The German women raped and forced into sexual slavery at the end of WW2 are still among the most forgotten, suppressed, ridiculed victims of war in history 


"Kill! Kill! In the German race there is nothing but evil; not one among the living, not one among the yet unborn but is evil! Follow the precepts of Comrade Stalin. Stamp out the fascist beast once and for all in its lair! Use force and break the racial pride of these German women. Take them as your lawful booty. Kill! As you storm onward, kill, you gallant soldiers of the Red Army."

Ilya Ehrenburg, Soviet Propagandist and Demagogue

"It was evening when we drove into Neidenburg," Kopelev wrote. It was a small town, meaner than Insterburg, and like all the others it was almost deserted. The Red Army had torched the place. Through the smoke, the officer made out the body of a dead old woman. "Her dress was ripped," he saw, and "a telephone receiver reposed between her scrawny thighs. They had apparently tried to ram it into her vagina." The pretext was that she could easily have been a spy. "They got her by the telephone booth," one of the men explained. "Why fool around?" It was the first of several murders Kopelev would witness in that cursed place. 

Then came Allenstein, and more fire, more death. Near the post office, he met a woman with a bandaged head, clutching the hand of a young girl with blond pigtails. Both had been crying, and the child's legs were stained with blood. "The soldiers kicked us out of our house," she told the Russian officer. "They beat us, they raped us. My daughter is only thirteen. Two of them did it to her. And many of them to me." She wanted him to help her find her little boy. Another woman begged Kopelev to shoot her.
The last months of  World War Two were tragic for Germany. The story of the best of German manhood being slaughtered by the advancing vengeful Russians is distressing itself. Worse still is what the victorious Russian soldiers did to the helpless German women. Mass rape.....Methodical. ....With hatred..... With utter brutality. ....(Even the other Allied countries' soldiers were guilty too. But to a lesser extent). This story is rarely told. Or has been rarely told. Because it stains the heroic image of the Allied soldiers of WW2.

Only.... The German women went through a nightmare that perhaps dwarfs Darfur.

after the reich brutal occupation history giles macdonogh book

 After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation 

Giles MacDonogh

MacDonogh describes the fate of the women and girls in the Soviet occupied territories. Hardly any - even as young as 8-years old or as old as 80 - escaped being brutally raped, sometimes as many as 25 times - 25 times a day. This led to a wave of suicides, atrocious injuries of young girls, terrible venereal disease (when there were no antibiotics available) and pregnancies. Nor were the Russians entirely alone in their enthusiasm for rape: On April 17-18, 1945, French soldiers raped at least 600 women in the small Black Forest town of Freudenstadt, before going on to Stuttgart where they raped another 3,000 women and eight men. American forces prohibited rape, but there were more than 600 courts-marshal involving rape charges against American soldiers. Only the Brits come off better, since they preferred to barter cigarettes and chocolate for sex with the defeated enemy.


Antony Beevor has been one of the few historians who have told the story. Here is an excerpt from his book  Berlin, The Downfall 1945

From The Guardian

"Red Army soldiers don't believe in 'individual liaisons' with German women," wrote the playwright Zakhar Agranenko in his diary when serving as an officer of marine infantry in East Prussia. "Nine, ten, twelve men at a time - they rape them on a collective basis."

The Soviet armies advancing into East Prussia in January 1945, in huge, long columns, were an extraordinary mixture of modern and medieval: tank troops in padded black helmets, Cossack cavalrymen on shaggy mounts with loot strapped to the saddle, lend-lease Studebakers and Dodges towing light field guns, and then a second echelon in horse-drawn carts. The variety of character among the soldiers was almost as great as that of their military equipment. There were freebooters who drank and raped quite shamelessly, and there were idealistic, austere communists and members of the intelligentsia appalled by such behaviour.
Elsewhere the rapes soon became routine and when it was not accompanied by violence it could eventually be laughed off. A kind of gallows humour grew up that was encapsulated in the expression ‘Besser ein Iwanauf dem Bauch als ein Ami auf dem Kopf!’ (Better a Russki on the belly than a Yank on the head!), meaning that rape was preferable to being blown up by a bomb. The Woman’s friend, a widow, was over fifty when she was raped by an unbearded boy. He later paid her a compliment, saying she was considerably tighter than the women of the Ukraine. She was proud of the remark and repeated it to other women. 27 One journalist of MargretBoveri’s acquaintance, for example, was able to make light of her rape, even if she had cried at the time– ‘in retrospect the story sounded very funny:the hanging water bottle and all the other bits of equipment getting in the way, the inexperience of the young man and the speed at which it was consummated
After The Reich P-99
Beria and Stalin, back in Moscow, knew perfectly well what was going on from a number of detailed reports. One stated that "many Germans declare that all German women in East Prussia who stayed behind were raped by Red Army soldiers". Numerous examples of gang rape were given - "girls under 18 and old women included".

Marshal Rokossovsky issued order No 006 in an attempt to direct "the feelings of hatred at fighting the enemy on the battlefield." It appears to have had little effect. There were also a few arbitrary attempts to exert authority. The commander of one rifle division is said to have "personally shot a lieutenant who was lining up a group of his men before a German woman spreadeagled on the ground". But either officers were involved themselves, or the lack of discipline made it too dangerous to restore order over drunken soldiers armed with submachine guns.

Calls to avenge the Motherland, violated by the Wehrmacht's invasion, had given the idea that almost any cruelty would be allowed. Even many young women soldiers and medical staff in the Red Army did not appear to disapprove. "Our soldiers' behaviour towards Germans, particularly German women, is absolutely correct!" said a 21-year-old from Agranenko's reconnaissance detachment. A number seemed to find it amusing. Several German women recorded how Soviet servicewomen watched and laughed when they were raped. But some women were deeply shaken by what they witnessed in Germany. Natalya Gesse, a close friend of the scientist Andrei Sakharov, had observed the Red Army in action in 1945 as a Soviet war correspondent. "The Russian soldiers were raping every German female from eight to eighty," she recounted later. "It was an army of rapists."

Drink of every variety, including dangerous chemicals seized from laboratories and workshops, was a major factor in the violence. It seems as if Soviet soldiers needed alcoholic courage to attack a woman. But then, all too often, they drank too much and, unable to complete the act, used the bottle instead with appalling effect. A number of victims were mutilated obscenely.

The subject of the Red Army's mass rapes in Germany has been so repressed in Russia that even today veterans refuse to acknowledge what really happened. The handful prepared to speak openly, however, are totally unrepentant. "They all lifted their skirts for us and lay on the bed," said the leader of one tank company. He even went on to boast that "two million of our children were born" in Germany.

