Concept

Soviet Military Cemetery, Warsaw

Summary
The Soviet Military Cemetery (Cmentarz Mauzoleum Żołnierzy Radzieckich) in Warsaw, Poland, is the burial place of over 21,000 Soviet soldiers who died fighting against Nazi Germany. It is the largest Soviet war cemetery in Poland and contains one of the first major monuments to be built in Warsaw to those who fought in the Second World War. It is an example of socialist realist architecture. The cemetery was built in 1949–1950, located in Warsaw's Mokotów district. It contains the ashes of 21,668 soldiers of the 1st Byelorussian Front who died either in battle or as a result of injury and/or disease sustained during battles for Warsaw against armies of the Third Reich in 1944–1945. Their ashes were exhumed from local cemeteries and transferred to the mausoleum in 1949. The necropolis was designed by architects Bohdan Lachert (who planned the general layout) and Władysław Niemirski (who worked on the greenery), whereas its monumental sculptures were made by Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz and Stanisław Lisowski. The mausoleum was opened on the 5th Victory Day (9 May 1950), which since 2015 is celebrated in Poland on 8 May instead of the previously used date of 9 May. Troops from the following formations of the 1st Byelorussian Front are buried here: 8th Guards Army 28th, 47th, 48th, 65th, 69th, 70th Armies 2nd Guards Tank Army 6th and 16th Air Army 46th Marksmen Corps 2nd and 7th Cavalry Corps 1st Guards Tank Army The Soviet Military Cemetery was constructed in a socialist realist style, which was common in countries of the Warsaw Pact at the time. This can be seen in Jarnuszkiewicz and Lisowski's sculptures of Red Army soldiers as well as reliefs showing workers with tools and other civilians greeting victorious soldiers near the main entrance to the complex. Ashes of the soldiers were buried in 834 graves, 294 of which are individual graves while the other 540 are mass graves. The central part of the cemetery is a wide avenue that leads through three terraces to a 35 metre tall granite obelisk.
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