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Thread: German women somehow assumed that it was now the Russians turn

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    Thumbs Up German women somehow assumed that it was now the Russians turn

    Alexander Werth, Russia at War 1941-1945, 2000 Second Edition Carroll & Graf Publishers, New York, pages 963 to 968

    By the middle of April, with the Russians deep inside Austria and Czechoslovakia and the Western Allies sweeping across Western and Southern Germany, and Zhukov, Konev and Rokossovsky holding the Oder Line, the time was ripe for the final attack on Berlin.
    A short digression is called for, however, on the tricky subject of Russian policy towards Germany when the Red Army began to occupy German territory. After all that the Germans had done - and horrors like the destruction of Warsaw and the extermination camps at Maidanek and Auschwitz were still fresh in every soldier’s memory - there was no sympathy at all for the German people. No doubt, there was much respect for the German soldier, but that was different. Having fought the Germans for nearly four years on Russian soil, and having seen thousands of Russian towns and villages in ruins, the Russian troops could not resist their thirst for revenge when they finally broke into Germany.
    Ever since Russian troops had been on German soil, some rough things had been going on. In the first flush of the invasion of Germany, Russian soldiers burned down numerous houses, and sometimes whole towns - merely because they were German! (I was to see this later, for instance in a large East Prussian town like Allenstein. The Poles who had taken over the city - now re-christened Olsztyn - were furious at all the repairing and rebuilding they had to do in a town which had originally fallen almost intact into Russian hands). There was also a great deal of looting, robbery and rape. The rape no doubt included many genuine atrocities, but as a Russian major later told me, many German women somehow assumed that “it was now the Russians’ turn”, and that it was no good resisting. “The approach,”, he said, “was usually very simple. Any of our chaps simply had to say: ´Frau, komm,´ and she knew what was expected of her ... Let’s face it. For nearly four years, the Red Army had been sex-starved. It was all right for officers, especially staff officers, so many of whom had a ´field-wife´ handy - a secretary, or typist, or a nurse, or a canteen waitress; but the ordinary Vanka had very few opportunities in that line. In our liberated towns, some of our fellows were lucky, but most of them weren’t. The question of more or less ‘raping’ any Russian woman just didn’t arise. In Poland a few regrettable things happened from time to time, but, on the whole, a fairly strict discipline was maintained as regards ‘rape’. The most common offense in Poland was ‘daí chasy’ - ‘give me your wrist-watch.’ There was an awful lot of petty thieving and robbery. Our fellows were just crazy about wrist-watches - there’s no getting away from it. But the looting and raping in a big way did not start until our soldiers got to Germany. Our fellows were so sex-starved that they often raped old women of sixty, seventy or even eighty - much to these grandmothers’ surprise, if not downright delight. But I must admit it was a nasty business and the record of the Kazakhs and other Asiatic troops was particularly bad.”
    The posters put up in Germany, during the first weeks of the invasion, such as: “Red Army Soldier: You are now on German soil; the hour of revenge has struck!” did not make things any easier. Moreover, the press propaganda of Ehrenburg and others continued to be very ferocious indeed.
    Here are some samples from Ehrenburg’s articles during the invasion of Germany:

    Germany is a witch... We are in Germany. German towns are burning. I am happy.
    The Germans have no souls... An English statesman said that the Germans were our brethren. No! it is blasphemy to include the child-murderers among the family of nations...
    Not only divisions and armies are advancing on Berlin. All the trenches, graves and ravines filled with the corpses of the innocents are advancing on Berlin, all the cabbages of Maidanek and all the trees of Vitebsk on which the Germans hanged so many unhappy people. The boots and shoes and the babies’ slippers of those murdered and gassed at Maidanek are marching to Berlin. The dead are knocking on the doors of the Joachimsthaler Strasse, of the Kaiserallee, of Unter den Linden and all the other cursed streets of that cursed city...
    We shall put up gallows in Berlin... An icy wind is sweeping along the streets of Berlin. But it is not the icy wind that is driving the Germans and their females to the west... 800 years ago the Poles and Lithuanians used to say: “We shall torment them in heaven as they tormented us on earth”... Now our patrols stand outside the castles of the Teutonic Knights at Allenstein, Osterode, Marienburg...
    We shall forget nothing. As we advance through Pomerania, we have before our eyes the devastated, blood-drenched countryside of Belorussia ...
    Some say the Germans from the Rhine are different from the Germans on the Oder. I don’t know that we should worry about such fine points. A German is a German everywhere. The Germans have been punished, but not enough. They are still in Berlin. The Führer is still standing, and not hanging. The Fritzes are still running, but not lying dead. Who can stop us now? General Model? The Oder? The Volkssturm? No, it’s too late. Germany, you can now whirl around in circles, and burn, and howl in your deathly agony; the hour of revenge has struck!...

    And, after visiting East Prussia, Ehrenburg wrote: “The Niezschean supermen are whining. They are a cross between a jackal and a sheep. They have no dignity ... A Scottish army chaplain, a liberated prisoner of war, said to me: '‘ know how the Germans treated their Russian prisoners in 1941 and 1942. I can only bow to your generosity now.’”

