Words of war
I was interested to see the record of Soviet army graffiti in the Reichstag in History Now (April). You might like to know that some of it still exists. When the Reichstag was renovated to become the current seat of the German parliament, a lot of the graffiti was found to be still in place. After much debate among members, it was finally decided to leave it in place – including a contribution from a British soldier from the Royal Horse Artillery (see photograph, left).
Clearly it is a Russian military tradition. In 2008, I and several other defence attachés were shown around the Georgian barracks in Gori by the Georgian Ministry of Defence. The barracks had been occupied by the Russian army during the invasion of 2008 and we found the walls covered in similar graffiti. We also found that the ablutions were covered with human faeces everywhere – except in the WCs! Nick Ridout, Lieutenant Colonel ( Retired), Lincolnshire
A British soldier’s contribution to the graffiti covering parts of Berlin’s Reichstag
We reward the Letter of the Month writer with our ‘History Choice’ book of the month. This issue, it’s The War in the West: A New History, Volume 2: The Allies Fight Back, 1941– 43 by James Holland. Read the review on page 69