The "Square of Sorrow" is the eight part of the immens memorial complex on the Mamayev Kurgan (Mamayev Hill). In the right corner of the square stands a heart rending sculpture of a grieving mother and her dead son. Near this sculpture is the grave of an uknown soldier. The text on the grave stone reads:
"Your name is unknown, but your heroic deed is eternal. Eternal fame!"
The famous army general and twice "Hero of the Soviet Union" Vasily Chuikov is also buried on this square. He commanded the defence of Stalingrad.
The Mamayev hill (height 103.0 on military maps) was the highest point in Stalingrad (today: Volgograd) and thus an important objective of the German 6th Army during the battle of Stalingrad. Fighting for this hill began on 13 September 1942, when German troops assaulted the fortified Mamayev, which was defended by elements of the Soviet 62th Army. When the Germans took the hill, they began firing on the centre of Stalingrad. The Soviet 13th Guards-rifle Division (10,000 men strong) retook Mamayev on 16 September 1942, suffering extreme losses. The Germans assaulted the hill an avarage of 12 times a day and the hill changed several times of ownership during the battle. The 6th German Army managed to take half of Mamayev hill on 27 September 1942. This situation remained unchanged untill the defenders's relief by the Sovjet winter offensive on 26 January 1943.
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- Text: Kaj Metz
- Photos: Auke de Vlieger