Nazi propaganda had already warned the German people about what would happen if the country lost the war. Though the aim was that German soldiers would fight with a greater, more desperate determination


According to Ralph Keeling, "The Russians were not alone in violating these principles. Police records of Stuttgart show that during the French occupation, 1,198 women were raped and eight men violated by French troops, mostly Moroccans."

When Stuttgart was first occupied by the French immediately after the war in August 1945, mostly French colonial soldiers from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia under French command rampaged through the bombed out city and shelters and committed an orgy of rape. The local police verified 1,198 cases of rape. The ages of the victims ranged from 14 to 74. According to police reports, most of them were attacked in their homes by turbaned thugs who broke down the doors in looting forays. Four of the women were killed by their attackers, and four others committed suicide. One of the victims was killed by her husband who then killed himself. They committed 385 rapes in the Constance area, 600 in Bruchsal and 500 in Freudenstadt. They moved in gangs relentlessly from home to home in Karlsruhe, threatening, raping and stealing all they could carry. In the County Women's Clinic in Karlsruhe alone, 276 terminations of pregnancies after rape were performed in April and May of 1945. Eisenhower, fearing bad publicity, then ordered Stuttgart under American occupation, but when the story broke anyway, American newspapers immediately and without any investigation, discounted it as "German propaganda," apparently forgetting that the war was over.

Little is known about the forced prostitution of German women by American soldiers in the years between 1945 until the currency reform of 1948 In order to accommodate their children, they sought proximity to American soldiers, who gave the hard dollars not without any return. In order to offer them, the women often drove for hours and days on freight trains to the barracks, where they waited in line. From this ate  whole family. Because of the nature of their money-making women felt guilty. They turned the hatred against themselves


Although not technically rape, since American occupation troops had ready access to food needed by hungry, deprived German and Austrian women, often to feed their children with, sexual favors were sold out of desperation. By the end of 1945, the official ration in the U.S. zone of Germany had slid to 1550 calories per day, and it later fell even lower to 1275 calories by the spring of 1946. In some areas, people were not receiving rations of much more than 700 calories per day, allotments well below the minimum necessary to maintain health. On December 5, 1945, the Times reported: "the American provost marshal Lieutenant Colonel Gerald F. Beane said that rape presents no problem for the military police because a bit of food, a bar of chocolate, or a bar of soap seem to make rape unnecessary. Think that over, if you want to understand the situation in Germany."

The black soldiers in the American army were the subject of much gossip. A little boy of nine told Jünger, ‘I am frightened of him.’ He meant a black GI. The Negroes were accused of perpetrating several rapes, in one instance of a fourteen- year-old girl in the village of Altwarmbuch
From Macdonogh's After The Reich P-96
But rape WAS a problem. By April 1945, 500 rape cases per week were being reported to the Judge Advocate General of American forces in Europe and those were only the reported rapes in limited areas. According to recently disclosed US military records, between 1942 and 1945, US GIs were legally "charged with" committing 11,040 rapes in Germany (a far lesser number were prosecuted). By older estimates, 94,000 "Besatzungskinder" or 'occupation children' were born in the American zone and reported as being fathered by American soldiers in the decade after 1945, most of whom ended up as wards of the German and Austrian welfare services. More recent estimates revise this figure downward to around 36,000-38,000 children born to an American parent (as well as 10,188 to French, 8,397 to British, 1,767 to Belgians, 6,829 to unknown nationalities, and untold thousands to Soviets). Most never met their fathers and many of these children were never adopted and remained in long-term public care.

London's International News Service reported in January of 1946 that the American soldiers' wives who were brought to Germany were given special authorization to wear military uniforms because "the GIs did not want their wives mistaken for Frauleins by other occupation troops" and thus molested, raped or propositioned. In the first six months of American occupation, venereal disease jumped to twenty times its former level. The New York World Telegram, January 21, 1945, stated: "Americans look on the German women as loot, just like cameras and Lugers."

 But the U.S. Military certainly made it easy for irresponsible G.I.s to have casual sex with German girls. Aside from providing free condoms, on April 8, 1946, The Stars and Stripes published an article titled "Pregnant Frauleins Are Warned!" explaining that the U.S. Army was not responsible for the sexual relationships of its personnel and: "Girls who are expecting a child fathered by an American soldier will be provided with no assistance by the American Army ... If the soldier denies paternity, no further action will be undertaken other than to merely inform the woman of this fact. She is to be advised to seek help from a German or Austrian welfare organization. If the soldier is already in the United States, his address in not to be communicated to the woman in question. Claims for child support from unmarried German and Austrian mothers will not be recognized. "
Nor were all the rapes committed by the Russians. In Salomon’s local town, he claims half a dozen women were raped as the Americans took possession of place and people. Nor was his indictment so far fetched – the figures bear him out. Rape charges in the US army rose steadily, from 18 in January 1945 to 31 in February to an enormous 402 in March and 501 in April, once military resistance had slackened off. With peace the rapes petered out: there were 241 reports in May, 63 in June and 45 for each month thereafter. About a quarter to a half of these reports resulted in a trial and a third to a half of the trials to a conviction. A number of American servicemen were executed, proportionally higher than any of the other occupying powers.

One reason there were fewer reports of rape was that there was far more consensual congress. German girls would have sex for food or cigarettes. You didn’t court a German woman with flowers – a basket of food was more welcome. The Americans were attractive to the Germans, because they had not suffered the deprivations of war in the same way. Few were crippled, and they were taller and more athletic. Every now and then the Germans took it out on the women who spurned them in favour of the occupiers. It is not hard to imagine the feeling of impotence of the rare young German who saw his girl making for the American garrison on the promise of sweets and cigarettes.


Hunger made German women more “available," but despite this, rape was prevalent and often accompanied by additional violence. In particular I remember an eighteen-year old woman who had the side of her faced smashed with a rifle butt, and was then raped by two G.I.s. Even the French complained that the rapes, looting and drunken destructiveness on the part of our troops was excessive. In Le Havre, we’d been given booklets warning us that the German soldiers had maintained a high standard of behavior with French civilians who were peaceful, and that we should do the same. In this we failed miserably.


