Tuesday, July 28, 2009

1945 rapings

The other day CBC radio had a documentary on the rapes of about 2 million women (and children) at the end of the war in 1945. As German women they were considered the Red Army's reward for defeating the Nazis. This topic is not mentioned a lot, for obvious reasons. But rape has continued to be a war 'tool' and so now for the purposes of research, these old women have been interviewed. How does sexual brutality affect a woman throughout the rest of her life?

My mom was already in her 20s when the Russian troops descended on the German civilians in East Prussia. Because she'd been raised in the Soviet Union, she knew their language and was protected by an officer who used her as a translator. Her two sisters weren't so lucky. One never had her own children. The other told me of how they would hide in the outhouse in the evenings when the booze flowed.

My mother also told me that venereal disease spread like crazy and that by the time she was shipped via freight car to work in the Ural coalmines, the Soviet soldiers had had enough of raping. 

Which then brought her to another topic ... food. What did she eat in the Soviet prison camp? I'll save that for another post. 

3 comments:

Veronica Leigh said...

WWII was probably the darkest period of human history, at least that's what I think. I read this one book called, "A Woman in Berlin" which is a diary of an anonymous author who survived the Russian invasion of Berlin. I wouldn't call it a good book because what happened to her was anything but good, but it was an accurate portrayl of what happened to many German women at the end of the war.

Barrie said...

Oh, how incredibly sad. I think I'll check out the book Veronica mentions in her comment.

gabe said...

Yes, I've heard of that book and want to read it, too. Thanks, Veronica!

That European conflict affected a lot of people .... and the darkness continues today in places like Sudan in Africa.