75 Years – 75 Memorials – Stage 2: Berlin’s Southeast
Stage 2 of the photo project “75 years – 75 memorials” on May 9th, the Russian Day of Victory, that is Den Pobedy, the memorial tour leads from Blankenfelde-Mahlow via Glasow and Zeuthen to nearby Wildau, then up to Erkner and Grünheide as well as to the memorials in Woltersdorf and Schöneiche.
Some airport headwind
Why is it May 8th for us Germans and May 9th for the Russians? Easy and short story. The Nazi surrender was signed late in the evening, when a new day had already dawned in Moscow. Knowing that, I take the S-Bahn into suburban Berlin, just like the day before, but this time to Blankenfelde. The Soviet memorial there hides itself and wants to be discovered. It is located in the back left on the cemetery at Berliner Damm. At the moment though it looks more like a plucked crow, due to current reconstruction measures. The tour then leads me straight to Glasow, actually district of Blankenfelde, where the large memorial and its single grave sites are unmissable located at the road to Selchow. There, in Glasow, I notice an easyjet overflight. A plane! And rare thing, in Corona times, but the soon to be major airport is not far away and for people being buried here this will surely melt the moments of peace down to flight operation breaks.
Well, let’s go to Zeuthen. But before reaching it I have to pedal hardly. The route leads directly south along the airport runway. The landing plane I saw before confirms my fears and as I get blessed by heavy headwind :-/ Even the crow flying next to me doesn’t really move forward… Through Rotberg and Kiekebusch villages the route leads to Miersdorf, a district of Zeuthen, where the memorial is located directly at the old village centre. At the entrance two steles with Soviet star greet the visitor, while the actual memorial site, a brick wall with name plates, is at the end. There, two elderly ladies lay down flowers and take care of other arrangements being already blown over by the wind.
Things along the way are not really busy this morning, hence my tour makes a good progress. However, the bloody headwind consumes 20-30% of the energy I put into the pedals. Just before Wildau my route crosses the rails of S-Bahn as well as an old factory rail line before reaching Albert Lemaire square, where the Wildau Soviet memorial can be found right in front of the city hall. I take my photos and immediately start the longer leg from Wildau to Erkner. It leads pretty much along lake-size Dahme River, through Schmöckwitz, its forest and along the Oder-Spree Canal. Navigation fails when cycling through the forest near Neu Zittau, but from here on I know my way again.
…and am already looking forward to Getränke Hoffmann in Erkner, as I am thirsty like an Anatolian mountain goat. My helmet’s sweatband can’t hold it back anymore and quite some moisture runs into my face. Making the pollen of silver poplars along the way stick to my face. Dolled up that, like a pollen-crumbed dog’s dinner with Corona face mask, I enter the beverage shop in southern Erkner. Thoroughly refreshed I take on the last metres as the Erkner Soviet memorial isn’t really far anymore. Maybe another 300 metres down the road and then I reach the site being in direct vicinity of the grammar school.
Actually, after the Erkneraner memorial, the tour would have gone through the forest. I loooooove to shred through the forest, but I feel yesterday’s and today’s kilometres in my legs and drive along the boring busy country road to Grünheide. There, directly at the crossing of the motorway exits, the memorial sits on a small hill slope. Long steps lead up, to a large granite plate crowned by the Soviet star.
The last two memorials are de facto home games. As a Rüdersdorf-born of course I know neighbouring Woltersdorf and also Schöneiche well. Nevertheless, blind navi obedience makes me taking the wrong path in the forest between Woltersdorf and Schöneiche. It’s the second time today that Komoot misdirects *grrrrrr* Well, never mind, after Schöneiche’s Soviet memorial being beautifully set admist oak trees I head off to Rahnsdorf. After 55 Kilometres and 2:43 hours S-Bahn takes me back home, where I need to change cassette and chain before the project may carry on. Those two took me over 2.000 intensive kilometres since last year.
Here is the route as well as data of this tour on Komoot