This is Germany's first monument for deserters. It was designed in 1989 for the then German capital Bonn, but right after the wall came down, it was decided to display it in Potsdam, the cradle of German militarism.
Between 1939 and 1945, about 400,000 German soldiers (2% of the 18.2 million total) deserted or attempted to desert, not counting those surrendering in battle. 30,000 of them were caught in the act, 23,000 of those were executed. It wasn't until 1999, that the German government actually rehabilitated deserters from the Nazi army thus recognizing the courage and the sense of humanity of those who refused to kill others.