Captured Reichstag

The Reichstag shortly after its capture by the Soviet troops, 3 June 1945.

This is a fascinating photograph to me since I have stood on the exact spot where the photographer who took this shot was standing and looked at the building. Everything is green and repaired and perfect now so it is hard to imagine it looked like this but it did.

German soldiers contested each floor of the Reichstag forcing the Soviet troops to both fight their way down to the basement floor by floor as well as up to the roof floor by floor. It was brutal up close fighting with soldiers using everything from hand grenades to sub-machine guns, to knives to a favorite of both sides: sharpened German trench shovels.

The building is deceptively tall and you can look out over much of Berlin from the observation deck. Quite a place to visit. Lots of history. As a German friend of mine said to that statement, “too much history.”

[Image courtesy of UK Imperial War Museum Website.]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

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