In Russia, World War II is an extremely important part of their history. The period of Soviet involvement, from 1941-1945, is known as the Great Patriotic War in Russia national consciousness. Upwards of 30 million Soviets lost their lives in the conflict. As a result of this massive sacrifice, the Great Patriotic War has assumed a sort of legendary status among Russians, and there are many monuments to the war and to the soldiers in every city across Russia and the former Soviet Union. In Nizhny Novgorod, the main memorial to the war is located in the heart of the Kremlin.
The memorial, opened in 1965, is known as the Eternal Flame Memorial Complex, so named due to the presence of an eternal flame, the centerpiece of the exhibit. The flame itself is flanked by several granite slabs. One of these slabs presents an image of two soldiers in the midst of fighting. The other side of the slab is engraved with the names of citizens of Gorky (as Nizhny Novgorod was called during the Soviet era) who perished at the front. On the other granite slab is a poem imploring the citizens to never forget the feats and accomplishments of those who died to preserve their country from destruction at the hands of the Fascists. A model of a T-34 tank, mass produced in Gorky during the war, is also located just before the complex, as a symbol of the labor of the citizens of the city in aiding the victory of the Red Army.
As it is located in the center of the Kremlin, it is a must see during any excursion in the interior. Not far from the complex is the only remaining church, in which the body of Kuzma Minin is interred. There is also an art museum within the Kremlin itself, as well as a display of several wartime vehicles. For traditional tourist desires, there are several souvenir shops and stands, as well as a restaurant within a tower of the Kremlin.