Topographie des Terrors, Shame on You!

It is 2017 and Germany still has not owned up to its widespread sexual violence during World War II, committed by German soldiers, members of both the Wehrmacht and the SS. The myth that it was only the Soviet soldiers in Berlin who committed mass rape continues in so many people’s thinking.

I was apprehensive after I read the sentence about how Red Army soldiers harrassed German women in Berlin as they entered Berlin. Since we entered the open air museum at the place where the war ended, I could only suspect that they wouldn’t mention that German soldiers had also committed massive sexual crimes during the war.

Also, because we began reading at the end of the exhibition, it made sense the Red Army rapes would be mentioned first, but I had little hope mention of the vast German system of sexual slavery and their many rapes of Jews, Slavs, and others during the war would be mentioned.

And sure enough, unless I missed it, I did not see any mention of German sexual crimes during the war. As usual, only the crimes of the Slavs were mentioned, furthering the stereotype that for some reason the Slavic men are more beastly than the Germans.

Of course, it mentioned the other crimes, but not sexual crimes. If the authors thought to mention sexual crimes of one army, then the crimes of the other should also be mentioned.

The evidence is out there, even from before my dissertation in 2004 which clearly documents widespread rape and system sexual slavery committed and established by the German Wehrmacht and SS, and since after my dissertation it has been even further documented.

Come on, Germany! Own up to your sexual crimes as well and stop pretending only the Soviet Army committed these on the eastern front.

Please, if I am wrong and missed something and the historians and those responsible for the text of this exhibition did include something of the sexual crimes the Germans committed, let me know. We were unable to spend as much time as I would have liked at this outdoor museum, so it is possible I missed something. I actually hope that I have.

I do commend Berlin for having the open air museums it does have, so at least many of the stories and photographs are available to the general public, especially to students and young persons who do not always have the financial means to enter the more expensive museums housed inside buildings.

Victims, Heroes, Survivors: Sexual Violence on the Eastern Front During World War II. PhD dissertation.

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