Berlin Rape: The Hidden History of War

in history •  3 years ago  (edited)

BBC Russian's called a monument in Berlin Treptow "monument to the unknown perpetrator"

Standing monument to the Liberator Soldier in the wreckage of the swastika, a soldier 12 meters high in one hand holding a sword, and on the other hand sits his little German girl.

Here are buried five thousand out of 80 thousand Soviet soldiers killed in the Battle of Berlin in the period from 16 April to 2 May 1945.

The colossal proportions of the monument reflects the scale of the victims. At the top of the pedestal, which is a long staircase, the entrance is visible in the memorial hall, illuminated by a religious shrine.

My attention was attracted by an inscription, reminding that the Soviet people have saved the civilization of Europe from fascism.

But for some in Germany this memorial - an excuse for other memories.

Soviet soldiers raped countless women on the way to Berlin, but it is rarely talked after the war - both in Eastern and Western Germany. Today, few people talk about it in Russia.

Diary Vladimir Gelfand

Vladimir Gelfand wrote her diary with amazing sincerity in those days, when it was mortally dangerous

Lieutenant Vladimir Gelfand, a young Jew, a native of Ukraine, since 1941 and until the end of the war led his recording with extraordinary sincerity, despite the then existing ban on the diaries in the Soviet army.

Diary tells the lack of order and discipline in the regular army: poor diet, lice, anti-Semitism and endless routine theft. As he says, the soldiers stole even the boots of his comrades.

In February 1945, a military unit based Gelfand near the Oder River, in preparation for an attack on Berlin. He recalls how his comrades surrounded and captured a German women's battalion.

"The day before yesterday on the left acted women's battalion to break it to pieces, and the captive cat and the Germans declared themselves avenger of dead men on the front do not know what was done to them, but it would be necessary to execute negodyaek mercilessly.." - Wrote Vladimir Gelfand.

One of the most illustrative stories Gelfand refers to April 25, when he was in Berlin. There Gelfand for the first time for a bike ride. Driving along the shore of the Spree river, he saw a group of women, taschivshih somewhere my bags and assemblies.

"I asked the Germans, where they live, in broken German, and asked why they had gone out of his house, and they are terrified told about the mountain, which caused them foremost front the first night of arrival of the Red Army" - the author writes a diary .

"They poked here, - explained the beautiful German woman, lifting up her skirt - They told me spoiled youth Among them were old, pimply, and all climbed on -. All night, and there were so many I was a girl -. She sighed and began to cry. I have all poked There were at least twenty, yes, yes, -., and burst into tears. "

"They were raped in front of me my daughter - put in a poor mother - they can even come and again raped my girl -. From it all came back in horror, and bitter weeping swept from corner to corner of the cellar, which led me home." Stay here - suddenly he threw me a girl - you sleep with me. You can do with me whatever you want, but you're the one! "- Writes in his diary Gelfand.

"The hour of revenge!"

When the Red Army entered the "lair of the fascist beast," as then known as the Soviet press Berlin, posters encouraging furious soldiers ". The soldier, you are on German soil The hour of revenge!"

In October 1944, the Red Army invaded East Prussia. For the first years of the war the Soviet soldiers set foot on German soil. At the border he had met egg poster possibly penned by Ilya Ehrenburg: "Here it is, the curse of Germany!". For greater clarity, the poster was crowned with a huge plywood pointing finger, facing in the direction of the hated West.

The entire Red Army remembered the fiery line of Comrade Ehrenburg, sold millions of copies:

"... We have understood: the Germans are not people. From now on the word "German" for us the most terrible curse. From now on the word "German" discharges the gun. Let's not talk. We will not be indignant. We will kill. If you do not kill for a day at least one German, your day is gone. If you think that for you Germans kill your neighbor, you do not understand the threat. If you do not kill the Germans, the Germans will kill you. He will take your and will torment them in their wretched Germany. If you can not kill a German bullet, kill a German bayonet. If your site lull, if you are waiting for the battle, kill a German before the fight. If you leave the Germans to live, hang German Russian man and Russian woman disgrace. If you kill one German, kill another - for us there is nothing more fun German corpses. Do not count days. Do not count miles. Think of one thing: the Germans killed thee. Kill the Germans! - It asks old mother. Kill the Germans! - It begs you child. Kill the Germans! - It screams native land. Do not miss. Do not miss. Kill! "(" Red Star ", 24 July 1942).

