Berlin is has many abandoned places, mostly institutions dealing with the legacy of the Cold War. The Embassy of Iraq in the former GDR was for me the second ruin I visited in Berlin, after the CIA listening station from Teufelsberg. Entering the place is not easy. Located in Pankow - the former headquarters of the communist nomenklatura - the building is situated on a street with a high traffic of humans and cars during the week. On week-ends it is almost empty and nobody will stop you jumping the yard and entering inside. Before me, a group of funny girls visited the place, defying the warning "Private Property". The building is not guarded but I understood that careful neighbors could call the police at any time. I was not so unlucky and thus I was able to see one of the places I wanted to see while in Berlin. Mission accomplished.
The building was left in a big hurry in 1991. Since then, its status is unclear. Older and more serious blogs of expats in Berlin mention that in the building were left many files, books, leaflets and an impressive number of portraits of Saddam. During my 45 minutes spent in the former Saddam's house, I did not find any portrait of the dictator. The place is dirty - the girls before me warned me that I should take care when walking around- lots of broken glass and human garbage. The place was used for some techno parties and probably there are permanent visitors attracted by the quiet ambiance returning here periodically. I will not be one of them.
The interior setting of the building is a mystery for me, as it looks as a place where from time to time people went and studied and used somehow the space. I am sure that there are not sensitive documents left.
The building is situated in a green area, with a dense forest and something that probably used to be a garden for cocktail parties between comrades. Now, the place is not in a good shape and rests of various alternative parties are visible.
The former logo. Saddam is gone, the Iraq as we all knew it is gone too. Sooner or later the building will re-enter the public use. Still, 20 years after the changes, I found it very strange to find such a live archive of lost propaganda papers. I should thank Berlin for this unique experience.