In a report that appeared in August 1945 in the Washington DC Times-Herald, an American journalist wrote of what he described as “the state of terror in which women in Russian-occupied eastern Germany were living. All these women, Germans, Polish, Jewish and even Russian girls `freed’ from Nazi slave camps, were dominated by one desperate desire -- to escape from the Red zone “
“In the district around our internment camp … Red soldiers during the first weeks of their occupation raped every women and girl between the ages of 12 and 60. That sounds exaggerated, but it is the simple truth. The only exceptions were girls who managed to remain in hiding in the woods or who had the presence of mind to feign illness - typhoid, dyptheria or some other infectious disease … Husbands and fathers who attempted to protect their women folk were shot down, and girls offering extreme resistance were murdered.”

Meanwhile, in Austria, the Soviets in Vienna were not only raping but also starving their victims to death. Women under Communist occupation ate less than 1,000 calories a day, and 1,000 new cases of TB suddenly arose each month. Pregnant women, the elderly and children were at grave risk. In July of 1945 alone, 389 out of 1,000 newborns, most "rape babies", were dying. Ilya Ehrenburg's vicious propaganda machine had widely disseminated false reports of Nazi rape in Russia to ensure that the Red Army stormed into Germany with no pity. It worked. They committed the largest mass rape in history, with the girls and women of East Prussia bearing the first brunt of their brutality. Here, most females were gang raped and then murdered. "Tot den Deutschen Okkupaten!" (Death to the German Occupants) the victorious Soviet soldier cried, and regardless of age, German women and girls were taken without mercy. Thousands of women shuddered as the words "Frau komm!" grunted from the invading army, for it not only meant they were about to be violated, it might also mean torture or death of themselves, their mothers, grandmothers or daughters.

In one notorious instance, Red Army soldiers entered the maternity hospital at Haus Dehlem and raped pregnant women, women who had just given birth, and women in the process of giving birth. The future Pope Paul VI. lamented that in Berlin even nuns in habit were raped. Some women lived for weeks on rooftops trying escape violence. Thousands committed suicide as a result of sexual abuse, thousands of underage girls died as a result of violent injury and thousands of girls left pregnant would be left to virtually starve as the Allies blocked shipments of food from Berlin. Scenes of sexual depravity and horror spread throughout the Eastern regions as rampantly as the diseases the criminals left behind. In Silesia, Red Army soldiers embarked upon another horrendous spree of rape so brutal that in one instance in Neisse, 182 Catholic nuns were raped by Red Army soldiers and in the diocese of Kattowitz, the soldiers left behind 66 pregnant nuns. In all German areas taken by the communists, civilians who were not exiled were subjected to brutality.

In October 1945, a New York Daily News report from occupied Berlin told readers: 
“In the windswept courtyard of the Stettiner Bahnof [rail station], a cohort of German refugees, part of 12 million to 19 million dispossessed in East Prussia and Silesia, sat in groups under a driving rain and told the story of their miserable pilgrimage, during which more than 25 percent died by the roadside, and the remainder were so starved they scarcely had strength to walk …

“A nurse from Stettin, a young, good-looking blond, told how her father had been stabbed to death by Russian soldiers who, after raping her mother and sister, tried to break into her own room. She escaped and hid in a haystack with four other women for four days …
“On the train to Berlin she was pillaged once by Russian troops and twice by Poles. Women who resisted were shot dead, she said, and on one occasion she saw a guard take an infant by the legs and crush its skull against a post because the child cried while the guard was raping its mother.
“An old peasant from Silesia said ... victims were robbed of everything they had, even their shoes. Infants were robbed of their swaddling clothes so that they froze to death. All the healthy girls and women, even those 65 years of age, were raped in the train and then robbed, the peasant said.”

 The Red Army entered Berlin first, seething with hatred and determined to exact vengeance, while the Americans and the British lagged behind to the west. They had two months to freely plunder and rape, and Berlin was a city virtually without men. The female population had swelled to 2,000,000 with thousands more refugee women who had fled there from the east. Up to a million females from ages 8 to 80 were believed to have been raped. Over 10,000 women and girls are recorded as having died as a result. There were so many rapes that doctors in the hospitals could not even treat them all. Many were captured, lined up, with some singled out for immediate "pleasure", then packed into trains headed for Siberia in April, 1945, some repeatedly raped while being transported and others dying along the way from lack of food and mistreatment. Once in Siberia, they were slave laborers forced to do heavy manual labor such road building, all the while enduring constant sexual abuse. Many of these women remained in Stalin's work camps for up to five years, during which time two- thirds of them died. Some were sent to an infamous camp near Petrozavodsk in Karelia called Number 517. Once they arrived, they were paraded naked in front of the camp officials who would select favorites, promising lighter work in exchange for sex. "Stubborn prisoners" were subjected to solitary confinement, genital mutilation or murder. Of the 1,000 girls and women who were sent to that camp, over half, or 522 of them, died horrible deaths within six months.

In armed conflict  rapes are an effective means by which to wear down the opponent and humiliate at the time of capitulation, leaving it traumatized and incapacitated.

As the Red Army started its offensive toward Berlin during the spring of 1945, thousands of Germans from the east tried to cross the Oder River and flee westward, but there were just too many refugees, and many were trapped as they waited to be allowed to cross. As many as 20,000 girls and young women were stranded and at the mercy of the Red Army as they marched through in February. To the surprise and horror of the trapped inhabitants, occupying Americans in war torn east Germany proper "liberated" it just long enough to turn it all over to the Red Army for enslavement. In this area, the communist GDR, for stated reasons of " public security", instituted detention areas for political prisoners, many of them female. From 1950 to 1989, an insidious internal spy agency existed with a military structure and over 90,000 workers. There were district offices in over 30 cities.

german women girls starving 1945

Not spoken of in our media, thousands of women suffered horrible repression at the hands of the Communists. With no men left to protect the women, the 'Stasi' in East Germany stuffed unruly females behind the walls of dank, dark, 13th century Hoheneck castle in Thuringia. Although not technically rape, since American occupation troops had ready access to food needed by hungry, deprived German and Austrian women, often to feed their children with, sexual favors were sold out of desperation. By the end of 1945, the official ration in the U.S. zone of Germany had slid to 1550 calories per day, and it later fell even lower to 1275 calories by the spring of 1946. In some areas, people were not receiving rations of much more than 700 calories per day, allotments well below the minimum necessary to maintain health. On December 5, 1945, the Times reported: "the American provost marshal Lieutenant Colonel Gerald F. Beane said that rape presents no problem for the military police because a bit of food, a bar of chocolate, or a bar of soap seem to make rape unnecessary. Think that over, if you want to understand the situation in Germany." In Salzburg, under the Americans, there was at first a strict anti-fraternization policy with the local population. The first Americans arriving in Salzburg from the west were units which had been issued a 'Handbook for Germany', which prescribed a typically "strict" treatment of the locals.

