Tiergarten Memorial, Berlin, Germany

The most central of the Berlin’s Soviet memorials is situated on the edge of the Tiergarten Park, facing onto Straße des 17. Juni just a few hundred yards from the Brandenburger Tor and the Reichstag. The memorial was built within a few months of the fall of Berlin and was officially opened on November 7, 1945.

It was designed by the architect Mikhail Gorvits, and the sculpture of a Red Army Soldier was produced by Vladimir Tsigal and Lev Kerbel. It was widely believed that the marble used in the memorial came from the destroyed Reich Chancellery building, but this is not true, although some materials were taken from other nearby government buildings. The Cyrillic text on the central pillar of the memorial reads “Вечная слава героям павшым в боях с немецкомо фашистскими захватчиками за свободу и независимость Советского Союза,” which translates to English as “Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in battle against the German fascist invaders for the freedom and independence of the Soviet Union.” English and German versions of the text are inscribed on either side of the main memorial.

The remains of around 2,000 Red Army soldiers are buried behind the memorial. Two T-34/76 tanks, supposedly the first tanks to enter the city in April 1945, and two ML-20 152-mm howitzers stand in front of the memorial.

During the partition of Berlin, the memorial was in the British sector, but an honour guard of Soviet soldiers stood watch at the memorial. In November 1970, a guard was shot and wounded by a neo-Nazi named Ekkehard Weil, who stated that he wanted to damage relations between the German Federal Republic and the Soviet Union. The memorial is currently maintained by the city of Berlin.

The Brandenburger Tor S- and U-Bahn station is just a few minutes’ walk from the memorial. On exiting the station, walk through the Brandenburger Tor and straight ahead on Straße des 17. Juni. The memorial is on the right-hand side.

Also in/around Berlin:

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