The memorial to Polish soldiers and German anti-fascists


The Polish memorial in snow


On the northern edge of Volkspark Friedrichshain stands an imposing memorial.

Having just been in Warsaw, this one seems particularly appropriate, as it's a memorial to Polish soldiers who fought in World War II, as well as to the German anti-fascist resistance.

It was built in 1972, in the spirit of improving relations between Poland and East Germany. East Germany was keen to establish its identity as a state formed by victims and opponents of fascism (with the west, in the view of communist rhetoric, a continuation of fascism, hence the Berlin wall being called the anti-fascist protection barrier), so memorials to communist war heroes were fairly commonplace.

The word communist is important to this memorial, though. It was originally dedicated only to communist Polish soldiers who fought on the side of the Soviets, ignoring, for example, the Polish Home Army resistance.
It was rededicated in 1995 to include those left out in the monument's original dedication.


The Polish memorial in snow


The figures are a Soviet soldier, a Polish soldier and a German resistance fighter, depicted in a classic socialist realist style. The column carries the Polish eagle on one side and the GDR's hammer and compass on the other.

The large inscription says "Za naszą i waszą wolność"/"Für eure und unsere Freiheit" - for our freedom and yours (the German actually says the reverse of the Polish: for your freedom and ours), a motto popular with Polish forces in the 19th century, then later appropriated by communists.

The memorial was designed by Zofia Wolska, Tadeusz Łodzian, Arnd Wittig and Günter Merkel.


The Polish memorial in snow


S-Bahn: 
Landsberger Allee (S8, S41, S42, S85)
Location: 
The memorial to Polish soldiers and German anti-fascists
Volkspark Friedrichshain
10407 Berlin

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