Treptower Park Memorial Complex, Berlin, Germany

Treptower Parks covers an area of 88 hectares (~220 acres) beside the River Spree in the Treptow-Köpenick district to the south-east of Berlin’s centre. At the end of the war, it was chosen as the location for the main Soviet memorial in East Berlin. The architect Yakov Belopolovskiy and the sculptor Evgeniy Vuchetich were chosen as the main authors of the complex, which was opened on May 8, 1949.

Treptower Park

Photo by Chrissy85, from Wikipedia Commons

The complex can be entered through either of two ceremonial arches from Puschkinallee, on the eastern side of the park, or Am Treptower Park, on the west. The paths from the two gates converge at a statue of a mourning woman, which represents the Motherland grieving for her fallen sons. A tree-lined path leads to a the entrance to the main part of the memorial and cemetery, formed from a pair of stylized Soviet flags, built of red granite and with a statue of a kneeling Red Army soldier in front of each.

Motherland statue, Treptower Park Marble Flag, Treptower ParkThe central area of the memorial has five grass squares, each with a wreath representing a different arm of the Soviet military. These are flanked by 16 marble sarcophagi, each one representing one of the Soviet republics (of which there were 16 until 1956). Each is engraved with a quote by Stalin, in both Russian and German. Mass graves behind the sarcophagi hold the remains of some 5,000 of the 80,000 Soviet soldiers who were killed in the battle for Berlin.

Marble Sarcophagus (II) Navy Wreath, Treptow

The heart of the memorial is a 12-metre-tall statue of a Soviet infantryman holding a young girl and resting a sword on a broken swastika. The statue represents Nikolai Masalov, a sergeant in the 220th Guards Rifle Regiment, who is said to have rescued a 3-year-old girl, while under heavy fire, as the battle reached its peak. The statue was removed for extensive restoration in 2003, with the restored monument being officially opened on May 4, 2004.

Main Memorial, TreptowThe easiest way to get to the memorial is on the S-Bahn to the Treptower Park station, which is served by the S41, S42, S8, S85 and S9 lines.

Also in and around Berlin:

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2 Responses to Treptower Park Memorial Complex, Berlin, Germany

  1. Ross says:

    A very nice memorial and I very much enjoyed this post. I spent some time there on my last visit to Berlin in 2010 and would like to visit again soon.

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