German rape victims find a voice at last

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wildboar
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German rape victims find a voice at last

Post by wildboar » 30 Jul 2002 12:44

German women have come forward after 50 years to speak of their appalling treatment at the hands of Soviet soldiers, who raped their way across Germany for four years from 1945. Their ordeal has been revealed thanks to Antony Beevor, whose book Berlin: The Downfall 1945 came out in the UK to great acclaim last month.

In his book, Beevor, a Sandhurst recruit turned writer, uses previously unpublished material from Russian archives in Moscow to describe vividly the horrific suffering of an estimated two million German women and girls who were gang-raped by drunken Soviet soldiers as they made their way across the country with the aim of forcing the Nazis to retreat.

Among the victims were women who became prominent figures, including Hannelore Kohl, wife of the former Chancellor, Helmut. Mrs Kohl, who committed suicide last year, was raped along with her mother at the age of 12 as they failed to escape on a train bound for Dresden.

Beevor's book has unleashed an emotional response from scores of victims, mainly living in Britain, and their relatives, who have contacted him to express their gratitude that the story of an entire generation is finally being told.

'I was carrying out orders to bury some dead Hitler Youth boys when they found me,' Martha Dowsey says gently and slowly with a heavy German accent. 'Six Red Army soldiers with blackened faces held me down on the ground close to the graves and raped me one by one.' She repeats over and over: 'I'm not lying, I'm not, you must believe me.'

The housebound 81-year-old is understandably nervous about telling her story, not least because it has taken decades for her to find anyone either in her adopted home of Britain or Germany who would believe her experiences of life in post-war Berlin as Stalin's troops marched in. For years the Red Army soldiers were seen as the heroes who freed Germany from the shackles of the Nazis.

But for Martha, and hundreds of thousands of others, they were anything but. 'They were destructive and evil and almost ruined my life. I never told my children - they would not have understood - and my husband knew something terrible had happened to me, but was kind enough never to ask,' she says from her home in Clapham Common, south London.

Only now has Martha Dowsey née Schröder gathered the courage to speak, thanks to Beevor's book. The victims - considered by the Russians, Beevor says, to be 'casual rights of conquest' in return for crimes committed by the Wehrmacht in Russia - were as young as 12 and as old as 80 or more. Thanking him for his book, one woman living in Little Hampton, West Sussex, said: 'I have so many memories. I'd thought of writing an autobiography, but people would not believe the things I have survived... I think I was a little insane afterwards.'

Beevor said he had been stunned by the response. 'A lot of these women have obviously barely talked about this maelstrom of horror they experienced, and suddenly they've been plunged into discussing things they haven't even been able to tell their closest family members,' he said.

One German woman, Jutte from Preston, wrote to him: 'Often I was tempted to talk about it, but I realised that no one would believe me or would interpret my story as excessive self-pity. What you have written is a way of showing how suffering can be endured.'

A woman whom Beevor visited in Berlin told him she had garrotted a soldier with his gun as he had tried to rape her mother. 'Only later,' said Beevor, 'did I realise that she was the one who had been raped and had invented the story because she was so traumatised and was desperate for it to be true.'

In their letters the women confirmed the accounts in Beevor's book of how, rather than befall the same fate as their neighbours, many tried to kill themselves and their children by cutting their wrists. Others hanged themselves. Reports say classrooms of schoolgirls committed suicide en masse.

Beevor details the horrific consequences of events that resonated for years, affecting women's attitude towards sex and causing huge social problems between men and women.

By the late 1940s - the rapes went on for three years or more - the Soviet troops had left behind them a broken people. According to some reports, 90 per cent of Berlin women were infected with venereal diseases, while Beevor cites one doctor who said that, of the 100,000 women estimated to have been raped in Berlin, a tenth of them died, mostly from suicide. The mortality figures for the approximately 1.4 million raped in East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia, he says, are believed to have been much higher.

