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Did Allied Troops Rape 285,000 German Women? That's The Shocking Claim In A New Book.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3011930/Did-Allied-troops-rape-285-000-German-women-s-shocking-claim-new-book-German-feminist-exposing-war-crime-slandering-heroes.html

However, a new book published in Germany makes the shocking and disturbing claim that the Americans raped a staggering 190,000 women in the decade from the invasion until West Germany became a sovereign country in 1955.

In When The Soldiers Came, historian Professor Miriam Gebhardt also suggests the British raped 45,000 German women, and the French a further 50,000.

..

According to an official U.S. Army report, American troops committed 121 rapes when they were stationed in Britain.

Because rape is a notoriously under-reported crime, the true figure is doubtless far higher.

According to the criminologist Sir Leon Radzinowicz, only five per cent of rapes are ever reported, which suggests the Americans could have raped some 2,400 British women.

It is impossible to ever know the truth, but such a figure, although distressing, does seem low compared to the fact 1.5 million U.S. troops were eventually stationed here.

However, it was during the invasion of continental Europe after D-Day that an increasing number of GIs turned to rape.

Although France was an ally, that did not stop U.S. troops from raping an estimated 3,600 French women.

..

So where does she get her high figures of 190,000 rapes by the Americans, and 45,000 by the British?

According to the U.S. Army's figures, American troops carried out 552 rapes in Germany. Even if one applies the 'five per cent rule', then this would mean that the total figure is around 11,000.

This is a shockingly high number, to be sure, but nowhere near that of nearly 200,000 by U.S. troops alone.

Instead, Dr Gebhardt has looked at childbirth statistics in West Germany, and has assumed that five per cent of the children born to unmarried women from 1945 until 1955 were as a result of rape.

Of these, she says 1,900 were born to American men.

Even if one were able to accept these assumptions, Dr Gebhardt then takes things to an implausible level. Estimating that for each of these 1,900 births there were 100 rapes, she arrives at her bizarre figure of a total of 190,000 German rape victims.

Not sure her figures are anywhere near accurate as surely there would be plenty of anecdotal evidence to support it?

However the official figures are probably an underestimate.

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This is important why? Rape (against both men and women) has happened in war since the beginning of time. It was't being used or supported as a terror tactic by the western army leaders (unlike Russians, Japanese, etc). Almost all of the victims and perps will be dead. More hang wringing demanded from white western men, for no valid reason except as part of the 'isn't the west terrible' meme, as far as I can see.

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Rape is a weapon in war. It has been known for decades that the Russians raped an estimated 200,000 females in Berlin, of all ages, after the fall of Berlin.

War gives the opprtunity to men who are pre-disposed to rape to do what they like and, something that is not discussed, some men who think that they might die soon - who would never consider rape in a time of peace - might well consider rape if they are living a life where they think that they may die any at any moment.

The above claims need some serious investigation of her figures and how she came to them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_during_the_occupation_of_Germany#British_troops

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3011930/Did-Allied-troops-rape-285-000-German-women-s-shocking-claim-new-book-German-feminist-exposing-war-crime-slandering-heroes.html

Not sure her figures are anywhere near accurate as surely there would be plenty of anecdotal evidence to support it?

However the official figures are probably an underestimate.

Its a war. Young men in an occupied country.

I lived next door to a German. He stayed in the UK after being a prisoner of war in WWII.

He said that when berlin fell, the women in the family ran towards the allies.

Their thinking was better to risk a possible rape by US/UK rather than definite rape and probable death by the Russians.

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Rape is rape, and I really think that though western army leaders do not regard it as a weapon, they silently condone it.

Ultimately, whether you rape a woman or share your ration with her, depends on you being a human or a ...

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And thousands of German civilians burnt to death in the firestorm that was Dresden.

Shocking things happen in war; people get killed for starters.

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Antony Beevor describes it as the "greatest phenomenon of mass rape in history", and has concluded that at least 1.4 million women were raped in East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia alone

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_during_the_occupation_of_Germany

I note the part that American soldiers performing rape would be shot.... if they were negroes.

Or this bit

A senior British Armychaplain following the troops reported that there was a 'good deal of rape going on'. He then added that "those who suffer [rape] have probably deserved it.

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If you look at the above link I posted at the bottom of the wiki article are links to articles about rapes in the liberation of Poland, France, etc, along with rapes in Japan. Don't forget what the Japanese did to the Chinese and Koreans - mass rapes there also.

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Shocking? Well, it's a viewpoint. It would certainly be surprising if there hadn't been hundreds of thousands.

And that'll be a much tighter definition of rape, too. None of the nonsense about too young or drunk for her "consent" to be legally valid.

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I remember reading in Cornelius Ryan's 'The Last Battle' - about the battle for Berlin - the story of a Russian officer whose unnit had taken a posh house on the outskirts of Berlin.

