Belin: The Collapse
Only a few hundred metres from the Reichstag is the Moltke Bridge spanning the Spree. On April 29 the Russian troops driving to the Reichstag attacked across this bridge. They were driven back several times by entrenched German troops and suffered heavy losses. Finally they broke through to the Reichstag and after bitter room-to-room fighting secured the building, the symbol of ultimate victory over fascism. I stood on a bench to get as high as I could, but it wasn't high enough to line up the angle perfectly. You can see that both ends of the bridge are pretty much lined up.
A German 88mm gun in the Platz der Republik, beside the Reichstag. This gun was overlooking the bridge from the previous photo. Judging by the kill-rings on the barrel the crew were experts and could have accounted for some of the tanks on the Moltke Bridge.
Russian officers inspect a Tiger I knocked out in front of the Brandenburg Gate, one of the last German tanks defending the Reichstag.
The entrance to Hitler's bunker behind the Reich Chancellery just before its demolition in 1947. The entrance building is on the left and the small building with the conical roof is a sentry post. Hitler spent his final months in this claustrophobic setting, moving imaginary divisions around on map boards and continuing his descent into madness. On April 30, 1945, with the Russians only a few hundred metres from here Hitler and his new wife Eva Braun committed suicide. Their bodies were brought out, dumped in a shallow grave and at right about the spot where the blue information board stands today. In the 1980s the East German government built these apartment blocks and the car park overtop the bunker's former site. The entrances to the bunker were filled in, but the bunker itself remains preserved underground.
One of the first acts of the Soviet victors was to erect a portrait of Stalin in along the ruins of the Unter den Linden. It only took the bloodiest war in all history to oust the most evil regime in all history. Now a survivor looks up at Germany's new master.