The zone of occupation controlled by the US Armed Forces consisted of the provinces of Salzburg and Upper Austria, south of the Danube River, and parts of the Austrian capital, Vienna. The number of GIs stationed there between 1945 and 1955 eventually reached several hundred thousands. The US occupation of Austria lasted for ten years and produced almost 2,000 illegitimate children between 1945 and 1955 in the province of Salzburg alone. During these first years as occupiers, 80% of children in Austrian suffered from malnutrition, and the population was understandably depressed. “In Berlin, in August 1945, out of 2,866 children born, 1148 died, and it was summer, and the food more plentiful than now. From Vienna, a reliable source reports that infant mortality is approaching 100 per cent." US correspondent Dorothy Thompson BACK To: The Children BACK TO START Germans, as the enemy, had been so thoroughly dehumanized that depravity and abuse by the victors was accepted. Civilians had born the brunt of the murderous Allied air war without any moral outrage emanating from the civilized world. Secondly, the Allies had agreed to and helped plan the genocidal expulsion of millions of people from their homes in the east, and this too passed without disapproval. Likewise, few objected as women and children suffered immensely from starvation policies put into place after war's end by Soviets and Allies alike. The last item on the agenda for the unprotected, civilian female non-combatants and their children was the infliction of "re-education" policies to forever "break the German will to wage war". What were these women doing during this time?

Imposed Indignities: The Allied Heroes * In 1949, some surviving women, suffering from illness and severe emotional trauma, were transported back to eastern Germany but forbidden to talk about their experiences. Others waited 10 years for freedom. Once the Iron Curtain fell in 1989, some of former labor camp prisoners related their experiences only to find it was politically incorrect to "dwell" on such topics in modern Germany. Heinz Voigtländer, a consulting surgeon at the hospital in Ludwigslust, said: "It was particularly dreadful ... with the pregnancies that dated from the first half of 1945.... I remember a figure of 150 to 180 abortions that we had to carry out at that time. Frequently this was a matter of pregnancies in the fourth, fifth and even in the sixth month....Sometimes, in the seventh or eighth month, this help no longer was possible. Then the nurses promised to look after the child after the birth. But once we observed that a woman left the hospital after the birth and drowned her child in the brook that flowed right by the hospital. We spoke as little as possible about these matters.”

 Alexander Solzhenitsyn was a young captain in the Red Army when it entered East Prussia in 1945. He wrote later in his book, 'The Gulag Archipelago': "All of us knew very well that if girls were German they could be raped and then shot. This was almost a combat distinction." He was arrested and sentenced to eight years in a labor camp. Other Russian officers agreed with him and those who dared to report excesses of violence against civilians met a similar fate. Master hate propagandist Ilya Ehrenburg told soldiers on January 31, 1945: "The Germans have been punished in Oppeln, in Königsberg and in Breslau. They have been punished, but yet not enough! Some have been punished, but not yet all of them." In contrast to Ehrenberg's rhetoric, rape was in truth a German military offense punishable by death. Rape by German troops was the smallest recorded in occupied territories and lower than that of US troops on US bases. Germany was missing 15 million men. Husbands, brothers and sons were killed, maimed or not yet released from their long captivity, and the clean up was left to the women, many in grief, illness and physical distress. The women also had to feed and house their children and elderly parents. They also tended the wounded, buried the dead and salvaged belongings.

 wehrmacht defeated second world war
Many women still had to stand in line for hours to get bread or butter and ended up with nothing. It was a daily battle for survival. With the lack of manpower to clear the rubble, women were left to rebuild Germany in the postwar period. To make sure that they did, the Allied Control Council introduced a MANDATORY work duty for women and, rather than refer to them as slave laborers, they gave the women in charge of debris removal the generic name of "rubble women" and usually allowed them a few added food rations as a token reward. German and Austrian courts had no jurisdiction over paternity cases involving Americans, and during the early stages of the occupation, the U.S. Army would not allow an American to make support payments to a German or Austrian woman even if he admitted being the father of their child because such allotments were considered "aid to the enemy". Neither would the U.S. military take any responsibility for illegitimate children fathered by its occupation troops, nor would it permit marriages between American troops and Austrian women until January 1946, and between American troops and German women until December 1946. G.I.s were warned against indiscriminate sex but merely to protect themselves from disease, not to face prosecution for rape or prevent pregnancies. TIME magazine reported in September, 1945 that the government provided American soldiers with 50 million condoms per month... at the same time German women could be arrested for fraternizing with US soldiers!
Source: Exulanten
The rapes had begun as soon as the Red Army entered East Prussia and Silesia in 1944. In many towns and villages every female, aged from 10 to 80, was raped. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel laureate who was then a young officer, described the horror in his narrative poem Prussian Nights: "The little daughter's on the mattress,Dead. /How many have been on it/A platoon, a company perhaps?/ A girl’s been turned into a woman, A woman turned into a corpse."

Rape Of German Women In East Prussia Early 1945

Among the Soviet troops who overtook the tide of Prussian refugees as it poured out of Insterburg and Goldap was a young officer called Leonid Rabichev. Decades later, this man would find the strength to write about the atrocity he witnessed. "Women, mothers and their children, lie to the right and left along the route," he wrote, "and in front of each of them stands a raucous armada of men with their trousers down. " He might have added that the baying crowd included adolescent boys, for whom this gruesome ritual amounted to the first sexual experience of their lives. "The women who are bleeding or losing consciousness get shoved to one side,"Rabichev continued, "and our men shoot the ones who try to save their children." Meanwhile, a group of "grinning" officers stood nearby, one of whom was "directing—no, he was regulating it This was to make sure that every soldier without exception took part."

