Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

When the Soldiers Came/Post War Rape

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

  1. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,591
    Likes Received:
    302
    Location:
    Untersteiermark
    I have found an interesting passage in Antony Bevor's lecture at Lees-Knowles Lectures (Cambridge 2002-3, p 14):

    Berlin women, in another example of their grim humour, referred to American soldiers as the Russians with the well-ironed trousers.
     
  2. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,591
    Likes Received:
    302
    Location:
    Untersteiermark
    That is really an interesting observation. In the end they may manage to swap the roles of victims and perpetrators.

    Crimes committed during the Nazi occupation were so gruesome that a rape could be considered as a minor violation.
     
  3. harolds

    harolds Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,816
    Likes Received:
    331
    Tamino, I'm not sure of your point here. The victims were Italian civilians and the areas where these thing happened were under Allied control-even if just barely.
     
  4. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,591
    Likes Received:
    302
    Location:
    Untersteiermark
    Ah I understand. I have hit the "Quote" button at the wrong place. My reply refers to the post below by Pacifist. (Meanwhile I've corrected that error).

    But your post addressing contribution of the Algerians to the international raping gang-bang is rather interesting. It appears that every nation has contributed own "cultural" fingerprint to the orgy. Poor women... and poor young boys.

     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    The occupation forces did provide some food and indeed a fair amount of employment which came with an increased food ration. However food was in extremly short supply for a considerable time after the war (over a year from what I recall reading). Furthermore if there was a long term relationship with an allied soldier that also came with at least some implication of security.

    The article that's been posted on a couple of other threads including the other one discussing this book about the US airborne divisions stay in Berlin is of particular note in this regard.

    Some of them perhaps. In general though it doesn't look like it to me. In part because there has been a lot more studied in this regard.
     
  6. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    20,173
    Likes Received:
    2,683
    Location:
    Stirling, Scotland

    That doesn't prove she knows what she's talking about, evidenced by this passage in the Spiegel-
    "The total is not the result of deep research in archives across the country. Rather, it is an extrapolation. Gebhardt makes the assumption that 5 percent of the "war children" born to unmarried women in West Germany and West Berlin by the mid-1950s were the product of rape. That makes for a total of 1,900 children of American fathers. Gebhardt further assumes that on average, there are 100 incidents of rape for each birth. The result she arrives at is thus 190,000 victims."
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/book-claims-us-soldiers-raped-190-000-german-women-post-wwii-a-1021298.html

    In other words, it's guesswork. If a first year undergrad had produced work like that, they would have had their backsides chewed. The author having a Doctorate makes it even more ludicrous. And why are only US troops singled out? I still say there's a political angle to this.
    I haven't changed my opinion on it being revisionist BS designed to sell a book.
     
    KJ Jr likes this.
  7. m kenny

    m kenny Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Messages:
    1,645
    Likes Received:
    225
    Much like Beevor's Soviet 'rape numbers'in his Berlin book then?
     
  8. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,329
    Likes Received:
    1,709
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    That's a pretty good summary of the flaws in the research, Gordon!

    Aside from the "just Americans" angle (forgetting that there were many foreign troops in Germany), you also had a general shortage of German men, so you're counting the usual illegitimate births due to relationships with other Germans who were unable (married, unemployed) or unwilling to marry and take responsibility.

    And, as I point out, there is surely a great temptation for a woman to claim rape rather than admit they were in "the trade" in one fashion or another.
     
  9. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    3,148
    Likes Received:
    359
    Location:
    New England
    Thank you Gordon. Couldn't of said it better myself.
     
  10. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    3,148
    Likes Received:
    359
    Location:
    New England
    Can you elaborate?
     
  11. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    It wouldn't even have to be a case of being "in the trade". It could simply be a case a love affair that wasn't going to end in marraige. Claiming it was one of the occupation troops means it's pretty easy to explain why he can't be found so no worries about incriminating an innocent or someone whom there might still be a chance of a relation with.

    There's also a serious question of when does it become "rape" how much pressure can be applied if any? Some modern feminist would say if there is any pressure it is rape even if the male isn't really applying the pressure. If that sort of defintion is being used then the numbers become more reasonable but the basic assumptions become open to question.
     
  12. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,591
    Likes Received:
    302
    Location:
    Untersteiermark
    This is exactly why I have initially shaken my head in disbelief but after a serious consideration I have realized that the point is not the exact number but the order of magnitude. Let me explain this.

    Clearly, in the chaos of defeated Germany, occupation authorities have not addressed this phenomena adequately. However, the fact that precise data do not exist does not mean that rapes have not happened and, of course, that does not mean that the phenomena has occurred at marginal levels. The absence of direct data means that a quantitative study of rapes must inevitably rely on estimates. This is not a flaw of the study but a problem caused by the occupation authorities.

    In this case the use of extrapolation is well founded. Extrapolation is a scientific method of estimating values beyond the boundaries of the observed range. The author of the study uses the existing quantitative data on “war children” born by unmarried women and then applies reasonable assumptions to arrive the number of 190.000 rapes.
    Should the occupation authorities have addressed the problem adequately, the number of rapes could have been more reliable.

