The Second World War monuments around the world.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
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Soviet troop monuments in Poland to be relocated to new museum in s small town
More than 200 monuments marking the Soviet army's liberation of Poland at the end of WW2 are to be moved to an open-air museum. They were erected to glorify the Red Army's role in ousting the Nazis. But many Poles say it also ushered in four decades of Soviet-inspired communism, and want the monuments to be displayed in historical context. The plan could anger Russia, which has not been consulted. The Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) proposes to house the monuments in a park in the former Soviet base at Borne Sulinowo, a small town north-west of Warsaw, where they will be used for the purpose of teaching history.
Mmemorial to deserters from Wehrmacht has been unveiled in Vienna, Austria
A memorial to deserters from the Wehrmacht has been unveiled in the centre of the Austrian capital, Vienna. It follows a decision by Austria's parliament in 2009 to rehabilitate thousands of soldiers criminalised by the Nazis for desertion. Historian and campaigner Thomas Geldmacher says around 20,000 Austrians are believed to have deserted from the Wehrmacht, many in the last chaotic days of World War Two. It is thought that around 1,500 Austrian deserters faced the firing squad. Those who survived were regarded as traitors until 2009, when the Austrian parliament agreed to rehabilitate soldiers criminalised by the Nazis.
Would-be Hitler assassin Georg Elser honored with a major Berlin monument
A new monument in Berlin is set to honor carpenter Georg Elser who tried to kill Hitler with a bomb in 1939. The monument will be the first major memorial to the would-be Hitler assassin. Elser tried to kill Hitler on November 8, 1939 with a bomb in Munich's Bürgerbräukeller, a place that served as the venue for an annual speech by Adolf Hitler. But Hitler left the hall early and escaped the assassination attempt. Elser was arrested while trying to flee into Switzerland. He was then held at the Dachau concentration camp before being killed on April 9, 1945. For many years after the war, Elser got no recognition for his attempt to kill Hitler, which was largely overshadowed by the 1944 Stauffenberg plot.
Pointe-du-Hoc memorial: US to spend millions restoring legendary D-Day landmark
The US is leading a campaign to stop erosion from destroying the clifftop of Pointe-du-Hoc on Normandy coast, an area that has become sacred ground for the American sacrifices of June 6, 1944. New efforts are being extended to stabilize the cliff, on top of which sits a monument and a Nazi bunker. Decades of tides, rain and wind dug deep into the rock forced the Pointe-du-Hoc memorial to be closed in 2000. However, the memorial site should reopen in 2011. Historian Stephane Simonet, of the Caen Peace Museum, called it a memorial to American valor, as just 90 of the 225 Rangers survived attacking the insurmountable cliff.
US Navy honored for World War II role on Utah Beach in France
The U.S. Navy was honored for its key role in the WWII invasion that helped push the Allies to victory. Hundreds of American sailors in full military uniform and French well-wishers (and a few WWII Navy veterans) joined U.S. and French officials on Utah Beach for the introduction of Normandy's first monument honouring the sacrifices of U.S. sailors in the conflict against Nazi Germany. The U.S. Navy Monument at Normandy features a 12-foot bronze statue of a Navy captain and two sailors overlooking the beach, where a 5,000-vessel fleet landed on June 6, 1944, and let loose 156,000 soldiers in a massive assault known as D-Day.
Photos of the most moving memorials
Here is a selection of BBC readers' most moving monuments with photographs. The list includes: The Pinkas Synagogue memorial in Prague. The Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France. The Peace Park in Hiroshima. The Russian Cemetery with a giant Russian soldier in East Berlin.
Reinhard Heydrich's assassination marked by unveiling of first monument on site
Veterans, military personnel and politicians turned out to mark the anniversary of Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich's assassination. After 66 years, the two British-trained Czechoslovak paratroopers who carried out the Operation Anthropoid were dedicated a monument at the site where the attack took place. "For the first 50, almost 60 years ... no monument was built because the communist regime didn't want there to be one. And then people felt ashamed that they hadn't built a monument to Operation Anthropoid before. But under communism, only Soviet forces were commemorated," explained Josef Nosek.
WW2 veteran fights to have monument removed from Alaskan battlefield
Many decades have passed since the Battle of Attu ended, but Bill Jones has a new foe on the island. When he traveled back to the remote Aleutian battlefield he was astonished to see a large titanium starburst - The World War II monument placed there by Japan in 1987. Jones, who owes his survival of that battle to the death of another American, had no idea it was there. An inscription reads: "In memory of all those who sacrificed their lives in the islands and seas of the North Pacific during World War II..." But Jones regards the starburst as a memorial to the Japanese, and nothing more.
New bronze war monuments to be installed at Normandy, Cantigny
Sculptor Stephen Spears is turning history into bronze with the first monument to the Navy's D-Day heroes at Normandy and a statue of a WWI doughboy at the site of a landmark American victory in Cantigny. His 3 bronze figures of a Navy captain and 2 sailors will be set up on a bluff overlooking Utah Beach to recall the naval service's role in World War II's crucial amphibious invasion, adding a new visual element to the landscape at the historic site. "All the monuments at Normandy are stone pillars, obelisks or plaques," said Navy Captain Greg Streeter, chairman of the Navy D-Day Monument Project.
