142) Systematic Rape by the Russians

The following account was very interesting, because the victims were among the ranks of the villains. Not just any villain, but one of the most famous bad guys of history.
What's the idea? Is Holdwater some kind of secret skinhead... like the by now familiar gag of a black man in a  Ku Klux Klan robe? Any visit to a "white supremacist" site, and it's plain to see a favorite target is Turks. Makes no difference to them if Turks are fellow Caucasians... these neo-Nazis speak the same language of hateful Armenians and Greeks who enjoy lambasting the Turks as "Mongols." (Poor Mongols.)
If ever there were such a thing as an "evil empire," it was the Third Reich. It's unbelievable there are neo-Nazis today who have the audacity to deny the Holocaust, because unlike the Frank Pallone (congressional synonym for the rhyme-word, "baloney") Armenian "Genocide," the evidence for  the Holocaust is ridiculously incontestable.
Let's not forget, in the shadow of the Holocaust, the Nazis' crimes were numbingly prevalent in the countries they occupied... and there is one country that really got iced. We often don't hear about it, but there were over twenty million Soviet people who died once the Nazis blitzkrieged their way in. Over twenty million! Beyond the scope of comprehension... Poor, poor Russian and Soviet people.
So when it was the Russians' turn to get revenge, they didn't pull any punches. That makes the reverse side of the equation extremely interesting, because we don't hear about it, and we don't want to hear about it... the Nazis were monsters, and they deserved a taste of their medicine, and more.
However, having been born and bred in a country that sometimes enjoys boiling  issues down to black and white (and what country on earth is an exception to that mode of human nature behavior?), particularly in the case of Turks where the effects of Turcophobia through the years have been so rampagingly successful, Americans have been known to pick Turks as the number one race they love to hate (without knowing why... they just know Turks are "bad"; this is one reason why fanatical Armenians and Greeks dutifully negate anything that remotely approaches Turkish positivism in the media, to perpetrate this "bad"), I reject the comic book treatment of all Germans during the Nazi period as monsters.
This is why the stir caused by "Hitler's Willing Executioners" seemed unfair to me. Maybe I'll think differently if I read the book, but the idea that there is something akin to a human gene that breeds evil is very disturbing.
And this is why it's very dangerous to generalize. I have been guilty of generalizing on this site, too. I say the Armenians are as single-willed a monolithic people as have ever existed... and the pattern of their lies and deception over the years is so mind-boggling, I have good reason to arrive at such a conclusion. However, I know the Armenians can be wonderful human beings; it's mainly the obsessed, fanatical ones we hear from, and the silent majority (well, in the Armenians' case, it unfortunately seems to be the silent minority) never make their views known. How many Armenians do we know who publicly proclaim there was no Armenian "Genocide"? (I only know of one, and his views may be accessed under "COMMENT.") Even among those who believe the Armenian "Genocide" is too much of a "fact," one must still admit the book is far from closed on the topic, in the neutral world. How could there be no Armenians who deviate from the monolith? We are all individuals with independent minds, I'd like to think.
I know the Greeks can be wonderful human beings as well, several of whom were not just regular friends of mine while growing up in New York City, but best friends. I am predisposed to be friendly toward these two Orthodox "pals" of the Turks anyway, because not only does it make more sense to me to  stress what we have in common rather than our differences, but that is the way I was raised... and I was no exception; the Turkish way is to be free of hatred. I think the Russian people are great, too... one of my serious girlfriends was Russian, and getting an intimate look at New York City's Russian community (Jewish, yes; but 100% Russian) solidified my already pre-existing positive "Russo" feelings. (Hmm. Guess I must be more of a proponent of Locke, rather than Hobbes, without being aware of it. For God's sake, I'm telling you, people are good!)
However, the idea of this site is to provide the Other Side of the Falsified Genocide. And in order to help make that case, it is just one kick in the head to see how the Orthodox folks go violently nuts when they get the upper hand. It's been historically true with the Greeks,  true with the Serbs, and especially true with the Armenians... when we look at the massacres and crimes they committed in the 19th Century, the World War I era, the World War II era, and the 1990s era. However, the ones who helped showed them the model to follow were the Russians. As an imperial power, they just went bananas during periods of their ethnic cleansing history... and we rarely hear about the victims, even when the Russians behave abominably today.

