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    Monument to the Soviet liberator in Treptower Park, Berlin

    Germany to Spend $10.8Mln on Repairs to Soviet Soldiers' Berlin Memorials

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    BERLIN (Sputnik) - The German government will allocate more than nine million euros ($10.8 million) for the rehabilitation of the Soviet soldiers' memorials in Berlin's Treptower Park and Tiergarten, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Gruetters told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    "With regard to the Soviet memorials and military graves established on German soil in memory of the fallen soldiers of the Red Army, the Federal Republic of Germany committed itself to the 1990 German-Soviet Neighborhood Treaty of 1990 to 'respect, preserve and support' them. Due to the exceptional importance of the Soviet memorials in the German capital, Germany is supporting the memorials in Treptow Park and in Tiergarten. The federal state of Berlin is currently planning, upon request of federal authorities, to rehabilitate these memorials. The federal government has allocated a total of 9.12 million euros for this", Gruetters said.

    The official said that the government of Germany respected this special form of memory.

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    "Given the millions of Soviet victims caused by the domination of the Nazi terror and the German extermination war in the east, it is important to continue to ensure an adequate role of memory and commemoration of this oppressive chapter in the history of the Nazi past in our culture", she added.

    The memorial in Treptower Park was solemnly opened by the Soviet commandant of Berlin, Alexander Kotikov, on 8 May 1949. This is one of the most famous monuments in memory of the Soviet soldiers who fell in the fight against fascism all over the world. The memorial is located in a park on the territory of the former East Berlin. The total area of the memorial is 28 hectares (69 acres). The authors of the memorial in Treptower Park are sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich, architect Yakov Belopolsky, engineer Sarra Warelius and painter Alexander Gorpenko. Work on the creation of the memorial was conducted by 7,000 workers from June 1947 to May 1949. At the same time, remains of 7,200 warriors were reburied in the memorial from other parts of Berlin.

    The entrance arches have inscriptions in Russian and German: "Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in battles for the freedom and independence of the socialist motherland". The alleys from the entrances lead to the three-meter stone sculpture Grieving Mother. There opens the view on the entire memorial and a 12-meter central sculpture. The granite from which the memorial was created was taken from the ruins of the Reich Chancellery.

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    The memorial's central sculpture depicting a Soviet soldier with a little girl in his arms was installed in memory of those who fell in the Great Patriotic War. It is believed that sergeant Nikolai Masalov, who carried a German girl out of a bombardment zone in April 1945, served as the prototype for the figure of a soldier with a child.

    Opened on 11 November 1945 in the eponymous Berlin park, the Tiergarten memorial was created by sculptors Lev Karbel and Vladimir Tsigal, as well as architect Nikolai Sergievsky. Two Soviet tanks T-34 are installed on both sides of its main entrance. During the Berlin offensive in April 1945, these tanks were among the first to enter the city. Behind the tanks, two cannons, which proclaimed the end of the battle for Berlin with salvo fire, were installed.

    The eight-meter bronze statue of the Red Army soldier towering on the central pylon symbolizes the end of the war. The soldier holds a weapon on his shoulder, his left arm is extended over fallen comrades who rest at the foot of the monument. About 2,000 servicemen are buried on the territory of the memorial.

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    Soviet memorials, repairs, WWII, Monika Gruetters, Germany, Berlin
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