As it was possible for artillery fire to reach the city from the Mamayev hill, it was considered a very strategically important position during the battle of Stalingrad. Troops from the Red Army and the German 6th army under the command of General Friedrich Paulus fought relentlessly for the control of the vantage point. 30,000 people lost their lives during the fighting there.
Today, DFB president Reinhard Grindel and general secretary of the Russian FA Alexander Alaev visited the memorial which is now found in its place. “The fact that we were able to visit this important place alongside a Russian delegation puts across a strong message of remembrance and reconciliation,” said Grindel. Both sets of representatives laid down a wreath side-by-side to commemorate all those who lost their lives. They then continued up the hill to see the colossal “Motherland Calls” statue and to reflect upon the battle. “The remembrance is important, because it helps us to understand why we will always stand for peace and democracy today. This place serves as a reminder of how human rights and values were disregarded throughout the war,” continued Grindel.
The Battle of Stalingrad lasted for 200 days and 200 nights. One million soldiers from the Red Army died. To put that into perspective, the German 6th Army consisted of 200,000 men in total. Once the German forces surrendered on 1st Febraury 1943, 91,000 German soldiers became prisoners of war. Only 5000 returned home alive.