, Berlin, Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse next to the central market hall
  • 1973/76 bronze sculpture The mother and reliefs for the memorial for the death march from Sachsenhausen to Raben Steinfeld , Raben Steinfeld near Schwerin
  • 1976 Wilhelm Pieck Memorial, Guben
  • 1978 Bronze sculpture of Red Army fighters , Schwerin , cemetery of honor for the victims of fascism
  • 1978 Meissen porcelain plaque Ernst Thälmann o. J.
  • 1980 Plastic soldier in field uniform , Pforzheim , DDR Museum
  • 1987 Bronze City Seal , Berlin, Nikolaikirche
  • 1987 bronze sculpture organ grinder , Berlin, Nikolaiviertel
  • 1987 bronze sculpture of Berlin originals , Berlin, Nikolaiviertel





  • Young visual artists of the GDR. Sketches on the situation of art in our time VEB Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig 1965.

Web links

Commons : Gerhard Thieme  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Gerhard Thieme  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. The sculptor Gerhard Thieme died at the age of 90. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . May 29, 2018. Retrieved May 30, 2018 .
  2. ^ Karl-Heinz Weigelt, Sieglinde Weigelt: Medals made from Meissen porcelain . Short biographies of the artists involved in creating the medals. 1st edition. tape 4: 1975-1979 . transpress VEB publishing house for transport, Berlin 1983, p. 174 .
  3. , see caption for Photo 3, accessed on November 17, 2019.
  4. Can anyone prove that here? In the book Art Prize Winners of the GDR until 1961 , he is not listed as a winner under the FDJ Art Prize - none for 1961.