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Remove Soviet Tank Memorial in Berlin, German Newspapers Say

BERLIN — Germany should remove a pair of World War II-era Soviet tanks standing on pedestals next to Berlin's Brandenburg Gate in protest of Russia's actions in Crimea and Ukraine, Germany's best-selling newspaper Bild said Tuesday.

Starting a petition to get rid of the two green T-34 tanks that have stood in front of the Soviet war memorial since it was built in 1945, Bild and Berlin tabloid B.Z. urged readers to send letters of protest to parliament against the war symbols.

"We do not want any Russian tanks at the Brandenburg Gate," reads the sample protest letter to parliament printed in Bild and B.Z. "The Bundestag should pass a measure: The Russian tanks at the memorial in Berlin's Tiergarten park should be removed."

"The reason is: in an era when Russian tanks are threatening the free and democratic Europe, we do not want any Russian tanks at the Brandenburg Gate."

The memorial, where about 2,000 of the 80,000 Soviet troops were killed in the climactic battle of World War II for Berlin, is 200 meters west of the Reichstag parliament building. A tourist attraction, it is one of three Soviet war memorials in Berlin.

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