Of those who became pregnant, an estimated 90 per cent had abortions. Those who did give birth often gave their children up for adoption because of the shame. In 1946, 3.7 per cent of children born in Berlin had Russian fathers. Even now, says Helke Sander, a German left-wing activist and author of The Liberator and the Relieved, an extensive 1992 study of women who were raped, the consequences are still felt.

'There are women who have never been able to talk about it and whose husbands forbade it. There are their children, who are finding out for the first time that they are the product of rape, and there are those who attempt to look in vain for their fathers.'

Beevor has shed considerable light on a chapter in German history, the extent of which has remained largely unknown outside Germany and which in the country continues to be a taboo subject.

In Russia, Berlin: The Downfall has been thoroughly denounced. Its ambassador to Britain called it 'an act of blasphemy'. When it is published in Germany in the autumn, Beevor has been warned it is likely to cause a storm. The daily Die Welt has already described it as 'an epic shock' that reveals 'a previously unknown chronicle of the rape atrocities which took place as the Red Army made its way from East Prussia to Berlin'.

Having already been denounced in Russia, Beevor is prepared for the diplomatic row the book is capable of unleashing between Berlin and Moscow. 'This is a subject of huge delicacy, and there's tremendous reluctance on the part of the German government to bring this up and thus upset the new relationship with Putin and the Kremlin,' he says.

But it will also hit the market as Germany finds itself in the thick of a 'normalisation' debate in which it attempts to take a broader approach to its history. Die Welt says that after 'half a century of inner chill', during which Germany has attempted to reflect on and atone for its Nazi past but has paid scant regard to the way ordinary citizens suffered, Beevor's book is proof that to move forward Germans need to reassess themselves not just as persecutors, but also as victims.



Source-


http://www.sexcriminals.com/url.html?url=http://www.observer.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,742341,00.html&id=13012&type=1


Now the question is will Russia seek a apology for this monster act and will it compensate its victim and punish those war criminals

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sylvieK4
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Post by sylvieK4 » 30 Jul 2002 13:59

Terrible. I have heard some people say that the Germans deserved such treatment but, in my opinion, no one deserves that. It would be good if Russia would make some sort of public apology - but even that would not be enough to atone for the damage done. Nothing short of punishing each and every offender would even begin to do that. I doubt if the Russian government would move to punish even a single individual at this point in time. Sad story.

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Post by Panzermahn » 31 Jul 2002 09:01

slyvie,

eventhough communism has fall, the Russian government still had the bolshevik mentality

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Post by Ovidius » 31 Jul 2002 11:08

panzermahn wrote: eventhough communism has fall, the Russian government still had the bolshevik mentality


Not the Russians are the problem, but those who support the "bad Nazi" thesis, for whom the idea the Communists were worse it's an embarrassment.

~Ovidius

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Post by Karl » 31 Jul 2002 13:06

Ovidius wrote: Not the Russians are the problem, but those who support the "bad Nazi" thesis, for whom the idea the Communists were worse it's an embarrassment.

~Ovidius


Eh?

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Post by Karl » 31 Jul 2002 13:09

Tell me something: why can’t they acknowledge this shame? It is disgusting to read about their pontifical reaction to Beevor’s new work and makes me angry.

How dare they. :x

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Post by Roland » 31 Jul 2002 13:20

SilvieK4

Public apology is not enough! Russian government should admit the crimes and punish the guilty! Will they do it? Of course not! But thats exactly the danger - Western countries are making an allies with the russians again. I am just afraid that eventualy we will get another Cold war 2 if russians does not change. So far I still see the same communists, just with no money and power. Mentality is still the same.

Regards.

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Post by Panzermahn » 31 Jul 2002 14:10

I don't think these Bolsheviks even had the guts to admit their troops rape women..For example, look at the Katyn Massacre..

It took these Bolsheviks almost 50 years just to admit a single atrocity when Gorby finally had over secret NKVD files to Lech Walesa...

