Battle of the Seelow Heights and a walk near the Oder river

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Approximately 90km from Berlin lies the Seelow Heights, where the last major defensive line outside of Berlin was situated towards the end of World War II. This area of countryside, woods and villages lies near today’s border of Germany and Poland, near the Oder and Neisse rivers. From the 16-19 April 1945, a battle was fought for passage to Berlin between 1 million Soviet soldiers of the 1st Belorussian front and 110 000 German soldiers. Between 20 000 -70 000 Soviet soldiers (according to different sources) and 12 000 German soldiers were killed, and victory was taken by the Soviets, leaving the road to Berlin open from the 19th April. By the 23rd April, Berlin was surrounded and the final Battle of Berlin began. It is estimated that more than 1 million German soldiers were killed as well as 100 000 civilians and 300 000 Soviet soldiers, and that approximately 100 000 women were raped. Within 2 weeks, Berlin was taken, Hitler committed suicide and World War II had come to an end.

Today we went for a walk in the area of Seelow Heights, stopping first at the war memorial and the Museum Seelower Höhen which explains the history of the battle. We’ve been cycling on the Oder-Neisse cycling trail before, a beautiful route, but had not known about the battle that had taken place in this area. It’s hard to imagine the fighting that went on in this tranquil place.

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After the war, wartime equipment was turned into household objects.

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Some evidence from the war can still be seen in the nearby forests, here used to be a bunker.

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Autumn leaves are falling

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This cat decided to accompany us for a walk.

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Birds gathering together to fly south for the winter.

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The fungus growing on this tree is a kind that used to be used as a fire starter.

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This area has many paved paths, perfect for cycling.

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Vast agricultural lands near the river.

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Peaceful villages in the area.

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6 thoughts on “Battle of the Seelow Heights and a walk near the Oder river

    1. nn Post author

      Thanks! 🙂 I’ve always loved that area’s countryside but had no idea of its history until Saturday’s trip.

      Reply
  1. Millie Thom

    Such an interesting and informative post, NN. I’ve never really studied the details of conflicts between the soviets and Germans in WW2, so your post was a good one for me. How strange to think that wartime objects should become household items! Your photos are simply beautiful – so many wonderful, autumnal scenes.

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    1. nn Post author

      Thanks! I also had no idea that leftover items from the war were used for the household – I guess everyone had to make do with what little they could find in those times. I didn’t really realize the huge role that the Soviets played in the war either until coming to Berlin and visiting some of the sites with historical information. For example there were also very many Soviets killed in the concentration camps.

      Reply

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