The officer fund himself walking around the house looking for something to drink. In a bathroom hung the body of a German officer who had committed suicide and nearby his men were gang-raping the dead officer's wife and daughter. Or something like that.

IIRC the officer said that he knew that he should have stopped the rapes but that he was war weary and had seen much worse atrocities carried out by the Germans.

Two wrongs do not make a right but it is impossible for us to understand how men who had spent several years fighting a hellish war - and having seen what the Germans had done - must have felt by that point.

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The figures are estimates are based on child birth statistics from 1945-55

The fact is that in 1945 Germany was a ruin and the country was on the edge of starvation

Many German women were more or less were forced to turn to prostitution to feed and clothe themselves and their families

Given those circumstance most western allied troops and particularly US GIs would not need to resort to rape since they possessed the tradable commodities such as food, cigarettes, blankets, clothing etc would buy them all the sexual gratification they needed.

Now I suppose some feminists might argue that prostitution forced on individuals by poverty is a form of rape but I am not sure that it satisfies the legal definition of the term

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The figures are estimates are based on child birth statistics from 1945-55

The fact is that in 1945 Germany was a ruin and the country was on the edge of starvation

Many German women were more or less were forced top turn to prostitution to feed and clothe themselves and their families

Given those circumstance most western allied troops and particularlt US GIs would not need to resort to rape since they possessed the tradable commodities such as food, cigarettes, blankets, clothing etc would buy them all the sexual gratification they needed.

Now I suppose some feminists might argue that prostitution forced on individuals by poverty is a form of rape but I am not sure that it satisfies the legal definition of the term

I don't think the writer does context.

As you correctly surmise, its an entirely explainable phenomenon.

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That's what men do in war. Not much can be done about it, really.

Worth noting that men have also been raped throughout history as well - as a form of humilation carried out by the victors.

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The figures are estimates are based on child birth statistics from 1945-55

The fact is that in 1945 Germany was a ruin and the country was on the edge of starvation

Many German women were more or less were forced to turn to prostitution to feed and clothe themselves and their families

Given those circumstance most western allied troops and particularly US GIs would not need to resort to rape since they possessed the tradable commodities such as food, cigarettes, blankets, clothing etc would buy them all the sexual gratification they needed.

Now I suppose some feminists might argue that prostitution forced on individuals by poverty is a form of rape but I am not sure that it satisfies the legal definition of the term

And how many women (who had lost a partner in the fighting/thought they could die in the next bombing raid etc.) who willingly had sex with a soldier, and got pregnant, later said they were raped to explain things to their family and neighbours? Not saying rape didn`t happen on all sides, just that like modern claims of rape the stats are likely to be unknowable.

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have been watching the famous series "The World at War" from some time ago, currently re-running.

An eposide about the German collapse on the Eastern Front openly discussed the raping of German women by Russian Soldiers as they came across Germany and into Berlin.

It was, according to the witnesses on the program, a fact of life.

The Germans did the same when the destroyed the Ukraine. (Ironic that the current propaganda claims the Ukranians have a particular hate of the Russians for what they did to them in the war)

So, no, the author is rewriting history to claim the raping is now beng revealed as a "shock". The whole fracking war was a shock, and a thought for the 20million Germans, the 20 million Russians and all the rest that gave the ultimate price, would, in my opinion be more appropriate. Being raped, on the face of it, on top of the mass starvations and executions, sounds quite a light price to pay for survival.

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I remember reading in Cornelius Ryan's 'The Last Battle' - about the battle for Berlin - the story of a Russian officer whose unnit had taken a posh house on the outskirts of Berlin.

The officer fund himself walking around the house looking for something to drink. In a bathroom hung the body of a German officer who had committed suicide and nearby his men were gang-raping the dead officer's wife and daughter. Or something like that.

IIRC the officer said that he knew that he should have stopped the rapes but that he was war weary and had seen much worse atrocities carried out by the Germans.

Two wrongs do not make a right but it is impossible for us to understand how men who had spent several years fighting a hellish war - and having seen what the Germans had done - must have felt by that point.

Some years ago I was talking to a Greek Cypriot neighbour, who had been a very young officer in charge of a platoon at the time of the troubles. He told me they were in possession of a Turkish-side village with lots of women and children, and he had been very vividly aware of how little it would have taken for his men - nice, ordinary family men - to turn into wild animals. He held up a finger and thumb a whisker apart and said it would only have taken that much, for him to look away, or show by the most minute gesture that it was OK, for them to wreak God alone knew what on that village. He said it was a very salutary and sobering experience that he would never forget.

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Rape is used as a weapon in African conflicts, ditto in the Balkans and also now in Syria/Iraq. It would happen here and in Western Europe if such conflicts happened on our territory. Human nature I hate to say.

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Or.. there are always people who would rape or carry out other crimes against humanity living amongst us all the time, but it is only when law and order falls apart that they find their opportunity. I don't think it is any more organised than it being perpetrated by the worst of the mob.