That night, Rabichev and his men were sent to sleep in an abandoned German shelter. Every room contained bodies—the corpses of children, of old men, and of women who had evidently suffered serial rape before their deaths. "We were so tired," Rabichev wrote, "that we lay down on the ground between them and fell asleep." 32 Mere corpses, after all, were barely shocking anymore. When they came upon another building and found the bodies of women who had been been raped and then mutilated one by one, each with an empty wine bottle in her vagina,Rabichev's men were less composed.  The problem was that sympathy for enemy females was actively discouraged.

helpless civilians flee

From After The Reich by Giles Macdonogh P 180

The Russians arrived on 21 January 1945. The priests and local nuns had taken refuge in the convent chapel together with a young woman and her child. The usual rape and pillage went on in the streets outside. Any woman who refused to lie down was shot. The priest whose account we have was contemptuous of the Russian conquerors. ‘Go back to Russia,’ he wrote, ‘and sit outside your wattle and daub cottage, chew sunflower seeds and you will become amiable again.’ Some were not so bad: a Muslim officer, ‘a good chap’, brought them a bucket full of soup and some sugar after they had slaughtered the hogs; but then a crazed older officer took a nun behind the altar and tried to rape her. He was interrupted by a younger officer who seized the man and had some soldiers throw him out like a bag of flour. A guard was posted at the door to the chapel. On Ash Wednesday that year the girls paid particular attention to the practice of smearing themselves with ash. They wanted to make themselves look old and ugly.

This did not help the nuns, who had now become the object of Russian attentions again. At the beginning of Lent four of them were taken off and raped. The Poles arrived on 14 March and banned the use of German. ‘Satan is back!’ wrote the priest. ‘The new Satan seems almost more dangerous. He claims to be Catholic and keeps talking about Czestochowa.’ Three days later all the nuns who had been spared were raped, including one of eighty. For some of them the new experience was coupled with a further unpleasantness: venereal disease. The Russians now proudly claimed there were no more virgins in Klosterbruck. The plight of the nuns was particularly galling in that the new Polish doctors refused to treat Germans. Some of their torments came to an end when they were expelled on 25 May.

german girl befirends russian soldier berlin 1945
Although the raping of German women had abated in the summer of 1945, it had not stopped. There was a fresh outburst of wild raping when the occupation lines were redrawn in June. The Russians moved into parts of Saxony and Thuringia where up till then the women had lived in comparative safety. There were a hundred rapes in Zerbst, the town that had seen the birth of Russia’s great queen, Catherine, and similar numbers were reported in Halle and Weimar. In Weimar a Russian lieutenant walked into a barber’s shop and proceeded to rape the cashier in front of the customers. Two other Russian officers had to be found before ‘this animal could be overpowered’.40 Despite the availability of abortions, many half- Russian children were born.
After The Reich P 210

By some estimates, 2 million German women were sexually abused by the Red Army, each of whom were raped an average of 12 times. The Catholic Church after the capture of Berlin even had to partially lift the ban on abortion

There has been much discussion of why the Russians raped and murdered so many women on their march to the River Elbe. They were certainly egged on by Ehrenburg and other Soviet propagandists who saw rape as an expression of hatred, and therefore good for morale. Soviet soldiers had also been shown pictures of the Nazi victims of Majdenek, where the dead had simply been identified as ‘Soviet citizens’. The Germans had been in Russia; they had burned their towns and villages and posed as a Herrenvolk – a nation of lords.

The Slavs were racially inferior, no better than helots. In the circumstances rape must have seemed an irresistible form of vengeance against these ‘superior’ women and the best way to humiliate them and their menfolk. The worst offenders, it seems, were soldiers from Belorussia and the Ukraine – areas invaded by the Germans. The older soldiers and those having higher education were the least likely to rape. The higher the standard of living the Russian soldiers encountered, the more they raped. They were disgusted by the plenty, the comfortable houses and the well-stocked larders they found, which stood in such contrast to the poverty they knew from home. The manor house or castle was particularly prone. 

Commanders generally turned a blind eye to the rapes. When the Ukrainian Jewish intellectual Lev Kopelev tried to intervene to save a German woman from a group of rampaging soldiers, he was accused of ‘bourgeois humanism’ and imprisoned for nine years. It was only much later that any punishment was handed out. The reason why Russian generals accepted such appalling lack of discipline was that rape was condoned at the very top. Stalin told the Yugoslav communist leader Milovan Djilas, ‘Can’t he understand it if a soldier who has crossed thousands of kilometres through blood and fire and death has fun with a woman or takes some trifle?’3 Added to the semi-official sanction, the Red Army was sex-starved. Its soldiers had been fighting for four years, and in most cases they had not received compassionate leave. The raping became worse again after 23 June 1945, when many female soldiers were sent back to Russia. It became a part of everyday life in the remote villages of Burgenland and Lower Austria where it continued until the end of 1946 or the beginning of 1947.
The Russian forces of occupation continued to be wild and uncontained. On Victory in Europe Day the Red Army celebrated by a new burst of looting in the course of which forty-four people lost their lives. Rape was part of daily life until 1947 and many women were riddled with VD and had no means of curing it. Burgenland suffered more than any other region of eastern Austria from the ravages of Russian solders. In Mattersburg the peasants posted guards to warn women when the Russians were about to come among them.

Canny Berlin women learned quickly that it was wisest to give in and receive the Russians one at a time than to have to put up with terrifying gang rapes. The wisest found an officer and stuck with him: a ‘wolf ’ to protect you from wolves, and as high-ranking as possible. In return for sexual favours he was able to prevent any attacks by the routine soldateska. This was true for an eighteen-year-old in Klein Machnow who had been raped sixty times. She found a captain and they left her in peace.39 The Woman in Berlin (See the DVD) did likewise. After a few tussles with soldiers she found a sympathetic lieutenant, and finally a major, who wanted more companionship than sex. She described the blissful sensation of lying fearless at his side. When she was later asked the standard question about how many times it had happened to her she could not say with certainty: ‘No idea. I had to work my way up through the ranks as far as a major.

From After The Reich P 101

Rape In East Prussia. February 1945
From "Fog Of War" By Leonid Rabichev 

"......having forgotten about responsibility and honor and the German subdivisions that were retreating without a fight, flung themselves in the thousands upon women and girls. Women, mothers and their daughters, lay to the left and right of the highway and before each of them stood a chortling armada of muzhiki with their pants pulled down. Those covered with blood and losing consciousness were shoved aside, and the children throwing themselves to help were shot. Guffaws, snarling, laughter, cries and groans. Their commanders, their majors and colonels stood on the highway, and some laughed while others directed or, more precisely, regulated. This was in order that all their soldiers without exception participated. No, this was not collective responsibility, and not at all revenge on the cursed occupiers. This was hellish, fatal group sex. [It was] the all-permissiveness, the impunity, anonymity, and cruel logic of a maddened crowd. Shaken, Isat in the cabin of the truck, my driver Demidov stood in line, and Flaubert's Carthaginian appeared to me, and I understood that war cannot justify everything [voina daleko ne vse spishet]. A colonel, the one who had just been directing, can't restrain himself and gets in line too, while a major shoots the children and old men who are witnessing this in hysterics."

