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Dogdaddy

"A Woman in Berlin", By Anonymous

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I thought I had mentioned reading this book on this forum some time back, but after searching this section I couldn't find it so I'll proceed anew.. I first read this book in 2005, although it's been around for decades. At the time I had recently made an email friend in Ukraine after reading his grandfather's WWII story on the 'I Remember' web site. It is based on the personal experience of a young female journalist who was living in Berlin at the time of the city's capitulation to the Red Army in May, 1945 and the subsequent rape of (reported) several hundred thousand German women of all ages in Berlin by Russian soldiers. That figure could be as high as 2 million, as many were not reported and there were thousands of suicides in Berlin by women and men alike. Some German parents loyal to the Nazi Party chose to kill their children first and then commit suicide themselves rather than be subjected to Soviet rule and/or revenge they knew was coming after the atrocities that were commited by German soldiers to Russian civilians over the course of 5 years of Nazi occupation.

When this book was first published in Germany in 1958 it was met with extreme anger, as many thought it was an insult against German women's honor by the author, who was herself a victim who did what was necessary to survive, as did many other women who were left defenceless. I had a hard time putting this book down once I started reading it, so I was happy to see that a movie version was released in 2009, and available on Netflix. The cast includes many of the fine German actors and actresses who had major roles in "Downfall." This post has grown larger than I intended so I will close with a recommendation that you read the book and/or see the movie. Both are excellent in my opinion.

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I recently read an article about this film and the horrors german women suffered at the hands of the red army. horrific to know that they acted no better than the soldiers of tyranny they were suppose to be liberating europe from. These women were just as innocent as the women the nazis tortured. History should never be forgotten, or we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

 

 

 

Vee

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Nobody in the 20th century suffered as much as the people of Russia and the Soviet Union...first under Stalin, then the Germans and then back to Stalin again. There is a part in the book and the movie both where a Russian Soldier talks about what happened in his village when the Nazis came through it. The Germans raped and killed the women, then turned on the children. They held the small children by the ankles and then swung them around, bashing their heads against the buildings. If that had happened to my family I think I would have wanted to kill Germans until there was no more Germans left to kill. Most everybody in the western world knows about The Holocaust and the murdering of 6 million Jews, but not that many know of the magnitude of the atrocities the Soviet people suffered under the German occupation during WWII, which contributed to the retaliation by soldiers of the Red Army in 1945. I think the Cold War contributed to the lack of concern for the Russian people. Most of us including myself, grew up thinking of all of them as our natural enemies until the fall of communism. The more I learn about what happened to the people in other countries the greater my understanding of WWII in general. So many million innocents, from the people of Leningrad to the women of Berlin had their lives altered forever due to the greed of Hitler and the cruelty of Stalin! I have sympathy for all of them today.

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And all this was the result of the madness of just a few men who found themselves in the right place, right time, with the right abilities to lead. The only problem is the lead their peoples to evil depths that ended up causing the deaths of millions - on their neighbors' side as well as their own. I can't imagine the mental state of a Red Army soldier in Berlin that April-May. I suppose I can understand the human draw toward revenge - however you could visit that revenge on such a clear enemy. That doesn't make it right, of course. The bottom line is that countless people on boths sides killed as a result of their governments' actions.

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When people state, how can one person make a difference, well this is a fine example of how a few demented SOB's, can do to the entire world.

 

Getting off on a slight tangent, a friend of mine was over the other night, and his grade-school aged son is into history and especially WWII. He wants his son to see my documentary, etc., Well, he was telling us how the kid is enthralled with Hitler, and the dad is very upset. Mind you, this is not a nutty kid or anything, he is simply fascinated with how he took the world by the balls.

 

We told our buddy, don't be upset, for he will learn how bad Hitler was, when he continues to study. But our buddy reiterated, why is he interested in Hitler at ALL? Well I explained to him, it's the same reason hundreds of thousands of people during the 30's and 40's were. He grabbed people, got their attention and they were enthralled. He had a PERSONALITY! He took people who were so downtrodden after losing the first world war, and then going through the great depression and gave them a reason to live and hope for better times. It didn't matter how it was obtained; they just wanted results.

 

Take any group of people and feed them what they want to hear and BAM! They will close their eyes to all but the outcome.

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