Berlin is a progressive city that promotes human equality, innovation and social progress. That is why a trip to Treptower Park’s Soviet War Memorial was a reality check for Nicole, Jan and me. It was a slap of perspective that made me realize just how far Berlin, as well as Germany, has come in a mere 25 years.
The Soviet War Memorial is one of the largest attractions within Treptower Park and is dedicated to the thousands of Soviet soldiers who lost their lives during World War II as well as the Battle of Berlin. Throughout the grounds of the memorial are symbols of the old USSR. Two large walls branded with the Hammer and Sickle serve as a gateway into the memorial. As you walk through the perfectly landscaped gardens there are stone engravings, telling the story of the war from the perspective of the Soviets. These large tablets lead up to a large statue overlooking the grounds. The statue is perhaps the most prominent image in the memorial. It is of a Soviet soldier holding a sword and a German child standing over a broken swastika. The overall message was to commemorate the souls who saved East Germany from the grips of Fascism through the glory of Socialism. It was strange walking through an elaborate monument riddled with symbols of a failed regime. In the American school system, we’re taught that the Soviets were the bad guys and that, during The Cold War they could not compare to the greatness of the United States. But this park was an alternative universe where the Soviets were the heroes and they were a powerful country to be reckoned with.
Jan was particularly bothered by the park. Not because that it was built by the Soviet regime that had taken over this portion of his homeland. He was bothered because many of the statues were not translated into German — or worse, there was a case of a statue that was not labeled at all. A Germans worst nightmare is an object that is not properly labeled. Jan is horrified when things aren’t specific!
I laughed so hard upon uploading this picture to my computer when I returned home.
More About Treptower Park
How to Get There
Berlin’s public transportation system rules! Take advantage of it. The Treptower Park stop is along the S41, S42, S8, S85 and the S9 S-Bahn lines.
What else is happening at Treptower?
Relaxing by the riverside
Enjoy good times, some pick up soccer, a bike ride or a picnic along Berlin’s Spree River.
See how Nicole, Jan and I try to B&E into this Soviet-era amusement park!
Known in English as the Archenhold Observatory, it is home to longest refracting telescope in the world which can be seen coming out of the roof. It is also where Albert Einstein gave his first speech on his theory of relativity. During our visit, they had children’s drawings of Albert Einstein to celebrate his discoveries and contributions to the world of science!