In the fall of 1944, Ehrenburg, who, according to the British correspondent in Moscow, Alexander Werth, had a "brilliant talent to cause hatred of the Germans", declared: "We are on German soil, and in these words, all our hope: Germany little break, it is necessary to finish "(" The Great day ", 10.24.44). A month later, there is another "gem" of racial hatred: "We do not need blond hyena. We're going to Germany after the other: for Germany. And this blonde witch nesdobrovat "(" Blond Witch ", 25.11.44).

And now this "cursed", "damn", "blonde" and also so invested, in Germany a strong kulak, stretched before the war inflamed, vodka and propaganda, armed to the teeth with a shovel.

Political Department of the 19th Army, advancing on Berlin along the coast of the Baltic Sea, has announced that the real Soviet soldiers are so full of hate that the thought of sexual contact with German women is abhorrent to him. But this time the soldiers have proven that their ideologists were wrong.

Writer Leo Kopelev, while the Soviet major, witness the death of East Prussia, wrote in his memoirs stunning:

"By the evening we drove into Neidenburg. The city was light from the fire: burning entire neighborhoods. And here our ignited. The town is small. Sidewalks branched trees planted. On one of the side streets, a patterned front garden fence lay the corpse of an old woman: the torn dress, between skinny legs - an ordinary telephone. The tube was trying to stick to the crotch.Soldiers in groups and singly slowly walked from house to house, dragging some components or suitcases. One talkative explained that the German - spy, caught her on the phone "

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, while the captain of the Red Army, was then also in Neidenburg, perhaps somewhere near Major Kopelev who tried to stop the brutality of the Soviet military. Solzhenitsyn also have something to say about this East Prussian city:

"Heringshtrasse, house 22. He was not burned, just looted, devastated. The sobs of the wall, half muffled: the mother of the wounded, barely alive. Little girl on a mattress, dead. How many of them were on it? Platoon, company? The girl turned into a woman, the woman turned into a corpse ... The mother begs, 'Soldier, kill me! "".

American revisionist historian William Pierce writes about East Prussia in January 1945-th:

"When the Soviet troops intercepted the column fleeing to the west of the German refugees, they used to do those things which are not seen in Europe since the Mongol invasions in the Middle Ages. All men - most of them farmers or Germans engaged in essential occupations and thus exempted from military service - usually just killed on the spot. All women, almost without exception, were gang-raped. Such was the fate of girls and eight years, and octogenarians old women, and women in the last stages of pregnancy. Women who resisted rape had their throats cut or were shot. Often, after being gang-raped, women were killed. Many women and girls were raped by so many times that they are one of the die.

Sometimes Soviet tank columns simply crushed caterpillars fleeing refugees. When the Soviet Army occupied the settlements of East Prussia, they started a bestiality, bestial orgy of torture, rape and murder, it is not possible to fully describe in this article. Sometimes they castrated men and boys before killing them. Sometimes they squeezed their eyes. Sometimes they burned them alive (in any teenage blond might suspect SS with all its consequences - AS). Some women after being gang-raped, crucified, nailed them more alive to the barn door, and then using them as a shooting target "(" Revisionist history: a view from the right ", M., 2003, p. 61).

German historian Joachim Hoffmann, the author of the book ". Stalinist extermination war of 1941-45," wrote:

"The invasion of the Red Army in East Prussia, West Prussia and Danzig, Pomerania, Brandenburg and Silesia everywhere equally accompanied with violence, the likes of which has to search for a new military history. The massacres of prisoners of war and civilians of all ages and gender, mass rape of women, even old women and children, with the hideous attendant phenomena, repeatedly, sometimes until death, the deliberate burning of houses, villages, neighborhoods and entire cities, systematic looting, pillaging and destruction private and public property, and finally, the mass deportation of men, women and young people in the labor slavery of the Soviet Union - usually with a separation of mothers from their children and to break family ties - such were the stand out features of the event, which is blatantly contrary to the principles of the orderly conduct of the war " .

The Red Army moved farther to the west, according to Goffman, more resembling a hybrid of Asian militant hordes and bustling gypsy camp: that's sweeping the tanks, covered with expensive Persian carpets on which warriors sit with bottles of collection wine; and then in the columns of flash drunken soldiers in some Macs, and Napoleon's three-cornered hats, umbrellas, but the old carriage wheels, utaschennaya of some baronial family estate ...

