Soviet troops were the first to reach Berlin during the war and it cost them dearly. This immense memorial was built to honor their sacrifice. Over 9000 are buried here in anonymous graves.
To the cynical Western eye, there seems to be quite a bit of propaganda to promote the Soviet socialist ideal. But we see propaganda more readily in others than we do in ourselves. One might say the same of a typical “Land of the free, home of the brave…” American public display.
Why does this memorial still exist? After all, the Soviets weren’t all that popular with many Germans, especially after the Berlin Wall went up. Why keep a memorial to the occupiers in such good condition? Because the agreement to reunify Germany specifies that this memorial and similar ones be maintained.