Magnitogorsk monument “Rear to the Front”
A powerful memorial standing high on an 18-meter hill near Ural river. Built about 30 years ago it became an essential part of the city, the symbol of its power. One can appreciate its power and size, only in its presence. Across the river is the Magnitogorsk steel mill, which only adds to the symbolism.
This monument commemorates the Great Patriotic War (the Second World War) and is the first monument to the dedicated work of Soviet people in the rear. Magnitogorsk fully deserves to host it as every third shell and every second tank sent to the front were made from Magnitogorsk steel. Hence the symbolism of the monument – a factory worker, standing in the East, hands over a sword made of Magnitogorsk steel to the soldier who is looking to the West, from where the Nazis invaded Russia and where the front was.
The monument hosts two marble triangles, on which the names of the city’s residents who died at the front are immortalized – all in all, about 14 thousand names.
The monument ‘Rear to the Front’ (1979) is a part of the great triptych, which consists of the statue ‘The Motherland Calls’ (1967) in Mamayev Kurgan (Volgograd, Russia) and ‘The Soviet War Memorial’ (1949) in Treptower Park (Berlin, Germany) more known in Russia as the monument to the ‘Soldier-liberator’. The three massive monuments share one common theme – the heroism of the people of the USSR during the Great Patriotic War. A sword made in Magnitogorsk features in each of the monuments.
The monument ‘Motherland’ on Mamayev Kurgan in Volgograd is a statue of a woman, a mother, holding the same sword high above her head. The sword here is a symbol of the local victory after a battle of attrition in Volgograd, and became a turning point in the way.
The statue of a Soviet soldier in Berlin is well-known. The soldier is holding a child in one arm and is splitting the fascist swastika with a sword in the other hand. Another interesting fact is that the model who posed for the sculptor was a soldier from Magnitogorsk.
All three monuments were designed by one architect, Y.B.Belopolsky, a Lenin Prize winner and an Honoured Master of the Arts, and made by very talented people. The whole ensemble is beautiful and so incredibly symbolic.