Rape In Berlin Women

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Through A Woman in Berlin, we get a glimpse of the lives of Berlin women during the days immediately after World War II in 1945. Many women were taken advantage of, coerced into sexual activities and even sexually assaulted in public. Although WWII had ended, the life of Berlin women did not improve. The author of the book chose to be anonymous, hiding her identity in order to avoid the shame and criticizing to be associated with her. In her narration, she accounted many aspects of the life of women in Berlin and documented many crimes that the Red Army soldiers had committed. Thousands of women were raped everyday in the Soviet’s occupation zone. Many first hand documents prove the happening of the mass rape in Berlin. Although rape…show more content…
The Russia media with the government propaganda, was a main cause of the mass rape in Berlin. According to Norman Naimark, one of the main motives behind the mass Soviets rape was “hate propaganda, and an allegedly fully demeaning picture of German women in the press” (72 Neimark). “We shall not speak any more. We shall not get excited. We shall kill. If you have not killed at least one German a day, you have wasted that day… If you killed one German, kill another – there is not thing funnier than for us than a pile of German corpses” Norman quotes a chant at the time in his book - The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation (72). This chant by Ilay Ehrenburg of hatred towards the Germans were so often “printed and repeated that they became national slogan” (72). These hate propagandas not only focused on the German army but also on the German people. In the later stage of the war, even German land became the target of insults and assaults. “On German soil there is only one master – the Soviet soldier, that he is both the judge and the punisher for the torments of his fathers and mothers, for the destroyed cities and villages…” was the final directive to Army upon crossing German borders (72). With these propagandas with absolutely brutal and inhumane words and ideas, Soviet soldiers went into Germany with strong hatred and an urge of revenge, which motivated the killing of German soldiers and men, raping and humiliating German women…show more content…
Another problem with the Red Army was that they did not have rules against fraternization with Germans, which caused a blurred line for many cases to be considered rape. In fact, such fraternization was a strategically considered by USSR superior with the purpose of winning over Germans favor in order to gain influence of their communism ideology. However, what happened was that many Soviet soldiers, especially Soviet officers had “occupation wives” like the author of A Women in Berlin. Of course, the only reason that many women chose to sleep with Soviet officers was to minimize any unwanted sex but that does not make such arrangement moral. In modern studies, rape is found to be a crime of violence. Rapists are often insecure about dominance, and rape feeds their ego for control and power. It is not about sexual needs. It was no different for the mass rape of the Soviet soldiers in post World War II. Susan Brown-miller, a pioneer in study of rape, notes that “armies of liberation tend to have more respect for local women than armies of conquest and subjugation” (107). Soviet soldiers only occasionally engaged in raping Polish women, while German women were prime targets of rape, which include rape in public and
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