Yes. Very much so.

I also think that war can change even the most law-abiding of men who can end up doing terrible things.

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A couple of histories of 1945 I've read repeat anecdotes from German civilians who were warned by Soviet front line combat officers that there would be no trouble from their (disciplined) men but that the second line, support troops would be something else. The troops drafted in from the Far East of the Soviet Union being (allegedly) the most extreme. If there's any truth to that, maybe the rape was not the product of being desensitised by combat but more about young men being able to do what they wanted to a subjugated, alien people.

Russian propaganda was pretty extreme, borderline genocidal, comparable at times with the Nazi stuff. Though I've just noticed that the wikipedia entry on the most notorious Bolshevik propagandist has a stab at rehabilitating his reputation.

Some of the accounts of the rapes committed by Soviets go way, way beyond sexual gratification.

I suspect that, in the past, rape was seen as a way of sealing victory, leaving the victors 'mark' on subsequent generations of conquered people.

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A couple of histories of 1945 I've read repeat anecdotes from German civilians who were warned by Soviet front line combat officers that there would be no trouble from their (disciplined) men but that the second line, support troops would be something else. The troops drafted in from the Far East of the Soviet Union being (allegedly) the most extreme. If there's any truth to that, maybe the rape was not the product of being desensitised by combat but more about young men being able to do what they wanted to a subjugated, alien people.

Russian propaganda was pretty extreme, borderline genocidal, comparable at times with the Nazi stuff. Though I've just noticed that the wikipedia entry on the most notorious Bolshevik propagandist has a stab at rehabilitating his reputation.

Some of the accounts of the rapes committed by Soviets go way, way beyond sexual gratification.

I suspect that, in the past, rape was seen as a way of sealing victory, leaving the victors 'mark' on subsequent generations of conquered people.

The brutal treatment of German civilians by Soviet troops seems to have been a quasi official policy sanctioned by Stalin and his generals. It was followed as the USSR conquered eastern Germany but then was almost as suddenly stopped after the Potsdam conference when Stalin decided that a compliant east German population and functioning economy was required in the German lands he had conquered.

There must have also been many instances of rape in the areas occupied by western armies but it was never an officially tolerated and those charged with the offence were subject to military court martial and quite severe punishment on conviction.

The problem with this supposed 'study' is that it uses birth rates and illegitimacy as a basis for calculating the number of rapes by a foreign occupying troops in Germany. Unfortunately much the same statistics can be produced for war time Britain which was never conquered. The truth is that the presence of US troops who were over sexed, over paid and over here induced similar sorts of results in ration starved Britain where women with absent spouses often found GIs bearing nylons and unobtainable commodities a similar temptation. In fact this was a point not lost on Nazi propagandists during the war who regularly used it to try and stir up dissension amongst their allied opponents.

With regard to British occupation of parts of Germany after 1945 this is actually one case where this country does not deserve a slagging off since it had one of the most difficult jobs in its zone with the largest number of mouths to feed, one of the devastated areas to rebuild and the least resources. It needs to be remembered that one of the reasons that British civilans rations were so restricted in the immediate post war period - (often being less than in the war itself) was because the UK also had to attempt to feed the German civilians who were now is responsibility.

http://www.historyandpolicy.org/policy-papers/papers/germany-1945-1949-a-case-study-in-post-conflict-reconstruction

It might be argued that the start of the reconstruction of parts of western Germany was probably Field Marshal Montgomery's greatest achievement not his victories in North Africa or his role in planning D Day.

BTW it is worth noting that 10,000 British soldiers and officials involved in the occupation ended up marrying German women.

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The figures are estimates are based on child birth statistics from 1945-55

The fact is that in 1945 Germany was a ruin and the country was on the edge of starvation

Many German women were more or less were forced to turn to prostitution to feed and clothe themselves and their families

Given those circumstance most western allied troops and particularly US GIs would not need to resort to rape since they possessed the tradable commodities such as food, cigarettes, blankets, clothing etc would buy them all the sexual gratification they needed.

Now I suppose some feminists might argue that prostitution forced on individuals by poverty is a form of rape but I am not sure that it satisfies the legal definition of the term

Yep. Hard to imagine there wasn't a lot of that going on. In addition to the traditional rape.

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It might be possible to improve the estimates by applying the same methodoology to the russian sector, and comparing results.

It should be possible to get a better estimate of the russian rapes, due to the fact that the numbers were larger, and that it was openly discussed.

I have seen or read occasional reports in the german media of american and french rapes and mistreatment of prisoners, but never any allegations against british (firebombing, and aerial bombing generally, aside). Obviously there would have been incidents, but hopefully they were relatively rare. Probably benefitting from our national hang up about sex.

German POWs were used as forced labour and for minefield clearing by the Fench after the war.

We really should try a get involved in war less often

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