By 1900, approximately 1,400,000 Turkish and Caucasian Muslims had been forced out by Russians. One third of those had died, either murdered or victims of starvation and disease. Between 125,000 and 150,000 Armenians emigrated from Ottoman Anatolia to Erivan and other parts of the Russian southern Caucasus.
This was the toll of Russian imperialism. Not only had one-and-a-half million people been exiled or killed, but ethnic peace had been destroyed.
Justin McCarthy
Rape was used as a genocidal weapon by the Serbs during at least the Bosnian chapter of the Yugoslavian crack-up, and certainly Armenians used this "tool" during their hateful extermination process during the World War I era... since "getting sullied" is particularly devastating to a Moslem woman. (It's a cultural matter; Bosnians were not particularly religious.) Particularly since the Bosnian conflict, rape has been officially put on the table as an ethnic cleansing method. (In the case of many Moslem women, being "unclean" can put a halt to future sexual activities; among women in general, the violent assault can result in a psychological rejection of sex. Result: dead halt to procreation possibilities.)
The motivation for the Russians (not just the Russians, of course; there were non-Orthodox people in the Soviet Army, including Moslems. However, the Russians were in charge) in the following episode was not ethnic cleansing, but revenge. However, the systematic pattern involved makes it more profound than simply isolated cases of vindictiveness, here and there.
Is revenge justifiable, even when the crimes committed by the original perpetrators were supremely horrendous? It's easy to speak high and mightily, and bring up civilization as the principle that separates us from the animals (although since animals kill only for food, in a sense, they can ironically be more civilized), but we all can be susceptible to revenge. However, systematic revenge is a whole different ball of wax... especially in the hands of professional soldiers. Consider: post W.W.I Turkish nationalist troops had every reason to be revengeful for the terrible crimes of the Armenians, but true eyewitness reports indicate Turkish soldiers did not go on a revenge spree. While the general concept of soldierly lawlessness certainly must not have exempted them completely, one cannot argue about the absence of a systematic pattern of unlawful behavior... when the clean fighting Turks could have easily justified their time to get even.
While we can simple-mindedly look the other way because the victims in the account were "Nazis," on closer inspection we are reminded the victims were no less human beings than you or I.
German rape victims find a voice at last
After 50 years a UK author has enabled countless women to admit their ordeal at the hands of Soviet troops. Kate Connolly reports from Berlin
The Europe pages - Observer special
Sunday June 23, 2002 The Observer
A best-selling book has prompted victims of one of the twentieth century's most tragic dramas to break their silence.
German women have come forward after 50 years to speak of their appalling treatment at the hands of Soviet soldiers, who raped their way across Germany for four years from 1945. Their ordeal has been revealed thanks to Antony Beevor, whose book Berlin: The Downfall 1945 came out in the UK to great acclaim last month.
In his book, Beevor, a Sandhurst recruit turned writer, uses previously unpublished material from Russian archives in Moscow to describe vividly the horrific suffering of an estimated two million German women and girls who were gang-raped by drunken Soviet soldiers as they made their way across the country with the aim of forcing the Nazis to retreat.
Among the victims were women who became prominent figures, including Hannelore Kohl, wife of the former Chancellor, Helmut. Mrs Kohl, who committed suicide last year, was raped along with her mother at the age of 12 as they failed to escape on a train bound for Dresden.
Beevor's book has unleashed an emotional response from scores of victims, mainly living in Britain, and their relatives, who have contacted him to express their gratitude that the story of an entire generation is finally being told.
'I was carrying out orders to bury some dead Hitler Youth boys when they found me,' Martha Dowsey says gently and slowly with a heavy German accent. 'Six Red Army soldiers with blackened faces held me down on the ground close to the graves and raped me one by one.' She repeats over and over: 'I'm not lying, I'm not, you must believe me.'
