The Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park

by James Glazebrook

The Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park is appropriately epic. A tribute to the 80,000 Red Army soldiers who fell in the Battle of Berlin (1945), and the final resting place for 5,000 of them, the Soviet War Memorial at Treptow is bigger than most public parks. A 12m tall statue is flanked by 16 stone sarcophagi (one for each of the Soviet Republics), and two enormous kneeling soldiers clutching their helmets in their hands. The red roses placed at the memorial serve as a reminder that people still live that owe their lives and liberty to these men, and it’s impossible for Western visitors not to be jarred by the Soviet commitment to stop the Nazis, a sacrifice that far outstripped ours. As ever, for moving (in both senses of the word) images, see Good Hard Working People’s one minute video, which provides historical context as well as a very personal emotional response.