There are three Soviet War Memorials in Berlin, one in Treptower Park, another in Pankow, and this one in the Tiergarten, which is probably the most well-known of the three, and unveiled just two months after the fall of Berlin to the Soviet army in May 1945.
The Battle for Berlin cost 80,000 Soviet lives and over 2,000 of them are buried here at this large memorial not far from the Brandenburg Gate. Ironically, after the partition of the city into 4 zones, the monument fell inside the British sector.
All parties agreed to allow it to be guarded by two Soviet soldiers, which it did until 1993.
Built of marble (some say from the ruins of Hitler’s Reich Chancellery), it is topped by a bronze soldier and guarded by two Howitzer guns and two T34 tanks. Under the soldier is a Cyrillic inscription which translates as “Eternal glory to heroes who fell in battle with the German fascist invaders for the freedom and independence of the Soviet Union”.
The memorial has plenty of Russian visitors and each VE Day (Victory in Europe – 8th May) wreaths are laid to commemorate the occasion. It has to be said though that it’s not universally popular with the German population and has even been referred to as the “Tomb of the Unknown Rapist”.