Skip to content

Ploughed and ploughing

“The worst mistake of the German military authorities had been their refusal to destroy alcohol stocks in the path of the Red Army’s advance. The decision was based on the idea that a drunken enemy could not fight. Tragically for the female population however, it was exactly what Red Army soldiers seemed to need to give them the courage to rape . . . . Women soon learned to disappear during the ‘hunting hours’ of the evening. Young daughters were hidden in storage lofts for days on end. . . . Sometimes the greatest danger came from one mother giving away the hiding place of other girls in a desperate bid to save her own daughters. . . . Because all the windows had been blown in, you could hear the screams every night. Estimates from the two main Berlin hospitals ranged from 95,000 to 130,000 rape victims. One doctor deduced that out of approximately 100,000 women raped in Berlin, some 10,000 died as a result, mostly from suicide. The death rate was thought to be much higher among the 1.4 million who had suffered in East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia. Altogether at least 2 million German women are thought to have been raped, and a substantial minority, if not a majority, appear to have suffered multiple rape.” – Antony Beevor, The Fall of Berlin 1945

Published inAntony BeevorThe Second World War

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.