Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
National Monument Marking the Red Army’s Victory over Nazi Germany in Netanya, Israel by TheHeder Partnership
May 15th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Israel’s government, with the agreement of the Russian government has proposed erecting a monument to mark the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany. An unbearable price was exacted of the Soviet soldiers and citizens: more than 10 million Russian soldiers and over 11 million Russian citizens were killed in heavy battle. The Red Army was a decisive factor in defeating Nazism and ceasing the genocide of the Jewish people in the concentration and extermination camps in Europe.
The final chapter in the destruction of Hitler’s Third Reich began on April 16, 1945 when Stalin unleashed the brutal power of 20 armies, 6,300 tanks and 8,500 aircraft with the objective of crushing German resistance and capturing Berlin. Fighting street-to-street and house-to-house, Russian troops blasted their way towards Hitler’s chancellery in the city’s center. Inside his underground bunker Hitler lived in a world of fantasy as his “Thousand Year Reich” crumbled above him.
It was early on the morning of May 2, 1945 when Yevgeny Khaldei, a 28-year-old Red Army photojournalist, went to the Reichstag, the German parliament building in the center of Berlin. Khaldei, a Jew from Yuzovka, met a young comrade in the burnt-out parliament building and persuaded him to pose on the roof with the Soviet flag together with two other Red Army soldiers. The photo which symbolizes the moment of victory became one of the most iconic images of the 20th century, symbolizing the defeat of Nazi Germany and the Red Army’s victory in both the German and Russian collective memories.
The memorial symbolically reconstructs the city of Berlin. The long typical building elevations are stretched across the sight forming a cityscape. The spectator is drawn into the city of Berlin, wandering through the tight spaces formed between the walls. The final days of the war are relived, as the Russian soldiers moved from building to building, fighting between the streets, somewhat anxious, maybe fearful. From the tightness of the streets, one is pushed out to the victory square where one feels relief from the gloom of the city. The two side walls continue to the edge, framing the view to the sea. As the eyes are drawn to the horizon, one is overcome with openness and freedom and the spirit of the moment of victory.
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