Monument to the 1,200 Guardsmen, Kaliningrad, Russia

This monument was built to commemorate the 11th Guards Army, which took part in the battles in East Prussia in the closing months of the war, including the assault on Königsberg in April 1945. The memorial includes the graves of 1,200 soldiers of 11th Guards, hence the name. It was designed by a team of Lithuanian architects and sculptors, led by Juozas Mikėnas, and was first opened on September 30, 1945.

Kaliningrad 123Kaliningrad 125The memorial forms a square on the edge of Victory Park (Парк Победы) in the southwest of the city. A 26-metre-tall obelisk stands in the centre, with an eternal flame, which was lit in 1960, at its base. Two sculptural groups, entitled “Assault” and “Victory,” stand on either side of the square. The inscription on the base of the former reads “Навсегда будет святя для нас память о погибших бойцах,” which translates as “The memory of our dead soldiers will forever be sacred for us.” The inscription on the “Victory” statue reads “Вечная слава героям павшим в боях с врагом и отдавшим свою жизнь за свободу и счастье нашего народа,” which means “Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in battle with the enemy and gave their lives for the freedom and happiness of our people.”

Kaliningrad 126The names of the 1,200 men who are interred in the memorial are carved on a series of red marble plates that are mounted around the perimeter of the square. Two Heroes of the Soviet Union are commemorated with busts. The first is Stepan Savelievich Guriev, who commanded the 16th Guards Rifle Corps during the attack on the city and was killed by a shell splinter in fighting on the Samland Peninsula on April 22, 1945. The second is Sergei Ivanovich Poletskii, the commander of artillery in the 16th Guards Rifle Corps, who was injured in crossing the River Pregel and died of his wounds on May 15, 1945.

Kaliningrad 127Kaliningrad 128The monument stands on Проспект Победы (Victory Avenue) at one of the entrances to Victory Park. It is a popular spot for wedding photographs, particularly in the summer months.

Also in Kaliningrad:

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2 Responses to Monument to the 1,200 Guardsmen, Kaliningrad, Russia

  1. Pingback: Monument to the 1,200 Guardsmen, Kaliningrad, Russia — War History Online

  2. Pingback: Monument to the 1,200 Guardsmen, Kaliningrad, Russia | Historical War Militaria Magazine – WW1, WW2 News

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