Treptower Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Berlin’s Treptower Park can be found off in forgotten corner of the city next to an industrial estate, bordered on the one side by the Spree River, and on the other by the contentious neighbourhood of Neukölln.

Today the park contains a rather brutalist monument dedicated to some 7000 Soviets who fell in the taking of Berlin in 1945. People have Mixed Feelings about the Soviet arrival in Berlin, and what that entailed. I’ve heard people talk of the Americans as liberating Germany from the horrors of National Socialism; no one ever talks about the Soviets liberating anybody.

Thick woods surround the memorial, choking out the sunlight and casting the winding paths into shadow. One finds themselves thinking of German fairytales rather than the Second World War.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

An unobtrusive, iron-stained arc frames a gap in the trees, the entrance to the park. The inscription reads:

Eternal Glory

For the Heroes Who Fell

For the Freedom and Independence

Of the Soviet Homeland

The memorial itself occupies a clearing ringed with tall, delicate trees waving gently in the wind. The whole places feels like a graveyard. At one end sits a statue of Mother Russia, her head bowed in grief for the 7000 lost who are here interred.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At the other end of the park a plinth rises up, topped by the statue of a soldier. In one arm he craddles a young child close to his chest; in the other hand he holds a sword. The soldier looks out across the park, past rows of stone tablets bearing images of Soviet bravery, to look at the grieving Mother Russia.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The park recently underwent renovations as the monument showed its years. The 1950s Soviet architecture, like its foundational philosophy, failed to stand the test of time.

 

Advertisements

About supertylor

British Columbian 20-something spending a(nother) year in Trier, Germany.
This entry was posted in Germany, travel, Vignettes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Treptower Park

  1. We were there years and years ago for a 25 km road race. We finished on cobble stones at the Olympic Stadium. Definitely an interesting site as Russia did liberate but then…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s