 Watches and bicycles were the usual trophies in Berlin

Historian Anthony Beevor, conducting research for his book "Berlin: drop," which was published in 2002, found in the Russian State Archive of reports about the epidemic of sexual violence in Germany. These reports in late 1944 sent by the NKVD Lavrenty Beria.

"They passed on to Stalin - Beevor says -.. You can see by the marks, they were read or not they report the mass rapes in Eastern Prussia and how German women tried to kill themselves and their children, to avoid this fate."

"The inhabitants of the Underground"

Another blog of war, which led the bride German soldier tells how some women have adapted to this horrific situation in an attempt to survive.

On 20 April 1945 a woman, whose name was not called, left the paper in its ruthless honesty of observation, perceptive and sometimes spiced with gallows humor.

Blog author describes himself as "a pale blonde, always dressed in the same winter coat." She paints a vivid picture of the lives of their neighbors in a bomb shelter beneath their apartment building.

Among its neighbors - "a young man in gray slacks and a thick rimmed glasses in, turn out to be a woman", and three older sisters, she writes, "all three of them - the dressmaker, tangled in a big black pudding".

In anticipation of the approaching Red Army units woman joked: "The best Russian to me than the Yankees over me", having in mind that it is better to be raped than killed in carpet bombing by US aircraft.

But when the soldiers entered their basement and tried to pull out women, they began to beg the author's diary to use her knowledge of the Russian language, to complain to the Soviet command.

On the streets turned into ruins she manages to find a Soviet officer. He shrugs. Despite Stalin's decree prohibiting violence against the civilian population, as he says, "it's still going on."

Nevertheless, the officer down with her to the basement and chastises soldiers. But one of them, beside himself with anger. "What are you talking Look what the Germans did to our women?! - He shouted -. They took my sister and ..." The officer takes his soothes and soldiers into the streets.

But when the author of the diary out into the corridor to see whether or not they are gone, it had been waiting soldiers grabbed and violently raped and nearly strangled. neighbors are terrified, or "people of the dungeon," as she calls them, are hiding in the cellar, locking the door behind him.

"Finally, it opened two iron bolt Everyone stared at me - she writes - My stockings are down, my hands hold the remains of the belt I am starting to shout..." You pig! I then raped twice in a row, and you leave me lying there like a piece of dirt! "

As a result, the author of the diary comes to the conclusion that it is necessary to find a "wolf", to defend against the new gang rape "beast male".

She is an officer from Leningrad, which divides the bed. Gradually, the relationship between the aggressor and the victim become less violent, more mutual and mixed. German and Soviet officer even discuss literature and the meaning of life.

Many of her neighbors have concluded similar deals with the winners of the defeated Berlin.

When the diary was published in Germany under the name "Woman in Berlin" in 1959, this candid story sparked allegations that he defamed the honor of German women. It is not surprising that the author, in anticipation of this, demanded not to publish more than a diary until his death.

Eisenhower: shot on the spot

Rape was a problem not only of the Red Army.

Bob Lilly, a historian from the University of Northern Kentucky, was able to get access to the archives of the US military courts.

His book (Taken by Force) has caused so much controversy that initially none of the American publishing house did not dare to publish it, and the first edition appeared in France.

Lilly is estimated, about 14,000 rapes were committed by American soldiers in England, France and Germany from 1942 to 1945.

"In England, cases of rape were quite small, but as soon as American troops crossed the English Channel, the number has increased dramatically," - says Lilly.

According to him, the rape have become a problem not only the image but also the army discipline. "Eisenhower said soldiers shot at the crime scene and report executions in military newspapers, such as the Stars and Stripes in Germany was the peak of this phenomenon.", - He said.

- And the soldiers were executed for rape?

- Oh yeah!

- But not in Germany?

- No. Not a single soldier was not executed for the rape and murder of German citizens - recognizes Lilly.

Today, historians continue to investigate the facts of the sexual crimes committed by the Allies in Germany.

For many years, the topic of sexual violence by the Allied troops - American, British, French and Soviet soldiers - in Germany officially suppressed. Few people informed about this, and even fewer were willing to listen to all this.

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!