Dr. Stangl is an assistant professor of geography at the University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada 89557-0048.
THE SOVIET WAR MEMORIAL IN TREPTOW, BERLIN*
Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
2003 American Geographical Society
Volume 93, Issue 2, pages 213–236, April 2003
How to Cite
STANGL, P. (2003), THE SOVIET WAR MEMORIAL IN TREPTOW, BERLIN. Geographical Review, 93: 213–236. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2003.tb00030.x
I am especially indebted to Kenneth Foote and Karl Butzer for their direction in developing my dissertation and this article. I would also like to thank Max Welch Guerra, who proved particularly helpful in directing me to research material in Berlin, as well as the late Robert Vaselka, whose endowment, The Robert E. Vaselka Endowed Fellowship for Graduate Research Travel, provided much-needed financial assistance.
- Issue published online: 21 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
- national identity;
- Soviet memorials;
- urban landscape;
- veterans' cemeteries
ABSTRACT. The Soviet War Memorial in Treptow, Berlin, was an important emblem of political power and ideology during and after the cold war. Designed as the Soviet Union's premiere extraterritorial battlefield shrine, the site combines a veterans' cemetery with a large-scale memorial complex celebrating the Soviet victory in World War II. The monument was intended for use in Soviet military commemorative activity and became a key sacred space in the Cult of the Soviet War Dead, but its location in Berlin meant that it served other political purposes. By avoiding definitive statements on key issues the memorial attained a semantic flexibility that enabled it to remain a focal point of commemorative activity for decades. The memorial continues to play a part in contemporary Berlin, though the political overtones are now overshadowed by its role as a shrine to the war dead.