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Published: Tuesday April 15, 2014 MYT 5:55:02 PM
Updated: Tuesday April 15, 2014 MYT 5:56:08 PM

Remove Soviet tank memorial in Berlin, say German newspapers

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

Launching 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 don't 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 don't 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 Two for Berlin, is 200 meters west of the Reichstag parliament building. A tourist attraction, it is one of three Soviet war memorials in Berlin.

(Reporting By Erik Kirschbaum; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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