The memorial took four years to build, and was opened to the public on May 8, 1949 to mark the anniversary of the victory against Nazi Germany. It was designed by Russian architect Jakow S. Belopolski, and boasts an area of 120,000 square yards!
The almost forty feet tall main statue depicts the Soviet war hero Nikolai Masalov, who during the final assault on Berlin risked his life under heavy German machine gun fire to rescue a three-year-old German girl whose mother had apparently disappeared. The statue shows him carrying a child in his arms, and crushing a swastika under his feet. The sixteen white stone sarcophagi show relief carvings, each telling a different story, and quotations from Josef Stalin in German and Russian. Apart from that, there are many more things to discover.
5,000 of the 80,000 Red Army soldiers who died in the Battle of Berlin are buried here. There are two other memorials with the same name in Tiergarten and Pankow, but they're not nearly as big.
This place used to be an important gathering point for the Soviets, the former GDR's communist party, and demonstrators. But today it's quite neglected and forgotten, and you rarely meet anyone here, let alone tourists: it's hardly ever a recommendation in guidebooks. This may have something to do with its location, since it’s not very central, but we could also put it down to the fact that guidebooks are written by the victors, i.e. not the GDR.
If you're looking for more interesting and forgotten things around this area, then check out the abandoned Spreepark theme park. The forgotten rides there include a Ferris wheel and obscure plastic animals. You're not allowed to enter the area on your own, but there are guided tours on the weekends, and in summer there's the odd music festival. People who just climb the walls may be surprised to find guard dogs on the other side.
- Sowjetisches Ehrenmal
- Sowjetisches Ehrenmal, Treptower Park
- 12435 Berlin (Treptow)
- Treptower Park
- Wheelchair access