In truth, the picture drawn by Rabichev (who became a professional artist after the war) does not inspire great confidence. We know from documents and memoirs about the great number of group rapes, one of which Rabichev probably witnessed, and it is altogether possible that some officers "kept order in line." But that thousands simultaneously participated in such an action and moreover did so in broad daylight on the shoulder of a road and under the leadership of senior officers--this reminds one more of a Bosch painting extrapolated to 1945. It is even less likely that a colonel "stood in line" behind rank-and-file soldiers. Colonels behaved somewhat differently. Lieutenant-Colonel Los'ev, the staff commander of a rifle regiment, sent his subordinate lieutenant into a cellar where Germans were hidden to select and bring him a woman. The lieutenant carried out the order, and the lieutenant-colonel raped the woman who had been brought to him.
Source: Findarticles

young boys defend german women
This image is from the early months of 1945. The countdown for the German defeat had begun. Young boys were being sent to fight the Russians. Grateful German women give them food packets as they left for the front. A few weeks later the Russians had finished off any German resistance. The women had no one to protect them.

Horrific rape of German Women In Koenigsberg

The most outrageous case was the one recorded by the operational-military group of the NKVD in the township of Spaleiten. NKVD employees noted during the filtration of the civilian population that 3 women and 12 children had cuts across their right wrists. These were the marks of a collective suicide attempt. As one of the women recounted, on 3 February, when advance units of the Red Army entered the town, Red Army troops dragged her out in the courtyard, where she was raped in turn by 12 soldiers; other soldiers at the same time raped her neighbors. 

That same night, six soldiers entered the cellar and raped women in front of their children. On 5 February there were three rapists, and the next day eight drunken soldiers not only raped women but beat them as well. 

An NKVD officer recorded the testimony of the woman: "Under the influence of German propaganda about how the Red Army torments Germans, and having seen actual tormenting of them, we decided to kill ourselves, so on 8 February we cut the right wrists of ourselves and our children."  

According to the account of one of the local residents, two German women who had been raped several times killed themselves in the attic of his house. Around ten suicides were registered in connection with the evacuation from the frontline region in the city of Grants on 18 and 19 February. "Suicide by Germans, especially women, has become more widespread."

Many women preferred to kill themselves than to face the mass rape

In Defence Of The Russian Soldiers: Why Did They Behave The Way They Did?
(From  IVANS WAR - Life and Death in the Red Army 1939-1945 - Catherine Merridale)

Whatever lust they may have felt, large numbers of the men had stronger reasons for resenting and even hating representatives of the female sex. All through the war, they had been getting sad letters from home. Some were tales of hunger, others told of rape and death, but many were letters of farewell. Families were unraveling, new lives asserting themselves in separate worlds.

The strain between soldier and family was part of the general gulf between combatants and civilians. It was also a symptom of the overpowering maleness of army life. Women were objects of suspicion, aliens, in a misogynistic universe. The soldiers' letters became more suspicious of women, and also more repressive, with the passing years. "We fought for our country from the very first days," a Red Army man wrote to Mikhail Kalinin, the Soviet president, in 1944. "Some of us have been wounded several times, but we did not begrudge our very lives for our motherland and families. And now our complaint is that some women are betraying us ... and our children are losing their fathers.... We must take severe legal measures against these women betrayers for their treachery and the insult to their husbands." The letter is one among hundreds.

Official policy was changing, too. In July 1944 the Soviet Union began its campaign to create
iconic mothers, striking medals for the women who had given birth to large broods of healthy,surviving young. The ideal woman, if the photographs could be believed, was stern andprovident, tough as a tank driver, the nurse and teacher of armies to come.63 She was also sweet, innocent, and untroubled by hardship, let alone by war. Frivolity and sex (the many children notwithstanding)  had no place in her life. Soldiers began to praise the type, to dream of faithful, moon faced women and their healthy well-nourished sons. The gentleness, the sentimentality, of many Soviet troops toward small children in Prussia was noted at the time. A woman with a baby, local people learned, was practically immune to rape. But even sentimental troops, the men who kept their pockets full of sweets for hungry German kids, worried about their families back home. It was a long time since any had seen their children.

"While the diary of Anne Frank is known throughout the world, we carry our memories in our hearts."

But fighting men were powerless to change things back at home. The only world they could affect was here, in Germany, where the women who had brought on their ruin, the spoiled Frauen, still wrapped themselves in silk and fur—or so the soldiers fantasized— while Russian children starved. Where Russian women wore their peasant blouses and embroidered sarafans (in theory and in folklore, anyway), these German females dressed in provocative western styles, wore makeup, teetered on high heels. The whole culture that had produced them seemed sick, disgusting—and wickedly seductive. Some German women were accused of deliberate whoring. "German ladies are . . . ready to begin payment of 'reparations' at once," a disgusted Soviet officer observed. "It won't work! " "Europe is a dirty abyss," a soldier wrote home from Prussia that winter. "I have taken a look at German magazines, and they revolt me.... Even their music is indecent! Is this Europe? Give me Siberia anytime! " Another discovered a cache of pornographic pictures (probably not, in this case, the Venus de Milo) in an abandoned German position near Königsberg. "What could be more disgusting?" he asked. "Our culture must be higher than that of the Germans, because you would never find such images among our ranks."

Rape, then, combined the desire to avenge with the impulse to destroy, to smash German luxuries and waste the Fascists' wealth. It punished women and it reinforced the fragile manliness of the perpetrators. It also underscored the emotional ties between gangs of the men, and it was as a gang, not individuals, that the men usually acted, drawing an energy and anonymity from the momentum of the group. It was the collective triumph of these males, certainly, that rape purported to celebrate. 

And though women bore the brunt of the violence, German men were also victims of a kind. It was no accident that many rapes took place in view of husbands and fathers. The point was being made that they were now the creatures without power, that they would have to watch, to suffer this most intimate degradation. One woman recounted the tale of a lawyer who had stood by his Jewish wife all through the Nazi years, refusing to divorce her in spite of the risks. When the Russians arrived, he protected her again, at least until a bullet from a Russian automatic hit him in the hip. As he lay bleeding to death, three men raped his wife.


The Russians Started To Stop The Mass Rape......

