This multiple followed Beuys's 1974 'action' for the Edition Schellmann booth at the IKI fair, during which a model train with a red flag ran for six days. The subject was 'the red flag of the revolutionary trains crossing Eurasia' (S. p. 449).
Beuys felt that the political division of Europe and Asia into East and West reflected a fundamental schism between Eastern and Western civilization -- one that he hoped would dissolve in the future. Schellmann writes, 'Beuys believed denizens of the Western World tended to rational, analytic thought and overrated science and technology, while Eastern peoples embodied an ability to think intuitively and visually, and to penetrate the meaning of the universe by meditative means' (pp. 428-29). Here Beuys uses the train as a vehicle to symbolically transcend these imaginary political boundaries and encourage the transfer of ideas between the two divided cultures.