Soviet War Memorial in Tiergarten
The Sowjetisches Ehrenmal or Soviet War Memorial, inaugurated in November 1945 is a commemorative monument just to the west of Brandenburg Gate along the Tiergarten by Lew Kerbel, Vladimir Zigal, and Nikolai Sergijewski. With the support of Allied Forces, it was erected by the Council of War of the Soviet Armed Forces in the British Sector of divided Berlin with Soviet guards in attendance from the occupying forces in the Soviet sector until the departure of the Russian troops in 1993. The monuments are maintained according to the terms of the Reunification Treaty.
The Soviet War Memorial in Tiergarten is one of three Soviet War Memorials in Berlin
Along with the larger Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park and a third one in Pankow, the monuments commemorate the central role of the Soviet Army soldiers who fought and fell in the last bitter days of the battle for Berlin just before Hitler’s death on April 30, 1945 and Germany’s final surrender on May 8 - remembered today as VE or Victory in Europe Day. The Red Army soldier hoisting the hammer-and-sickle flag on the Reichstag was Khadley’s iconic image of the surrender of Nazi Germany and the end of World War II.
Layout of the monument
The monument, a concave colonnade of six joined axes, was allegedly erected with red marble and granite transported here from the ruins of Hitler's Neue Reichskanzlei (New Imperial Chancellery) on Wilhemstraße is flanked by Red Army artillery and two T-34 tanks. A bronze statue of a triumphant Red Army soldier stands on the central pylon.
The memory of individual soldiers honoured as heroes of the Soviet Union is kept alive with inscriptions of their names on the pillars and the stone sarcophagii on the two sides of the main steps. The Cyrillic inscription underneath the statue of the soldiers reads in translation: "Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in battle with the German fascist occupiers for the freedom and independence of the Soviet Union".