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Soviet War Memorial (Treptower Park)

Soviet War Memorial
Treptower Park
Visitors at the 65th Victory day celebration laying flowers
For Soviet war dead of the Battle of Berlin
Established May 8, 1949 (1949-05-08)
Location
near Berlin
Designed by Yakov Belopolsky

The Soviet War Memorial is a vast war memorial and military cemetery in Berlin's Treptower Park. It was built to the design of the Soviet architect Yakov Belopolsky to commemorate 5,000 of the 80,000 Soviet soldiers who fell in the Battle of Berlin in April–May 1945. It opened four years after World War II on May 8, 1949. The Memorial served as the central war memorial of East Germany.

The monument is one of three Soviet memorials built in Berlin after the end of the war. The other two memorials are the Tiergarten memorial, built in 1945 in the Tiergarten district of what later became West Berlin, and the Soviet War Memorial Schönholzer Heide in Berlin's Pankow district.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Layout 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

History

At the conclusion of World War II, three Soviet war memorials were built in the city of Berlin to commemorate Soviet deaths in World War II, especially the 80,000 that died during the Battle of Berlin. The memorials are not only commemorative, but also serve as cemeteries for those killed.

A competition was announced shortly after the end of the war for the design of the park. The competition attracted 33 entries, with the eventual design a hybrid of the submissions of the architect Jakow S. Belopolski, sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich, painter Alexander A. Gorpenko and engineer Sarra S. Walerius. The sculptures, reliefs, and 2.5 meter diameter "Flammenschalen" (flame bowls) were cast at the Kunstgießerei Lauchhammer in 1948.[1] The memorial itself was built in Treptower Park on land previously occupied by a sports field. The memorial was completed in 1949. The stones and granite that were used in the construction came from the demolished New Reich Chancellery.[2]

Around the time of the fall of the

  • Satellite photo of the Memorial - centered on the statue of a Soviet soldier holding a German girl
  • "Sowjetisches Ehrenmal (Soviet War Memorial)". The Polynational War Memorial. 24 April 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 

External links

  1. ^ "Referenzliste, Lauchhammer Kunstguss" (in German). Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Speer, Albert, Insider the Third Reich, 1970, p.116
  3. ^ Tim Peters, Der Antifaschismus der PDS aus antiextremistischer Sicht, VS-Verlag, Wiesbaden 2006, S. 60
  4. ^ Stefan Wolle, Die heile Welt der Diktatur, Alltag und Herrschaft in der DDR 1971-1989, Schriftenreihe der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Bd. 349, Bonn 1998, S. 333
  5. ^ Chuikov, Vasili I. The Fall of Berlin: With the Russian Army in Berlin, The Last Battle of Nazi Germany. Ballantine Books, New York, 1967. Translated by Ruth Kirsch. Masalov's actions are summarized on pages 210-212.

References

See also

President Vladimir Putin laying a wreath at the monument in 2000.

In recent years, the ensemble has undergone a thorough renovation. In 2003 the main statue was removed and sent to a workshop on the island of Rügen for refurbishment. It was replaced on May 4, 2004.

Beyond the flag monuments is a further sculpture, along the axis formed by the soldier monument, the main area, and the flags, is another figure, of the Motherland weeping at the loss of her sons.

At the opposite end of the central area from the statue is a portal consisting of a pair of stylized Soviet flags built of red granite. These are flanked by two statues of kneeling soldiers.

Before the monument is a central area lined on both sides by 16 stone Karelo-Finnish SSR into the Karelian ASSR there were 16 "union republics") with relief carvings of military scenes and quotations from Joseph Stalin, on one side in Russian, on the other side the same text in German: "Now all recognize that the Soviet people with his selfless fight saved the civilization of Europe from fascist thugs. This was a great achievement of the Soviet people to the history of mankind". The area is the final resting place for some 5000 soldiers of the Red Army.

The focus of the ensemble is a monument by Soviet sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich: a 12-m tall statue of a Soviet soldier with a sword holding a German child, standing over a broken swastika. According to Marshal of the Soviet Union Vasily Chuikov, the Vuchetich statue commemorates the deeds of Sergeant of Guards Nikolai Masalov, who during the final storm on the center of Berlin risked his life under heavy German machine-gun fire to rescue a three-year-old German girl whose mother had apparently disappeared.[5]

Panorama of the Soviet War Memorial at Treptow.

Layout

Since 1995, an annual vigil has taken place at the memorial on May 9, organized by (among others) the Bund der Antifaschisten Treptow e.V. ("Anti-fascist Coalition of Treptow"). The motto of the event is the "Day of Freedom", corresponding to Victory Day, a Russian holiday and the final surrender of German soldiers at the end of World War II.

As part of the Two Plus Four Agreement, Germany agreed to assume maintenance and repair responsibility for all war memorials in the country, including the Soviet memorial in Treptower Park. However, Germany must consult the Russian Federation before undertaking any changes to the memorial.

[4]

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