Mathematically, it's simple...assume that these Bolsheviks took 50 years to admit single atrocity therefore it must be another 100 years before they admit their atrocities in Bronicki, and then another 150 years for Feodosia until it reach the point of almost 1000 years before they finally admit their Bolshevik hordes raped women in Germany and Austria during WW2.(Assume that they started counting the years beginning of their 1st atrocity and added 50 years for the duration of admitting responsibility for every atrocity they committed...)

Hold on, these BOlsheviks only admit responsibility for their atrocity..Not even to point of official apology or any compensation...

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Post by sylvieK4 » 31 Jul 2002 14:13

Quote of Roland:

SilvieK4

Public apology is not enough!



Of course a public apology is not enough! If you re-read my post you will see I wrote:

but even that would not be enough to atone for the damage done. Nothing short of punishing each and every offender would even begin to do that.


They cannot do anything to atone, and it is sure they don't want to. The damage is done, and I do not doubt for a moment that the mentality is the same now as it was then. I did not say otherwise.

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Post by Roland » 31 Jul 2002 14:21

SilvieK4

I apologise! I realy did not understand Your post completely. You are right!

Best regards.

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Post by Topspeed » 17 Aug 2004 11:01

sylvieK4 wrote:Terrible. I have heard some people say that the Germans deserved such treatment but, in my opinion, no one deserves that. It would be good if Russia would make some sort of public apology - but even that would not be enough to atone for the damage done. Nothing short of punishing each and every offender would even begin to do that. I doubt if the Russian government would move to punish even a single individual at this point in time. Sad story.
I think a monument twice the size of Treptow park soviet statue should be erected middle of Moscow to commemorate those raped women, so that world would never forget the shame the Berlin and other German women had to bear by the barbaric Soviet soldiers. I think the destroyed churhes in eastern Europe and Germany should be counted up too to measure the damage done.

I think that when God was destroyed by communist doctrines only an animal was left of a human being. Soviet troops clearly indicate the results...National Socialism did not indicate any better qualities either, but they are already putting up some monuments for their crimes ( and in facts have done many before ! ). Really when do Soviets start to feel quilty of their imperialistic attrocities committed in the name of common good ?

rgrds,

Juke T

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Post by szopen » 17 Aug 2004 12:37

Monument in Moscow? You know, remembering than so many Soviet monuments were quite realistic, what that monument would suppose to show? In fact if too realistic, it could achieve effects quite diffrent from what one could expect.

I know that i will seem cold bastard, but my terrible imagination showed me how that monument would look.. and.. umm maybe i will end here before i will be blasted from the forum because of ridiculing the victims. I apologise for the flaws of my imagination...

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Fredd
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Post by Fredd » 17 Aug 2004 14:05

I wouldn't count on ANY apology....

Check out what still is telling about Katyn in Russia. If they refused to regard Katyn as a genocide what do you expect about 'ordinary' rapes.

BTW: Beevor wrote they raped ANY woman they could get. Especially harsh treatment received these who were Russian and during the invasion were captured and deported to the Reich a slave-labor. They didn't spare a slave-labor from other countries al well (French, Poles etc).

According to Beevor they (Soviet soldiers) used to said 'blat' eto blat'' what meant 'a whore is a whore'.

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Post by Kunikov » 17 Aug 2004 18:40

Fredd wrote: According to Beevor they (Soviet soldiers) used to said 'blat' eto blat'' what meant 'a whore is a whore'.
Where did you learn Russian?

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Post by Kunikov » 17 Aug 2004 18:43

sylvieK4 wrote:Terrible. I have heard some people say that the Germans deserved such treatment but, in my opinion, no one deserves that. It would be good if Russia would make some sort of public apology - but even that would not be enough to atone for the damage done. Nothing short of punishing each and every offender would even begin to do that. I doubt if the Russian government would move to punish even a single individual at this point in time. Sad story.
Russia has nothing to apologize for. If some men decided that to swage their anger over killed and tortured parents, friends, and relatives is to have sex with a few women, the entire nation has nothing to apologize for.

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