    It did not take very long for both the Party and the Command of the Red Army to realize that all this was going too far. The troops were getting out of hand, and, moreover, it was clear that, before long, the Russians would be faced with a variety of political and administrative problems in Germany which could simply not be handled on the “anti-Marxist” basis that “all Germans are evil”. The alarm, not so much over “atrocities” as over the totally unnecessary destruction caused by the Red Army in the occupied parts of Germany, was first reflected in the Red Star editorial of February 9, 1945:

    “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” is an old saying. But it must not be taken literally. If the Germans marauded, and publicly raped our women, it does not mean that we must do the same. This has never been and never shall be. Our soldiers will not allow anything like that to happen - not because of pity for the enemy, but out of a sense of their own personal dignity ... They understand that every breach of military discipline only weakens the victorious Red Army ... Our revenge is not blind. Our anger is not irrational. In an access of blind rage one is apt to destroy a factory in conquered enemy territory - a factory that would be of value to us. Such an attitude can only play into the enemy’s hands.”

    Here was a clear admission that factories - and much else - had been burned down by Russian troops - simply because they were “German property”.
    On April 14, Ehrenburg’s hate propaganda was stopped by a strong attack on him in Pravda by G.F. Alexandrov, the principal ideologist of the Central Committee. According to Ehrenburg’s postwar Memoirs this attack was launched on direct instructions from Stalin. Alexandrov’s article, “Comrade Ehrenburg os Over-simplifying”, took him up on two points: first of all, it was both un-Marxist and inexpedient to treat all Germans as sub-human; “Hitlers come and go, but the German people go on forever”, Stalin himself had said in a recent speech; and Russia would have to live with the German people. To suggest that every German democrat or Communist was necessarily a Nazi in disguise was absolutely wrong. The article clearly suggested that there were now certain Germans with whom it would be necessary for the Russian authorities to co-operate. Secondly, Alexandrov objected to Ehrenburg’s Red Star article two days before, called “That’s Enough!” in which he had raged against the ease with which the Allies were advancing in the west and the desperate resistance the Germans were continuing to offer the Russians in the east. Ehrenburg had said that this was so because, having murdered millions of civilians, in the east, the Germans were therefore scared of the Russians, but not of the Western Allies, who were being deplorably “soft”. They had, he claimed, even ordered Russian and Ukrainian slaves to go on working on German estates during the spring sowing.
    While agreeing with some of this, Alexandrov still said that Ehrenburg was “oversimplifying” the issue:
    “At the present stage the Nazis are following their old mischievous policy of sowing distrust among the Allies...They are trying, by means of this political military trick, to achieve what they could not achieve by purely military means. If the Germans, as Ehrenburg says, were only scared of the Russians, they would not, to this day, go on sinking Allied ships, murdering British prisoners, or sending flying bombs over London. “We did not capture Königsberg by telephone,” Ehrenburg said. That is quite true; but the explanation he offers for the simple way in which the Allies occupy towns in Western Germany is not the correct one.”
    This sop to the Allies was no doubt still intended to be in the good Yalta tradition, but it was perhaps not meant to be overwhelmingly convincing. For, although there was to be genuine rejoicing, especially among soldiers and officers on both sides, when, on April 27, the Russian and American forces met at Torgau on the Elbe, and cut the German forces in two, and although there were friendly demonstrations outside the American Embassy on VE-Day in Moscow on May 9, there continued to be considerable distrust of the Western Allies. True, the Allies did not fall for Himmler’s (or any other) “separate peace” offer, but no sooner had the Germans capitulated than the Russian press was already full of angry screams about “Churchill’s Flensburg Government” - a government which, they later asserted, was not liquidated until the Russians themselves had taken a very strong line about this “outrageous business.”
    But that is a different story. The most significant part of Alexandrov’s attack on Ehrenburg concerned the new official line on “the German people”. Very suddenly the hate propaganda against “the Germans” was stopped. Ehrenburg was no longer allowed to write - at least not on Germany. His hate propaganda had served its purpose in the past, but now it had become
    inexpedient.

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    Post Re: German women somehow assumed that it was now the Russians turn

    That is a lot of verbage to justify a crime. How many German women were raped by British soldiers? Many of them suffered bombings and the death of a loved one. How many were raped by Polish soldiers, by Czechs, by Dutchmen or Norwegians? Perhaps Ross does not want to admit that the Soviet command turned a blind eye to rape of German women, if not outright encouraging it.

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    Re: German women somehow assumed that it was now the Russians turn

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Solar Wolff View Post
    That is a lot of verbage to justify a crime. How many German women were raped by British soldiers? Many of them suffered bombings and the death of a loved one. How many were raped by Polish soldiers, by Czechs, by Dutchmen or Norwegians? Perhaps Ross does not want to admit that the Soviet command turned a blind eye to rape of German women, if not outright encouraging it.

    In another post I was censured ( my thread was erased by a moderator ), when I was comparing Russian WWII atrocities with the ancient mongol/hun invaders.One interesting thing is that we have a lot of Russians and crypto-comunists here in this suposed germanic forum defending this idea of rape as something justified.I am not saying that Ross must be censured, but this question need more attention.
    Last edited by Euclides; Sunday, February 18th, 2007 at 01:34 AM.

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    It's actually an interesting read, if only for those who would like to know how decisions were made and carried out by the Soviets, with regard to conquered Germany.

    Why the hell this Werth thought he should make that comment about old women being raped, as though it's a joke, is beyond me - he's clearly a sick idiot, but lots of the rest of it is worth knowing, and having on the forum. This Werth is obviously still active and out there, and it's also important that people should know that he's capable of such 'humour' and boycott him appropriately.

    Would it be okay if I reposted it, as something of historical interest in the current war-rape thread, but naturally with an intro condemning the offensive section? Ehrenburg has already come up and is clearly of interest to us, if only that more and more rightly damn his memory.

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    I assume that it would be alright, as long as you distanced yourself from the objectionable sections and stated that you were posting it for reference purposes only, sort of thing.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lgen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklrbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergnnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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