The housebound 81-year-old is understandably nervous about telling her story, not least because it has taken decades for her to find anyone either in her adopted home of Britain or Germany who would believe her experiences of life in post-war Berlin as Stalin's troops marched in. For years the Red Army soldiers were seen as the heroes who freed Germany from the shackles of the Nazis.
But for Martha, and hundreds of thousands of others, they were anything but. 'They were destructive and evil and almost ruined my life. I never told my children — they would not have understood - and my husband knew something terrible had happened to me, but was kind enough never to ask,' she says from her home in Clapham Common, south London.
Only now has Martha Dowsey née Schröder gathered the courage to speak, thanks to Beevor's book. The victims — considered by the Russians, Beevor says, to be 'casual rights of conquest' in return for crimes committed by the Wehrmacht in Russia — were as young as 12 and as old as 80 or more. Thanking him for his book, one woman living in Little Hampton, West Sussex, said: 'I have so many memories. I'd thought of writing an autobiography, but people would not believe the things I have survived... I think I was a little insane afterwards.'
Beevor said he had been stunned by the response. 'A lot of these women have obviously barely talked about this maelstrom of horror they experienced, and suddenly they've been plunged into discussing things they haven't even been able to tell their closest family members,' he said.
One German woman, Jutte from Preston, wrote to him: 'Often I was tempted to talk about it, but I realised that no one would believe me or would interpret my story as excessive self-pity. What you have written is a way of showing how suffering can be endured.'
A woman whom Beevor visited in Berlin told him she had garrotted a soldier with his gun as he had tried to rape her mother. 'Only later,' said Beevor, 'did I realise that she was the one who had been raped and had invented the story because she was so traumatised and was desperate for it to be true.'
In their letters the women confirmed the accounts in Beevor's book of how, rather than befall the same fate as their neighbours, many tried to kill themselves and their children by cutting their wrists. Others hanged themselves. Reports say classrooms of schoolgirls committed suicide en masse.
Beevor details the horrific consequences of events that resonated for years, affecting women's attitude towards sex and causing huge social problems between men and women.
By the late 1940s — the rapes went on for three years or more — the Soviet troops had left behind them a broken people. According to some reports, 90 per cent of Berlin women were infected with venereal diseases, while Beevor cites one doctor who said that, of the 100,000 women estimated to have been raped in Berlin, a tenth of them died, mostly from suicide. The mortality figures for the approximately 1.4 million raped in East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia, he says, are believed to have been much higher.
Of those who became pregnant, an estimated 90 per cent had abortions. Those who did give birth often gave their children up for adoption because of the shame. In 1946, 3.7 per cent of children born in Berlin had Russian fathers. Even now, says Helke Sander, a German left-wing activist and author of The Liberator and the Relieved, an extensive 1992 study of women who were raped, the consequences are still felt.
'There are women who have never been able to talk about it and whose husbands forbade it. There are their children, who are finding out for the first time that they are the product of rape, and there are those who attempt to look in vain for their fathers.'
Beevor has shed considerable light on a chapter in German history, the extent of which has remained largely unknown outside Germany and which in the country continues to be a taboo subject.
In Russia, Berlin: The Downfall has been thoroughly denounced. Its ambassador to Britain called it 'an act of blasphemy'. When it is published in Germany in the autumn, Beevor has been warned it is likely to cause a storm. The daily Die Welt has already described it as 'an epic shock' that reveals 'a previously unknown chronicle of the rape atrocities which took place as the Red Army made its way from East Prussia to Berlin'.
Having already been denounced in Russia, Beevor is prepared for the diplomatic row the book is capable of unleashing between Berlin and Moscow. 'This is a subject of huge delicacy, and there's tremendous reluctance on the part of the German government to bring this up and thus upset the new relationship with Putin and the Kremlin,' he says.
But it will also hit the market as Germany finds itself in the thick of a 'normalisation' debate in which it attempts to take a broader approach to its history. Die Welt says that after 'half a century of inner chill', during which Germany has attempted to reflect on and atone for its Nazi past but has paid scant regard to the way ordinary citizens suffered, Beevor's book is proof that to move forward Germans need to reassess themselves not just as persecutors, but also as victims.
© Holdwater 


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