Soviet War Cemetery Potsdam

The Bassinplatz (basin square) is the largest square in the city centre of Potsdam. From the eastern end of the square, a flower-bordered path leads directly to the Soviet War Memorial. Many civilians and soldiers lost their lives in the course of the ferocious fighting over the capture of Potsdam in April 1945. The Soviet soldiers were only provisionally buried at first, as they were to receive a worthy final resting place after the end of the war. Soviet War cemeteries were created for this purpose.

As in other places, the war cemetery in Potsdam was established in a central location. The reason for this may have been the moral education of the defeated German population – by choosing a centrally located site, Germans were supposed to be reminded of the sacrifices of the Red Army for their liberation from fascism. There are 383 graves at the site, which visually differ according to whether the deceased belonged to a higher rank or was a simple soldier. Dates of death after 1945 refer either to the date of the reburial, since the actual date of death was often unknown, or a later death caused by the consequences of the war.

The cemetery is dominated by an imposing memorial from 1948, which is supposed to exude strength, superiority and eternity, in accordance with typical Soviet aesthetics. It comprises a 14 metre high monument made of sandstone and granite, consisting of an obelisk mounted on a pedestal. The obelisk is surrounded by four Red Army soldiers representing the four branches of the Soviet Army: a guard, a tank driver, a marine and a pilot. As stipulated in international treaties, the Federal Republic of Germany is obliged to maintain those war cemeteries permanently. The Soviet War Cemetery at Bassinplatz has been a protected historic site since 1987.

Source : Berlins Taiga

Am Bassin, 14467 Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany
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