Just as seriously, rape was seldom punished, especially at first. In the early months, up to the spring of 1945, the soldiers were still fighting under an order to take revenge. Thereafter, when even the Soviet leadership had begun to appreciate the cost, to discipline and to the army's combat capability, of the unmilitary violence, some officers took stricter control, and there were even executions for rape in the Red Army. In April 1945, when his army joined Konev's troops in Silesia, Rabichev recalled that forty men and officers were shot in front of their units to discourage further atrocities. "Some commanders!" the soldiers would mutter. "They'll shoot their own men over a German bitch." More usually, however, perpetrators whose crime was not condoned might be given relatively light punishments. Five years was a standard sentence, but it could be reduced to two or less on appeal, especially for soldiers with good war records.

Real security was achieved only when the Red Army was garrisoned in barracks buildings in 1947–8. Even later the Russians took over whole areas of towns, throwing the inhabitants out on to the streets. From mid-1945, however, Russians caught raping women were liable to punishment. They might even suffer execution. Some were shot in the act, adding a further trauma to the victim of the sexual assault. A scale of charges was introduced in the summer of 1945, with ten days for debauchery and four years for aggravated rape. No German could report the crimes, however. When a group of young Germans prevented a rape by beating up the culprit, they were arrested and charged with being Werewolves. It was only in 1949 that Russian soldiers were presented with a real deterrent, with ten to fifteen years for simple rape and ten to twenty for raping a child, and for group or aggravated rape. The east Germans had been allowed their own police, but at the beginning these men were armed with nothing more potent than clubs and they were not encouraged to step in when the crime was being committed by a Soviet soldier. They were given a small number of guns in mid-1946.


Helke Sander,  comes from the ex-GDR. In her book "liberators and liberated" (1995) she has interviewed victims and researched archive documents. 

In Berlin alone, are therefore between early summer and autumn of 1945, more than 110,000 women were raped. The women interviewed by Sander born were born between 1909 and 1930. "There were a lot of young girls raped. I talked to very many who were then 13, 14 years old and had no idea what happened to them. For many this meant that they later could never sleep with a man and , abhorrence of the sexual act "developed." The rapes took place on the streets, in cellars, in homes, where children and  other people watched. One of them was raped repeatedly by ten Russians in a row said "It has shaped my life as a woman. I have promised myself to stay alone."



Women in the Gulag were preyed upon from all quarters. During their transport to the camps they were often raped on the transport ships or in the railroad cars. Upon arrival at their destination they would be paraded naked in front of the camp officials, who would select those they fancied, promising easier work in exchange for sexual favors. These officials, according to Baldaev, preferred German, Latvian, and Estonian women, who most likely would never see home again, over native Russian women, who might. Women not selected by the camp officials became "prizes" for male (and sometimes lesbian) criminals. Besides the everyday tortures of starvation, work exhaustion, exposure to the cold of the far north, and physical abuse, the more intractable prisoners of either sex might be subjected to isolation, impalement, genital mutilation, or, more mercifully, a bullet in the back of the head.  

In recent years various German groups have, with the cooperation of the Russians, been establishing memorials for the German civilians and soldiers who died in the Soviet Union. Recently, a Russian Jew, Aleksandr Gutman, produced a documentary film in which he interviewed four German women from East Prussia who as young girls had been raped by Red Army troops, then transported soon after the war to a particularly hellish outpost of the Gulag, no. 517, near Petrozavodsk in Karelia. Of the 1,000 girls and women who were transported to that camp, 522 died within six months of their arrival. These women were among tens of thousands of German civilians, men and women, deported, with the acquiescence of the Western powers, to the Soviet Union as German "reparations-in-kind" for slave labor. One of the women interviewed by Gutman remarks: "While the diary of Anne Frank is known throughout the world, we carry our memories in our hearts."


(We are thankful to A. Hunter for suggesting the site

Stalin’s objective was to gain control of as much of Europe as he possibly could get away with, and he succeeded magnificently. All Churchill and Roosevelt wanted to do was defeat Hitler. If they could get the Russians to do as much of this dirty work as possible, so much the better. If they had to pay Stalin off in territory, ethnic cleansing, rape, forced conceptions, murder, and pillage; well, so be it, as long as they felt their hands were, more or less, clean. It seems incomprehensible that Roosevelt and Churchill should have had so little concern for the final outcome and the future of Europe.

Why bother with concentration camps and gas ovens? If they could exterminate fifteen thousand, perhaps twenty-two thousand, as they did at Katyn, then let the soldiers do it on the spot, and they can entertain themselves at the same time. If anyone escaped, they were surely not likely to return. Mission accomplished. As the Red Army made its way across East Prussia, Silesia, and Pomerania, that was the formula to be followed, and it was. T he Cheka and NKVD had killed millions in Russia and Ukraine during the past twenty-five years. T hey were experts in genocides, small and large. Stalin and Beria decided to put them to work in Germany. Literally years before the Red Army reached the German borders, Stalin and Beria had laid their plans. T hey wanted East Prussia and Silesia razed, leveled, and removed, never again to be seen as enclaves in the Slavic realm. This was their way of dealing with the age-old German ‘‘Drang Nach Osten.’’('' Drive to the east.'')  And they fully intended to use the coarsest, crudest means conceivable: mass rape, murder, mutilation, ethnic cleansing, evictions, slave labor, sexual slavery, and forced conceptions. As always, the end justified the means. T his was Russian realpolitik at its most basic and barbaric: loot, rape, and kill until your objectives are reached.

From In the Course of my Life By Renata Reinhart
(It's an inside look at what Russia did to millions of women and children in their destructive acquisition of eastern German provinces, one of which the author grew up in, East Prussia. While the book is listed as 'historical fiction,' it's a compelling read that seems very real.)
From The Telegraph January 24, 2002. Daniel Johnson

The Red Army's orgy of rape in the dying days of Nazi Germany was conducted on a much greater scale than previously suspected, according to a new book by the military historian Anthony Beevor.

Beevor, the author of the best-selling Stalingrad, says advancing Soviet troops raped large numbers of Russian and Polish women held in concentration camps, as well as millions of Germans.

The extent of the Red Army's indiscipline and depravity emerged as the author studied Soviet archives for his forthcoming book Berlin, to be published in April by Viking.
Beevor - who was educated at Sandhurst and served in the 11th Hussars (Prince Albert's Own), an elite cavalry regiment - says details of the Soviet soldiers' behaviour have forced him to revise his view of human nature.

"Having always in the past slightly pooh-poohed the idea that most men are potential rapists, I had to come to the conclusion that if there is a lack of army discipline, most men with a weapon, dehumanised by living through two or three years of war, do become potential rapists," he told The Bookseller.

