National Geographic : 1949 May
IPI o0t Fenno Jacobs from Black Star Past the Reichstag's Charred Skeleton Stride Russians on a Peaceful Invasion of Britain's Sector Though they belong rightfully in the Soviet area, these sight-seeing soldiers are unmolested as they pass Germany's former Parliament on their way to visit the Russian war memorial, also in the British sector. The memorial, an imposing statue honoring the Red Army's entry into Berlin in 1945, stands next to the Reichstag and is guarded constantly by a solitary Soviet soldier. Fire gutted the Reichstag on February 27, 1933, less than a month after Adolf Hitler became Ger many's Chancellor. Hitler's Nazis blamed the fire on a Communist plot, and the ensuing trial was one of a long series of dramatic events leading to abso lute power for Hitler and eventual disaster for his country. The Reichstag's fire damage was never fully re paired and its walls bear scars from the battle for Berlin. Tank battles were fought almost at its very doors as the Germans struggled desperately to hold their capital. On September 9, 1948, 250,000 men and women of the Western sectors massed before the Reich stag to protest Soviet tactics in Berlin. Although there was some rioting, the demonstrators did not disturb the Russian war memorial.