On April 16th, 1945, the last massive attack by the Red Army in the European theatre started. The offensive with its codename "Operation Berlin" was aimed to destroy the German defences for once and for all and to end the war in Berlin. In the spring of 1945 in Oderbruch and on the hilly area of Höhenzug hundreds of thousands of soldiers were facing each other supported by 14,000 pieces of artillery, 5,000 armoured vehicles and as many airplanes.
The memorial complex:
This memorial complex is in memory of the 35.000 Soviet soldiers and officers who fell in the battle of Seelöwer Höhen in April 1945. It consists of a 15 meters high memorial with a bronze Soviet soldier (3,90m) next to a turret of a fictive destroyed German tank. There is also a stone map depicting the stages of the battle.
The Soviet occupation authorities placed two memorial columns at the entrance to the monument and the graves of the soldiers in late 1945. The left column has the Russian inscription "1941 Tribute ". On the right column it says "1945, you will not forget the home front". The dates represent the beginning and end of Nazi Germany's war of aggression against the Soviet Union. The Soviet symbols of star, hammer and sickle are above the dates.
When the GDR erected the monument in 1972, the left column was moved to its current location.
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- Text: Kaj Metz & Bert Deelman
- Photos: Kaj Metz (1, 2, 3, 4), Bert Deelman (5, 6, 7)