Monday, September 12, 2011

When the Red Army moved into Germany in 1945, Berlin war a city virtually without men. Of the civilian population 27,00,000 people 20,00,000 were women. It was not surprising that fear of rape resounded through the city. Women besieged doctors, looking for information about the fastest ways to commit suicide. Various poisons were in great demand.

In Berlin Soviet soldiers broke into the charitable institution Delem House, a maternity hospital and orphanage, and repeatedly raped pregnant women and also women who had just given birth. Nobody knows exactly how many women were raped, but doctors estimate, in Berlin alone no less than 100,000 women, aged from 10 to 70 years, were raped.

British prisoners of war, returning from the British-occupied zone of Germany, "In the area around our internment camps, in Schlawe, Lauenburg, Buckow, Soviet soldiers raped every woman and girl between 12 and 60 years. Fathers and husbands who tried to protect the women were shot, and girls who resisted, were murdered.

Red Army soldiers raped at the end of World War II and in the period after the war over two million German women. Approximately ten to twelve percent of the women died of injuries, were murdered or committed suicide.

The mentality was to 'dishonour' the women of the enemy.
March 24, 1945, the Soviet army entered Danzig. A 50-year-old Danzig teacher reported that her niece, aged 15, was raped seven times, and another niece, 22 years old, was raped fifteen times. A Soviet officer told a group of women to seek refuge in the cathedral. When they gathered there, the Soviet soldiers went in and accompanied with the sounds of bells and organ, "celebrated" foul orgy through the night raping the women, some more than thirty times. A Catholic pastor in Danzig, testified: "They raped even 8-year-old girls, and killed those boys who tried to shield their mothers." His Eminence Archbishop Bernard Griffin, British (Bernard Griffin) who toured Europe, reported: "In Vienna alone they raped 100 000 women, not once but many times, including 10 year old girls and old women."
A day after the capture of Neisse, Silesia, Soviet troops raped 182 Catholic nuns. In one of the convents the Mother Superior and her assistant were shot dead, when they they tried to protect young nuns. In the journal "North America" (Nord Amerika) from 1 November 1945, one priest reported that he knew "several villages where all the women, even elderly women and girls of twelve years, were raped by Soviet soldiers for several weeks."



Just inside the east Prussian border with Soviet occupied Lithuania, the town of Nemmersdorf was the first to fall (temporarily) into the hands of the victorious Soviet Army.
Overrun by General Gatlitsky's 11th Guards Army, his soldiers, crazy with bloodlust, set about raping, looting and killing with such ferocity that eventually discipline had to be restored to force the soldiers back to fighting the war. From buildings, Russian signs were hung which read 'Soldiers! Majdanek does not forgive. Take revenge without mercy!'. When the Soviet 4th Army took over the town five days later, hardly a single inhabitant remained alive. Women were found nailed to barn doors after being stripped naked and gang raped, their bodies then used for bayonet practice. Many women, and girls as young as eight years old, were raped so often and brutally that they died from this abuse alone. Children were shot indiscriminately and all those trying to flee were crushed to death under the treads of the Soviet tanks. Forty French prisoners-of-war were shot on the spot as spies after welcoming the Red Army as liberators. Seventy one women and one man were found in houses, all dead. All the women, including girls aged from eight to twelve, had been raped.

In other East Prussian villages within the triangle Gumbinnen-Goldap-Ebenrode, the same scenes were witnessed, old men and boys being castrated and their eyes gouged out before being killed or burned alive. In nearby Metgethen, a suburb of Königsberg, recaptured by the German 5th Panzer Division, around 60 women were found in a demented state in a large villa. They had been raped on average 60 to 70 times a day. In nearly every home, the bodies of women and children were found raped and murdered. The bodies of two young women were found, their legs had been tied one limb each between two trucks, and then torn apart when the trucks were driven away in opposite directions. At Metgethen railway station, a refugee train from Konigsberg, consisting of seven passenger coaches, was found and in each compartment seven to nine bestially mutilated bodies were discovered. To the Russians, refugee trains were ideal sources of women and booty. In the town of Niesse in Silesia, 182 Catholic nuns were raped and debauched daily by the Russians. In the town of Demmin in Mecklenburg, German troops destroyed the bridge over the river Peene to slow down the advance of the Red Army. Nevertheless, the town was handed over to the Soviets without much of resistance and soon after around 800 of its citizens committed suicide by drowning in the Peene or by taking poison in fear of rape or murder by the Soviet troops.

In a house in another town, children were found sitting around a dinner table, plates of potato pancakes in front of them. All were dead, their tongues nailed to the table. Soviet officers reported back to Moscow that mass poisoning from captured alcohol, including dangerous chemicals found in laboratories, is damaging the fighting capacity of the Soviet Army. All too often, soldiers who had drunk too much and were unable to perform the sex act, used the bottle to mutilate their victims obscenely. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, an ex-captain in the Soviet Army, recalls, "All of us knew very well that if girls were German they could be raped and then shot. This was almost a combat distinction". (Details of these, and other atrocities, are contained in the Eastern Documentation Section of the German Federal Archives in Berlin)

The orgy of rape by Soviet troops was far greater than at first believed. Even Russian women and young girls, newly liberated from German concentration camps in Poland and in Germany, were brutally violated. The thousands of Russian women taken to Germany for forced labour also fell victims to the rapists. 'I waited for the Red Army for days and nights. I waited for my liberation, but now our soldiers treat us far worse than the Germans did' said one Maria Shapoval,'They do terrible things to us'.

REVENGE AT NEUSTETTIN (February 16-18, 1945)

On the 16th of February, soldiers of the First White Russian Army occupied the town of Neustettin just inside the German border with Poland. In the town was the 'Wilmsee' camp of the German R.A.D. (Reich Women's Labour Service). In the huts were some 500 uniformed girls of the RAD. They were taken to the foreign workers barracks at the local iron foundry. All were considered by the Russians to be members of an illegal army. 

In an office set up by the Russian commissar groups of girls were brought in and ordered to undress. Two men (believed to be Poles) then entered the room and grabbing one of the girls bent her backwards over the edge of a table and then proceeded to cut off her breasts before the eyes of the others. Her screams were accompanied by cheers and howls of approval from the Russians. The same fate awaited all the others each procedure becoming ever more cruel. More girls were brought in continually and out in the courtyard hundreds were clubbed to death, only the prettiest being led to the commissars office for torture, mutilation and death. A few days later when a German reserve tank unit from Cottbus temporarily recaptured the town they were utterly devastated by what they saw. 

Survivors told of what they had seen. Mothers had to witness their ten and twelve year old daughters being raped by up to twenty soldiers, the daughters in turn witnessing their mothers being raped, even their grandmothers. In most houses in the town nearly every room contained naked and dead women with the Swastika symbol crudely carved on their abdomens. No mercy was shown to the women and girls. It is estimated that about 2,000 girls that had been in the RAD and BDM (League of German Girls) camps in and around the town were raped and murdered in the first few days of the Soviet occupation.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.