The Berlin Reichstag is the most important symbol of the Third Reich. There is hardly anything more touching and symbolic about the victory in World War II than the proletarian red banner erected on the main state building of Nazi Germany. The victorious Soviet soldiers left on the Reichstag not only their banners, but also autographs.
More than one decade has passed since then. What happened to the touching, joyful and mocking signatures of the Red Army?
Today, when the significance of the May 9 holiday is increasingly emasculated by modern propaganda, an urgent political agenda and ubiquitous commerce, it becomes virtually impossible to even try to imagine how Soviet soldiers felt when Germany signed the surrender.
Modern people can only guess about this, looking at the joyful and tired faces of the soldiers and commanders of the Red Army. Some idea of the mood of the ancestors is given by the inscriptions they left on the ruins of the Berlin Reichstag.
The whole storm of emotions of people who gave 5 years of their lives to the most terrible war in the history of mankind was splashed onto its walls: the feeling of retribution for fallen comrades and tortured loved ones, a feeling of pride for the Soviet people, a feeling of relief, a feeling of joy that it all finally ended … Most of the Red Army men left their autographs, indicating the date of arrival in the army.
Others wrote the names of their fallen comrades. Still others left malicious mockery of the fascist regime. There were also obscene inscriptions, but one can hardly judge for this the ancestors who went through the hell of the Great Patriotic War. Some Red Army soldiers even joked, leaving signatures like "Excellent rating" and "Satisfied with the ruins of the Reichstag", which immediately reminds of the words of the hero Leonid Bykov in the film "Only old men go to battle."
Immediately after the war, the Reichstag building was recognized as one of the symbols of Nazi Germany. Almost 10 years after the victory, the historical building, within the walls of which the Nazis gathered to discuss their inhuman plans, was destroyed. However, in 1954, the Germans nevertheless decided to restore the Reichstag. The reconstruction was delayed until 1973.
Some of the autographs of Soviet soldiers did not even survive until the start of construction work, since for 10 years after 1945 the Reichstag was in an extremely sad state and was gradually collapsing. The surviving signatures of the Red Army were covered with wooden panels for safekeeping. After the reconstruction, the Reichstag was not used for its intended purpose; a warehouse was organized in the building. All this time, most of the autographs were hidden from view by panels.
Only after the unification of eastern and western Germany was it decided to return the German parliament to the walls of the Reichstag. In 1990, reconstruction began on the building, which still had thousands of autographs. The question arose about what to do with them.
At the same time, a special German-Soviet commission was created, which included mainly diplomats from the USSR. The further fate of the autographs was discussed at the conference. At the end of the meeting, it was decided to remove most of the inscriptions, keeping only one wall with 160 autographs as a monument. At the same time, it was also decided to remove the inscriptions containing obscene language from it.
The Germans approached the question with their characteristic pedantry. The memorial wall with the remaining 160 autographs was not only preserved.It was covered with a special protective compound so that the preserved inscriptions would not be destroyed under the influence of natural factors and possible acts of vandalism.
In 2002, the Bundestag raised the question of eliminating the monument to Soviet soldiers on the wall of the Reichstag. However, the proposal was rejected by a majority vote. The surviving autographs of the winners are preserved to this day. Anyone can see them by visiting the Berlin Reichstag with a guided tour.