Volgograd’s international initiative – a renovated memorial to soviet soldiers was opened in Germany
The legendary T-34 Soviet tank, which had been installed in a square of Beilrode 44 years ago, was given a new life. On the 25th of April 2019, this military monument symbolizing the valor of Soviet soldiers in the Second World War was re-opened after restoration.
The tank’s inauguration ceremony, scheduled to precede the 2019 Victory Day, was held with support of the Russian Embassy in Germany, the Rossotrudnichestvo representative office in Berlin, “Nasledie” Volgograd museum of military history and the museum-panorama “Battle of Stalingrad”. Among the ceremony’s attendants was the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Russia in Germany Sergey Nechayev. At the invitation of the Rossotrudnichestvo agency, the Chair of Volgograd City Council and Vice-President of the “Twin-Cities” International Association Andrey Kosolapov was able to attend the inauguration, too.
The restoration of the war memorial in Beilrode took place within the memory preservation project initiated by the “Nasledie” Volgograd museum of military history and supported by the Ministries of Defense and External Affairs of the Russian Federation Российской Федерации, Russian Military Historical Society, the Rossotrudnichestvo agency and the administration of Volgograd region.
Volgograd’s international initiative was aimed at the restoration and renovation of Soviet memorials in Germany. Among them was the T-34 Soviet tank – one of the few such memorials left in the territory of Europe. Its celebratory inauguration ceremony was held in Beilrode (Torgau) on the 24th of April 1975 – on the 30th anniversary of the day when the USSR soldiers of the 1st Ukrainian front met on the Elba River with the troops of the 1st US Army, thus drawing a line under many years of the terrible war.
As the years passed, the memorial was in a more and more desperate need of a major structural repair. Eventually, such a procedure was initiated—by the residents of the hero-city Volgograd. On the 31st of January 2019, the “Nasledie” Volgograd museum of military history and the Mayor of Beilrode Rene Vetter signed an agreement on the restoration and preservation of the Soviet memorial. Less than in three months, by the days of the 74th anniversary of the Great Victory, all works gave been performed: the monument was cleared from dirt and corrosion, it was covered by the new protective coating, the territory around the memorial was ameliorated, the underlying utility lines were changed.
What Andrey Kosolapov emphasized during the memorial’s inauguration ceremony, is that by giving a new life to Soviet war memorials, Volgograd people are bringing back to the new generation of European citizens the true history, which shall never be forgotten.
“The great battle on the territory of Stalingrad has laid the foundations for the turning point in the Second World War, for the liberation of the European cities from Nazism and fascism. Victory in this battle gave people one of the most precious and inspiring feelings ever: the hope for peace. And even today, Volgograd, as a center of people’s diplomacy, reverently preserves historic justice and the memory about the heroism of Soviet soldiers who liberated Europe cities,” emphasized the speaker of Volgograd’s representative organ.
In future, the “Nasledie” Volgograd museum is planning to continue its work aimed at the restauration of similar monuments both in Germany and in the territory of ex-Soviet Republics.