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When the Soldiers Came/Post War Rape

Discussion in 'Post War 1945-1955' started by GRW, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Doesn't seem to be much in the way of actual evidence, rather than hearsay.
    "A million women were raped by Allied soldiers in Germany in the immediate aftermath of World War II, a new books claims.
    ‘When The Soldiers Came,’ by historian Miriam Gebhardt, is hailed as the definitive account of the treatment meted out to the defeated women of Nazi Germany which they remained silent about for decades out of shame and humiliaton.
    'At the very least 860,000 women and girls - and also men and young boys - were raped by the occupying Allied soldiers and their helpers. It happened everywhere,' begins the book.
    Until now it was widely thought that only the Red Army, which advanced on Germany with rape as a weapon sanctioned by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, committed the mass rapes upon tens of thousands of women, many of whom committed suicide.
    'Soldiers of the western Allies were also guilty,' said Mrs. Gebhardt, a renowned historian in Germany who tracked down some victims to interview them about their ordeal at the hands of Brtish and American soldiers.
    'I researched the book for over a year and-a-half,' she said. 'I wanted to tell the story of what 'happened from the perspective of the victims. I wanted to reconstruct the crimes as gently as I could.'
    She said the 'terrible crimes' did not only take place in the Soviet zones of occupation - long chronicled and well-known about - but also in French, British and American sectors.
    A familiar slogan of the times was: 'It took six years for the Americans to struggle against the German armies but it only took a day and a slab of chocolate for them to conquer German women.'
    But not all collaboration in the bedroom was voluntary, writes Gebhardt.
    She said the false impression grew up after the war that German women gave themselves to western soldiers because they brought with them things they desperately needed - nylons, food, cigarettes, coffee.
    'The impression grew that there was no rape in the west but rather a kind of prostitution grew up,' said the author.
    But in fact countless women were raped, she said, with soldiers believing they could treat the as they wanted after bearing coveted gifts."
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2975016/New-book-alleges-Allied-soldiers-raped-one-million-Germans-end-Second-World-War.html#ixzz3TF7eexPS
     
  2. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    When The Soldiers Came... Really? That's the title of the book?
     
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  3. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    *cough*
     
  4. SKYLINEDRIVE

    SKYLINEDRIVE Member

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    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2975016/New-book-alleges-Allied-soldiers-raped-one-million-Germans-end-Second-World-War.html#ixzz3TIYHml4a
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    Ok, this makes me take a very sceptical stance towards Mrs Gebhardt's claims. I want hard evidence and not some Alice Schwarzer like moaning. I gotta get the book!
     
  5. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I'm sure there were some rapes. But, the sort of mass thing being described is probably due to not wanting to admit, even to themselves, that they traded sex for food. For survival in a hungry time.
     
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  6. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    I'm putting it down as revisionist. There's no real evidence beyond hearsay, and most of the alleged perpetrators are dead and can't reply.
     
  7. SKYLINEDRIVE

    SKYLINEDRIVE Member

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    This puts a different light on Frau Gebhardt's work. Maybe someone ought to have a second look at the "Dottoressa's" thesis, she doesn't seem to have very high standards when it comes to research. It's already a shaky foundation if you take the reports of catholic priests as bare value! Many of them were die hard NAZI's till the last day, as were many of their protestant brethren! To make an extrapolation for the whole of Germany out of two hundred cases, all of them coming from one single source, a source that might not be neutral and trustworthy, is outright hilarious! It shows the poor standard of today's academia in Germany!
     
  8. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    I want to see her list or primary sources. Probably no longer than 5 lines of interviews.
     
  9. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Are we talking about the same defeated Germany here?!
    Well, for me these passages tell me all I need to know-






    In this one, it's suddenly gone from "Allied troops" to specifically US ones. That screams "agenda" at me-



    I would be very interested to see the political backgrounds of these historians.
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Some femenist would consider sex in such a situation to be "rape". Certain elements in a number of political discussions have found that if they redefine things then the data appears much more in their favor. Probably shouldn't continue in this line though as it could rapidly progress to stump material.
     
  11. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    The very definition of Revisionist history
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Actually "Revisionist history" has a long and honorable history itself. The term has only recently been coopted to what could be more accurately refered to as "Distortionist" (intentionally leaving out the word history) which IMO is unfortunate. There efforts extend to a lot more than redefining terms as well.
     
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  13. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Sounds like a load of crap.
     
  14. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    There is a place for revisiting long standing historic perceptions, especially those who attained a mythic quality.

    Undoubtable rapes occurred in the western occupation zones, but a figure as high as posited seems too far off the mark to believed.
     
  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The thread with the info from the 82's stay in Berlin after the war are worth examining in relation to these accusations.

    Here's the reference
    http://ww2tribute.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-82nd-airborne-divisions-occupation.html

    And Here's the thread it was mentioned in.
    http://www.ww2f.com/topic/27525-allied-forces-in-berlin-aug-1945/

    I think it mentions that there were rapes by American soldiers but it clearly was no where near the problem it was in the Soviet zone and indeed there were pretty strict and enforced (at least in the 82nds area) rules against even willing "fraternization".
     
  16. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    I do hope there are members of the academic populace, other than here of course :grad:, that are already drafting their rebuttals.
     
  17. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    All the young men were locked up in POW camps. Or dead. The women had to create a story about how they got by in those first years. Those stories get passed on, even if only whispered.

    Some women simply prostituted themselves, but I don't think that was the case for most of them. They simply took up with a soldier, or several soldiers, in a relationship(s) of convenience. It only becomes "rape" much later on when they are trying to regain their dignity.
     
  18. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    I remember a story where to explain how she got pregnant, a southern woman said that a muscket ball had been fired nearby (CIvili war), had passed through a man"s testicles and imbedded in her womb...histery is littererd with women trying to retain or protect their "reputation"...especially from their parents more than anyone else. Im sure there is a healthy degree of this going on...As for the rapes, im sure it happened, and on a huge scale, but these numbers? I would have expected far more official stories to come out by now...rape protects a person better than collusion...just my two cents.
     
  19. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    The simple fact of the matter is that there was little reason to rape. A woman could be had for a pack of Lucky Strikes. You could call that coercion, and it was certainly unfair and unkind, but the people in France, Denmark, Holland, etc, got first dibs on the food. Germany was in bad shape for several years and people, soldiers, are going to take advantage of that.
     
  20. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    No-one's claiming Allied troops were angels, but I would still want to see some solid evidence for the figures quoted in the book. It smacks of bandwagon-jumping to me.
     

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