The big war memorial

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The battle of Berlin left about 80,000 killed soviet troops so after the war there was a demand for some memorials to commemorate the dead. The soviets constructed three major memorials around town the one most easily accessible for tourist is the one in Tiergarten and easy walk from Brandenburger Tor. But the biggest memorial is located in Treptower Park a bit away from the center of Berlin.

The memorial is located in a big park easily reach on by the S-bahn line. It is actually the line going to Schönefeld Airport in the southern suburbs of Berlin. We get here from our hotel and not the airport so we are not in a rush to catch a plane today. We walk from the nearby station to the park. At the edge of the park there is a collection of small stalls selling food and drinks down at the water. There is a lot of tour boats departing from here so if you want a little boat trip on the rivers around Berlin this is an option to get out on the water. It is a nice sunny day today so we could have taken a trip to the waters but decides against it and just stops by at one of the food stalls to get the first of the famous curry sausages.

After filling up on sausage it is time to head deeper inside the park where the soviet war memorial is located. In the aftermath of the Battle of Berlin about the park here was transformed into a cemetery for soviet troops making it a natural location for one of the main memorials for the war. The memorial here is actually a part of three memorials where two are located in Russia the most famous of the three is probably the Motherland Calls in Volgograd the city was formerly known as Stalingrad.

The memorial is huge. When you walk into the park it form the center of the Treptower Park and you walk down a broad section of the park which is the memorial. You go through a sort of gate with a soviet soldier sitting on each side and then you reach the center piece of the monument. This section leads down to a large statue of a soviet soldier holding a young child in one hand and a sword in the other. His foot is resting on a broken swastika. Supposedly the soldier is based on a soviet sergeant Nikolai Masalov who risked his life under heavy German machinegun fire to rescue a three year old girl.

The statue is 12 meters tall and standing on a raised platform. We go up on the platform from where there is a good view of the rest of the monument. Down below the statue are a lot of reliefs depicting different scenes with soldiers commemorating the soviet troops who participated in the war and some of the heroes of the soviet leadership as well.

It is free to enter the park and see the monument. This is actually a nice place to go and visit on a sunny day if you want to relax a bit in a green area.

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