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1940s / THE FORGOTTEN VICTIMS OF WWII
The Greatest Mass Rape in History One of this century's greatest crimes, and probably one of the greatest crimes against women in history, was the mass rape of the conquered women of Europe in 1945. The rapists were mainly Red Army soldiers, some of them non-White troops from the Far East and Central Asian Republics of the Soviet Union. As the Red Army advanced toward her in 1945, the city of Berlin had become a city virtually without men. Out of a civilian population of 2,700,000, 2,000,000 were women. Former Soviet war correspondent Natalya Gesse recalled: "The Russian soldiers were raping every German female from eight to 80... It was an army of rapists." The rape victims were not just Germans. Polish women also suffered. So did young Russian, Belorussian and Ukrainian women who had been sent back to Germany by the Wehrmacht for slave labor. As Author Antony Beevor put it, "If anything, the events of 1945 reveal how thin the veneer of civilization can be when there is little fear of retribution." Photos The National Archives The Library of Congress Film Clips: Official and Amateur footage Vincent Romano Archives http://www.webalice.it/romanoarchives/ Aduio Clip: BBC4 The Woman's Hour "War Rape" http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshou... Music Hagia Sophia Star of the Winds IRFAN http://www.myspace.com/irfantheband Come Tenderness Lisa Gerrard http://www.lisagerrard.com/ conceived and produced by Dale Caruso to learn more; Berlin: The Downfall 1945 Antony Beevor http://www.antonybeevor.com/