Soviet War Memorials: The Case of the Victory Monument in Kaliningrad (Summary)

Indrė Urbelytė (PDF)

The article analyses the Victory Monument in Kaliningrad, one of the earliest Soviet war memorials to commemorate the battles of the Red Army in World War II, which was realised by a team of sculptors from Soviet-reoccupied Lithuania. The text is based on the memoirs of Vytautas Mackevičius, an artist and prominent Soviet cultural figure, written around 1970 about constructing this complex. It discusses other World War II memorial complexes erected in the territories annexed by the Soviet Union. To uncover the ideological implications of the Kaliningrad Monument and to reveal the broader programme of Soviet monumental propaganda, attention is drawn to the ideologised narrative of the so-called Great Patriotic War. Finally, the rapid construction of the complex is interpreted as a sign of the beginning of the intensive sovietisation of Lithuania and Königsberg.

Keywords: Second World War, Great Patriotic War, Königsberg-Karaliaučius-Kaliningrad, war memorials, Sovietization