The Soviet Memorial in Pankow

Footprints of Soviet History in East-Berlin

The Lonelyness of Heroes Lost

There is great majestic lonleyness to this place on the northern edge of Berlin Pankow. It is a vast monument to the dead of the Red Army. Thousands lay buried here. A giant Russian mother made of steel stands in the middle, in front of a marble obelisk, mourning her son, a fallen soldier. So many have died, during the rages of war, concluding in the "Battle of Berlin" in 1945.

Soviet history is everywhere here in Pankow. We still have house walls here with bullet holes, and many memorial places like this one in Wilhelmsruh. I am thinking about reality versus idealism, and when I go down this trail of thought I question many things. Idealism is required to die in insane wars. Idealism is life. Idealism is hope. How can hope be subverted and captured by evil intentions? The hope of millions was exploited and lead to Hitler & Co and Millions of dead. The hopeful should have heard the message of evil that was mixed into the messages of hope.

Helmut Kohl's (late chancellor of Germany) wife Hannelore was raped by Red Army soliers as a young girl and thrown out of a window afterwards. I did not know this until recently. I would have been less sarcastic about her as a teenager. The press often said ugly things about her. Nobody honored her suffering. Only very few honor suffering at all.

Men rage. Women rage & suffer. Children die. The wheels of time press on.

Everytime I visit this place, which is perfectly looked after, clean and polished, guarded, safe, a feeling of great lonleyness and longing overcomes me. That people come and honor the dead. That more people come and that more people pay attention to history and search for truth and knowledge. That more people honor Russia for what it has suffered. That more people honor everybody who has suffered. At the same time I am glad this place lays forgotten and lonley. East Berlin has this wonderful lonley quality about it. People want to be left alone here. Perhaps that is why I like it here.

On a cold clear day in November, there was a memorial festivity attended by diplomats, political party members, militaria personal and dignitaries from Russia, Germany, various East European countries, and maybe even some NATO countries. But there was not a single attendee from the press. Maybe that was good. Because how many dead have been caused by our various mass media?

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