Friday, July 17, 2009

A Woman in Berlin

From NPR:

"Silence Broken On Red Army Rapes In Germany"
by Eric Westervelt

This week, the American premiere of the German film A Woman in Berlin brings new attention to an issue long considered a taboo in Germany: the mass rape of women by Soviet Red Army soldiers after the fall of Hitler's Third Reich. The movie is based on the real diary of an anonymous Berlin woman. Historians believe some 2 million German women were raped after Soviet and Allied forces defeated Hitler's army in the spring of 1945....

Dr. Phillip Kuwert, a senior physician at the University of Greifswald's department of psychotherapy and psychiatry, estimates that about 200,000 children were conceived by native German women raped by Russian soldiers.


Donald Yerxa said...

Max Hastings covers this topic candidly in his superb treatment of the end of WWII in Europe: Armageddon.

Lisa Clark Diller said...

I can't decide whether to get really outraged about stuff like this, or to remind myself of how terribly normal it is. Women's bodies are always loot (booty???) in wartime, always part of the landscape of violence. In the classroom, my students get distracted by rape while I want to situate it in the ordinariness of women's lives, in the context of the larger hardship and ugliness of war--all without detracting from the horror that it is. I'm not sure why, but I find this a hard task.