Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt
cpratt

At the Soviet memorial in Schönholz


Chris.
Originally uploaded by danlmarmot
Dan's begun the arduous process of posting pictures to his Flickr account. Here's your humble narrator just inside the Soviet war memorial and cemetery in Schönholz, where approximately 13,200 Soviet soldiers are buried.

It's a beautiful, somber, and moving place: I have to admit that I was expecting laughable Soviet kitsch, but instead I felt the very real sacrifices made by ordinary people in response to an incomprehensible terror thrust upon them by outside forces.

Even more saddening was the destruction of parts of the memorial: you see the graffiti behind me; metal cladding had been removed from some of the grounds, sockets for ceremonial flags had been snapped off, and (perhaps more interesting) an entire skylight had been replaced by clear glass, the name 'Stalin' had been chipped away (in an area protected by steel fencing, no less), and finally - most disturbingly - an entire inscription had been chipped out of the stone on the memorial for Soviet victims of German concentration camps behind the main obelisk. Was this the work of metal thieves, or was it done for political reasons? I had no idea what the inscription said until I did some research online: this is the original inscription, now totally vanished, leaving the stone mute:

Den Kämpfenden der sowjetischen Armee, die in den faschistischen Lagern zu Tode gequält wurden
In memory of the fighters of the Soviet Army who were tortured to death in the fascist camps
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