أحد, 09/30/2012

Russians and Russian Art in Berlin

During the summer a huge exhibition was shown in Moscow depicting 1000 years of history, art and culture between Russians and Germans. Now this exhibition will be shown in Berlin from October 6 through to January 12, 2013.

To get through this exhibition is a huge endeavor but Berlin not only hosts the show at the moment it also is a destination of choice for many Russians. Luxury shops have Russian speaking staff to accommodate Russian patrons and Russians have been settling in Berlin for almost 100 years. Especially the district of Charlottenburg is so popular with Russian emigrants that it is nicknamed 'Charlottengrad' (this link leads you to a television report about 'Charlottengrad', unfortunately it is in German). Since Berlin is a destination so beloved by Russians there even is a webpage in Russian dedicated to Russian visitors and expats.

Besides of hosting a lot of Russian restaurants and bars, Berlin hosts a quite some Russian memorabilia from the time after the war. Close to the Brandenburg Gate is the Soviet Memorial Tiergarten were the fallen of the Red Army of World War II are commemorated. The graves of 2500 of them are in the back of the memorial. Further Soviet memorials can be found in the Schönholzer Heide and in the Treptower Park. The one in Treptower Park is probably the best known. At the end an imposing figure on top of the mausoleum shows a soldier carrying a rescued German child. It is a memorial for the app. 80,000 Red Army soldiers killed during the conquest of Berlin in World War II. Aside from the war cemetery in Niederschönhausen, the facility is the largest Soviet war cemetery in Germany as well as the largest anti-fascist memorial in Western Europe.