American and allied Anzio Beach vets honored with monument
A monument honoring American and allied World War 2 troops, who served on Anzio Beachhead in Italy in 1944, was unveiled at Boy Scout Camp Pouch in the Sea View section of Staten Island. The monument, surrounded by 10 miniature American flags and between a large American flag and Prisoner-of-War flag, joins 3 other memorials in the Until We Meet Again Garden. "Unfortunately not too many people know about Anzio. Most people don't know it played an intricate part in the overall war effort," said John Boller. More than 70,000 allied casualties took place during the campaign.
Communist symbols removed from Czech memorial to Russian soldiers
An ongoing dispute over whether the communist hammer and sickle symbols belong on a wartime memorial to Russian soldiers who died during the liberation of Brno at the end of World War II has stumped Czech officials, divided the inhabitants of Brno and provoked a protest from Russia. The dispute was set in motion by the deputy mayor of Brno Rene Pelan, who took it upon himself to remove the symbols from a monument built to commemorate 326 soldiers of the Red Army, who lost their lives liberating Brno from Nazi occupation. The deputy mayor sees the hammer and sickle symbols of a totalitarian regime just like the Nazis' swastika.
New monument at Iowa Capitol honors World War II submarine crews (Article no longer available from the original source)
The S-36, one of 52 American submarines lost during WW2, will be remembered when a new black granite military memorial on the grounds of the Iowa Capitol is dedicated. It's erected under the sponsorship of Iowa submarine veterans groups to remind people of the role played by the U.S. Navy's submarine force. Walter Kraus, the only living member of the S-36's crew, will share his memories of a sub that survived the depth charges dropped by a Japanese destroyer before hitting a submerged reef just days later, forcing sailors to abandon ship. "You could hear the hull creaking, and you could see the water coming through the rivets."
Anonymous group to erect unofficial memorial to Heydrich assassins
It's 65 years since the assassination of the Reichsprotektor of Nazi-controlled Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Heydrich, but there is no monument in Prague to mark the event. That, however, could be about to change, as a group of people plan to unveil a memorial: without the permission of the Prague authorities. On May 27th 1942, Jan Kubis and Jozef Gabcik carried out one of the most audacious assassinations of World War II. As SS Obergruppen Fuhrer Reinhard Heydrich made his way to his office from his villa outside Prague, the pair attacked his open car in the city's Kobylisy district. The assassins' machine gun jammed, but Jan Kubis managed to throw a bomb at the car.
Tajikistan: Soviet-Era Monuments Quietly Disappearing
From Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe to remote villages authorities are busy removing Soviet-era statues, replacing some with monuments celebrating the Tajik nation. In the city of Kulob, authorities have decided to remove statues of two Red Army commanders: Efim Shatalov and Nikolay Tomin. They came to Tajikistan in the 1920s to fight locals and foreigners who opposed the creation of a Soviet government in the region. Of the many monuments removed from Tajikistan since the Soviet collapse in 1991, the greatest number were of Vladimir Lenin. Other Soviet leaders and commanders, like Mikhail Frunze or Cheslav Putovsky, have also disappeared.
Monument to Nazi and Cossack generals vandalized in Moscow (Article no longer available from the original source)
A monument to a Nazi general and Russians who fought for the Germans in WWII was vandalized in Moscow on the eve of Victory Day. The monument, a gravestone bearing the names of Nazi and Cossack generals, was smashed by vandals at the Church of All Saints, said Yanis Bremzis, a leader of the Volunteer Corps, a tsarist organization dedicated to remembering those who fought against Soviet rule. The monument is dedicated to those who fought on the German side during World War II for "their faith and for their fatherland." One of the names on the monument is Helmuth von Pannwitz, a German general of the Wehrmacht's 25th Cossack Cavalry Corps.
Poland: "praise for the communist dictatorship" monuments removal ok
Poland is preparing a law that will allow locals to remove monuments of "praise for the communist dictatorship" but will require the preservation of Soviet soldiers memorials. "...to give the right to local governors to remove those objects that in a drastic manner commemorate the communist dictatorship. Wherever our national pride is hurt with praise for the communist dictatorship, the local governor should act." During the 4 decades of communist rule, after Soviet troops overran Poland at the end of WWII, monuments were put up and streets named to honor Red Army soldiers, but many others were built to honor communist officials.
Wisconsin Monument to Adolf Hitler Draws Nazis and Trouble
Theodor Junker says he doesn't want any trouble. The ex-Waffen SS soldier just wants to tend quietly to his Adolf Hitler memorial. But trouble is what he got in August, when 5 carloads of neo-Nazis visited Junker. He has invested 3 years and $200,000 in the memorial: including a granite pedestal holding two portraits of Hitler. He has been a repeat guest on the NSM radio program "Nazi America," on which his shrine is referred to as "America's Feldherrnhalle," a reference to the "Hall of Commanders" that honors German military leaders in Bavaria. Junker discussed his proud service in Nazi uniform during WWII and why Hitler should be remembered fondly.
Soviet monument to Waffen-SS 15th Cossack cavalry corps
The 15th Cossack cavalry corps fought against the Soviet Union under the control of the feared Waffen-SS from 1944. Wartime leader of the corps General Helmut von Pannwitz was executed as a war criminal. Although Russia has repeatedly voiced its concern over the monuments dedicated to Latvian and Estonian Waffen-SS Nazis, a monument to Nazi allies has stood at right in the Moscow's Church.