Words of war

BBC History Magazine - - Letters -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.