    Now, let us assume the worst case that the chosen method of estimate was 100% in error, the number of rapes would still have been between 95.000 and 285.000. This number is not the reason for relieved statement: “the phenomena was marginal”. Quite in contrary, this study points to a shockingly sad aspect of occupation of Germany.
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    Indeed but even the order of magnitude is in question.

    It may or may not be a flaw of the study. It very much depens on what data is available and how it is used. Whether or not the problem is "caused by the occupation authorities" is also rather an open issue. Indeed it's not even clear what you consider "the problem" at this point.

    To the extent it is used in this study? I don't think so. Extrapolation is well recognised as a flawed technique that becomes even more flawed the futher you get from your last real data point. In this case it's even worse as it looks like it's an "extrapolation" from a single data point. Normally one extrapolates by getting several data ponits and drawing the best line or curve throgh them then plugging in the coordinate of interest. However you can't determine a line much less a curve based on a single point.

    There is some serious question of just how "reasonable" her assumptions are. Indeed from the discussion here it looks to me like rather than being reasonable they are seriously flawed.
    What did the authorities do and what coud they have done to "address the problem adequately"? Could any reasonable actions on their part really have made the numbers more "reliable". Given the choice I'd rather see efforts that limited the numbers rather that increase the accuracy of the same. In any case you have made a number of assumptions in the above sentence that at best are not well supported.

    But that's hardly likely to be the case now is it? Indeed the estimate seems designed to be on the high side and given the flaws it's not at all unreasonable that it's off by more than an order of magnitude.

    I'd be reluctant to refer to any rape as being a "marginal" phenomena. However it's not at all clear that it was anywhere near the problem that this study implies. Indeed the severity of the flaws in this study may result in the trvilization of the issue to some extent due to the counter reaction to them.
     
  14. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    3,148
    Likes Received:
    359
    Location:
    New England
    Well said. I agree with Iwd and to a certain degree, Tamino as well. It's unfortunate either way, but this extrapolation is very skewed and those numbers based on averages of improper data are suspect. I am sure the numbers are high, but it's nearly impossible, with the lack of evidence, to suggest numbers of that great amount without said evidence.
     
  15. m kenny

    m kenny Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Messages:
    1,645
    Likes Received:
    225
    Tamino likes this.
  16. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,329
    Likes Received:
    1,709
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    Even calling it "the trade" is a somewhat squishy term. Just as rape becomes an imprecise term when there is desperation and hunger (and perhaps dependent children) on one side, and direct or even implied pressure on the other, so too is prostitution when the same pressures are there. Doubtless, most of these women didn't think of themselves as prostitutes. It was just something they did when they ran out of options, even if it was something repeated many times.

    I'm kind of thinking of my own youth when you might have a lot to drink and wake up in a strange bed with some young lady who also had a lot to drink. Today, especially around colleges, that is often characterized as "rape" simply because the female was drunk. Perhaps it is sometimes, but most of the time I doubt it. It's just a woman regretting what happened and casting blame.

    And this study is being drawn from accounts told after events and from births that happened after events, and let's not forget much of this is drawn from church accounts - the least likely venue where a woman might say that she was dating a GI for a little food and security, or trading herself for the same.
     
  17. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,591
    Likes Received:
    302
    Location:
    Untersteiermark
    Thanks Kenny, that link contains indeed valuable information.

    It appears that evidence against both American and Soviet rapists is circumstantial but convincing, to me. In both cases, allegations are founded on estimates, not really on more complex methodology of extrapolation which involves mathematical quantitative model. (LWD has correctly observed over there, the methodology applied in the both cases can not be ellevated to the level of "extrapolation". Actually, the method used is ordinary estimate based on certain rellevant data.)

    Beevor is quite another story. His approach is rather narrative, depicting heavily drunken Soviet soldiers involved in gang-bang orgies. His stories are probably founded on real events but he lacks seriousness of exact scientist. However, he is silent about the rapes that happened at his side of the front line.
     
  18. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,591
    Likes Received:
    302
    Location:
    Untersteiermark
    This question is addressed to KodiakBeer and to KodiakBeer only:

    Did Assange rape or did he not rape that Swedish woman?
     
  19. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    It may have been in the thread where the link to the account of the 82(?)'s stay in Berlin after the war was chronicled but I recently read what may be a very telling account by a German civilian in the East. They said that the front line Red Army troops were actually polite and helpful but warned them about the follow on troops. That is consistent with what I've read probably in part due to front line troops being more disciplined. The account of the 82's stay is also quite telling. Apparently the anti fraternization rules were enforced for them but they encountered numerous instances of Red Army troops looting and raping. If you haven't read it I do recomend it. It should go without saying though that the 82 was obviously a combat unit on occupation duty where it's not clear that the same could be said of the Red Army troops they encountered. Indeed I suspect they weren't simply from the accounts.
     
  20. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    15,146
    Likes Received:
    4,668
    I've read the same thing. John Toland, IIRC. Probably The Last 100 Days.
     

Share This Page