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Polish City Votes To Remove Soviet Memorial

The city council in Poland's northwestern city of Szczecin has voted to remove a monument that honors the Soviet Union's Red Army.

The 23-to-3 vote on May 17 came after city councilors argued the Red Army did not liberate the city of Szczecin, but rather, had enslaved its citizens after World War II.

The monument was unveiled on April 23, 1950, the fifth anniversary of the Red Army's entry into Szczecin, which was part of Germany before World War II.

The Polish government has supported an initiative by the State National Remembrance Institute to remove about 500 Soviet-era monuments from squares and parks across Poland.

Moscow has openly protested the plan, saying it is disrespectful of the memory of some 600,000 Soviet who were killed while fighting Nazi German forces in what is now Poland.

Polish authorities on May 11 said they were considering two possible sites for an outdoor museum to relocate dismantled Soviet-era monuments that praise the Red Army.

Based on reporting by and Radio Poland