A regular reader of my blog wrote this in a comment yesterday:
Apparently a petition has been launched to remove the red army tanks from the red army memorial in Berlin. The senate of the BRD parliament has described this petition as as highly offensive to [the Russians] who ”liberated ” Berlin in 1945 . This once again demonstrates that the modern German state is an occupation construct which fulfills enthusiastically its role as vassal state.
I took the photo above when I visited the city of Berlin in 2001. There are two tanks, one on either side of a huge Russian Monument in the heart of Berlin.
The photo below shows part of the Russian Monument, which has a statue of a Russian soldier in the center.
When I first arrived in Berlin, on my visit to the city in 2001, my taxi ride from the airport to my hotel took me down the Strasse des 17 Juni (June 17th Street). Formerly called Charlottenburger Chausee, it was renamed to commemorate an uprising by East German workers in 1953. This broad avenue which leads to the famous Brandenburg Gate, separating East Berlin from West Berlin, cuts through the Tiergarten park and is lined on both sides with lime trees which look as though they were planted after the end of the war.
At the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor), the street becomes Unter den Linden on the former East Germany side. The next day when I drove through both sides of the former divided city, I noticed that West Berlin had lots of trees and large flower pots decorating the streets, while the ground in East Berlin was mostly solid concrete.
On the north side of Strasse des 17 Juni is the Soviet War Memorial, shown in the photos above. It was erected in honor of the 300,000 Red Army troops who died in the Battle of Berlin. The monument was built from the marble of the destroyed Reich Chancellery building, which was Hitler’s headquarters, and is flanked by the two Russian tanks that were the first to enter Berlin.
The monument shown in the photo below is in memory of the German victory over France in 1871.
The monument shown in the photo above is called the Siegessäule. It commemorates the German victory over France in the Franco-Prussian war in 1871. The statue faces France, as if to say, “Take that, you bastards.”
The city of Berlin covers a total area of 340 square miles; it is 28 miles wide from east to west, and 24 miles long from north to south. The city is built on a plain, so it is as flat as a pancake except for the mounds where the piles of cleared rubble are covered over with grass.
At the beginning of August 1945, three months after the German surrender which ended World War II, American President Harry Truman was on his way to Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin, for a conference with Allied leaders Churchill and Stalin, when he took a victory lap around Berlin in an Army Jeep to see the devastation wrought by the Allied bombing. There was not much left of Berlin to see. The capital city of Germany had been bombed 24 times between November 18, 1943 and March 1944, and sporadic hits continued until the city was captured by the Russian army in April, 1945. By that time, the city had been reduced to 98 million cubic yards of rubble.
Each of the 24 bomb attacks involved over 1,000 planes and the dropping of up to 2,000 tons of bombs. Half of the city’s bridges were destroyed and the underground railway tunnels were flooded. There was no gas, electricity nor water in the central portion of the city. The pre-war population of 4.3 million had been reduced to 2.8 million, as people were forced to flee the city; some 1.5 million people became homeless when their homes were bombed.
One out of 7 of the buildings destroyed in Germany by the Allied bombing were in Berlin. Out of a total of 245,000 buildings in Berlin, 50,000 had been completely destroyed and 23,000 had been severely damaged; 80,000 residents of the city had been killed. Even the trees in the Tiergarten, a large park in the center of the city, had been killed in the Battle of Berlin. There were so many historic buildings destroyed that Berliners jokingly referred to the American and British air raids as Baedecker Bombing. Baedecker travel guide books were used by tourists to locate famous and historic buildings.
A mere 5 years earlier, after the conquest of France in 6 weeks time, Hitler had visited Paris and taken an early morning tour of the deserted streets to see the famous buildings of the capital city, which were all still intact. Hitler’s earliest ambition had been to be an architect, and he made sure that the beautiful buildings of Paris were not destroyed.
I agree that the Russian tanks should be removed from Berlin. The present Russian Monument should be replaced by a monument to the women in Berlin who were raped and tortured by the Russian soldiers after the “liberation” of Berlin. It is time to tell the truth about what really happened in the Allied victory over Germany in World War II.