A weapon of warfare 24 Jan 2002

He appears to echo the American feminist Marilyn French's notorious claim that "in their relations with women, all men are rapists, and that's all they are".

Any such resemblance is, however, superficial. Beevor is careful to qualify any suggestion that what happened from 1944 onwards is in any way typical of male behaviour in peacetime. But he admits that he was "shaken to the core" to discover that Russian and Polish women and girls liberated from concentration camps were also violated.

"That completely undermined the notion that the soldiers were using rape as a form of revenge against the Germans," he said.

"By the time the Russians reached Berlin, soldiers were regarding women almost as carnal booty; they felt because they were liberating Europe they could behave as they pleased. That is very frightening, because one starts to realise that civilisation is terribly superficial and the facade can be stripped away in a very short time."

Beevor's high reputation as a historian ensures that his claims will be taken seriously. Stalingrad was widely praised and awarded the prestigious Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize.

His account of the siege of Berlin, however, promises to be more controversial. "In many ways the fate of the women and the girls in Berlin is far worse than that of the soldiers starving and suffering in Stalingrad."

To understand why the rape of Germany was so uniquely terrible, the context is essential. Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi invasion of Russia in 1941, began the most genocidal conflict in history. Perhaps 30 million inhabitants of the Soviet Union are now thought to have died during the war, including more than three million who were deliberately starved in German PoW camps.

The Germans, having shown no quarter, could expect none in return. Their casualties were also on a vast scale. In the Battle of Berlin alone more than a million German soldiers were killed or died later in captivity, plus at least 100,000 civilians. The Soviet Union lost more than 300,000 men.

Against this horrific background, Stalin and his commanders condoned or even justified rape, not only against Germans but also their allies in Hungary, Romania and Croatia. When the Yugoslav Communist Milovan Djilas protested to Stalin, the dictator exploded: "Can't he understand it if a soldier who has crossed thousands of kilometres through blood and fire and death has fun with a woman or takes some trifle?"

And when German Communists warned him that the rapes were turning the population against them, Stalin fumed: "I will not allow anyone to drag the reputation of the Red Army in the mud."
The rapes had begun as soon as the Red Army entered East Prussia and Silesia in 1944. In many towns and villages every female, aged from 10 to 80, was raped. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel laureate who was then a young officer, described the horror in his narrative poem Prussian Nights: "The little daughter's on the mattress,/Dead. How many have been on it/A platoon, a company perhaps?"

But Solzhenitsyn was rare: most of his comrades regarded rape as legitimate. As the offensive struck deep into Germany, the orders of Marshal Zhukov, their commander, stated: "Woe to the land of the murderers. We will get a terrible revenge for everything."

By the time the Red Army reached Berlin its reputation, reinforced by Nazi propaganda, had already terrified the population, many of whom fled. Though the hopeless struggle came to an end in May 1945, the ordeal of German women did not.

How many German women were raped? One can only guess, but a high proportion of at least 15 million women who either lived in the Soviet Union zone or were expelled from the eastern provinces. The scale of rape is suggested by the fact that about two million women had illegal abortions every year between 1945 and 1948.

It was not until the winter of 1946-47 that the Soviet authorities, concerned by the spread of disease, imposed serious penalties on their forces in East Germany for fraternising with the enemy.

Soviet soldiers saw rape, often carried out in front of a woman's husband and family, as an appropriate way of humiliating the Germans, who had treated Slavs as an inferior race with whom sexual relations were discouraged. Russia's patriarchal society and the habit of binge-drinking were also factors, but more important was resentment at the discovery of Germany's comparative wealth.

The fact, highlighted by Beevor, that Soviet troops raped not only Germans but also their victims, recently liberated from concentration camps, suggests that the sexual violence was often indiscriminate, although far fewer Russian or Polish women were raped when their areas were liberated compared to the conquered Germans.

Jews, however, were not necessarily regarded by Soviet troops as fellow victims of the Nazis. The Soviet commissars had commandeered German concentration camps in order to incarcerate their own political prisoners, who included "class enemies" as well as Nazi officials, and their attitude towards the previous inmates was, to say the least, unsentimental.

As for the millions of Russian prisoners or slave workers who survived the Nazis: those who were not executed as traitors or sent to the Gulag could count themselves lucky. The women among them were probably treated no better than the Germans, perhaps worse.

The rape of Germany left a bitter legacy. It contributed to the unpopularity of the East German communist regime and its consequent reliance on the Stasi secret police. The victims themselves were permanently traumatised: women of the wartime generation still refer to the Red Army war memorial in Berlin as "the Tomb of the Unknown Rapist".


Rape Of German Women (Eyewitness Account)

Rape of German Women

Rape By German And Waffen SS Soldiers During WW2

Rape of Japanese Women By American Soldiers During WW2

Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones: From the Ancient World to the Era of Human Rights


"[Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones] makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the relationship between sexual violence and periods of conflict."
Brutality and Desire: War and Sexuality in Europe's Twentieth Century
Tracing sexual violence in Europe's twentieth century from the Armenian genocide to Auschwitz and Algeria to Bosnia, this path breaking volume expands military history to include the realm of sexuality. Examining both stories of consensual romance and of intimate brutality, it also contributes significant new insights to the history of sexuality.
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Points To Ponder


It is difficult to distinguish between the quality of both the German and Russian soldiers. Both were motivated by their love for their motherland. But there were others factors that drove the two sides to such desperate fighting.

One, both sides knew that this was a no-holds bar war. Not fighting was thus not an option.

Second, both Hitler and Stalin had squads that killed any deserter. Turning away from fighting was just not possible.

Thus was seen some of the most bitter, brutal and desperate fighting on the WW2 eastern (Russian) Front.
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
-- George Santayana


"Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness."
--Otto von Bismarck

"When the enemy advances, withdraw; when he stops, harass; when he tires, strike; when he retreats, pursue.'
--Mao Zedong


"The main thing is to make history, not to write it."
--Otto von Bismarck

"When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite."
--Winston Churchill


"In time of war the loudest patriots are the greatest profiteers."
--August Bebel

"God is not on the side of the big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best."

Quotes about War....

"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war."
---Otto von Bismarck


"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
--Hermann Goering


"To conquer the enemy without resorting to war is the most desirable. The highest form of generalship is to conquer the enemy by strategy."
--Tzu Sun

"All men are brothers, like the seas throughout the world; So why do winds and waves clash so fiercely everywhere?"
--Emperor Hirohito