Below is an account of the mass rape in 1945 of German women by the Russians. The eyewitness was an ace Luftwaffe pilot, Erich Hartmann. The following narrative is an adaption from his biography, The Blond Knight of Germany: A biography of Erich Hartmann by Raymond Toliver and Trevor Constable
Half-drunk Red Army soldiers, armed with rifles and machine guns, made unarmed Germans stand in rows. Other Russians forced women and girls to lie on the ground, tore off their clothes and began raping them. The male Germans could only silently clench their fists. U.S. soldiers from their truck looked on at all this with eyes wide open.
It seemed that they were simply paralyzed by the spectacle. When two young German girls, stripped naked, shouting all the time rushed to the truck and in desperation began to climb on it the American guards pulled them up. The Russians did not like this. Firing wildly into the air and shouting, they rushed to the American truck. The U.S. soldiers quickly readied their guns, and the truck raced away across the road. When it had disappeared, the Russian soldiers attacked the German women again.
A young German woman, a little over thirty, mother of a 12-year-old girl, knelt at the feet of a Russian corporal and prayed to God that the Soviet soldiers take her, and not the girl. But her prayers went unanswered. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she kept praying.
The Russian corporal walked away from the woman, his face contorted into a mocking grin. One of the soldiers hit the woman on the face with his boot. "Damned fascist pig!", he yelled. The young mother fell on her back. The soldier who had hit her, shot her in the head and killed her.
The Russians seized all the German women who were visible. The little daughter of the murdered woman was dragged behind a tank by the killer of her mother. He was joined by other Russians. For half an hour rang out wild screams and moans. Then, completely naked, the girl, unable to stand on his feet, crept back.
However, in the overall picture of the atrocities, the suffering of the girl was not anything special. The helpless German men tried to persuade the Russian guards to allow them to help the girl. Rifle at the ready, the Russian allowed a German medic to attend to the girl. An hour later she died, and her last sobs burned the hearts of Hartmann and his soldiers.
8 and 9-year-old girls were being repeatedly raped mercilessly by a brutalized Russian military. They showed no other feelings other than hatred and lust. Until all the monsters had satisfied themselves amongst the wild screams and wailing of women, Erich and his soldiers were under the muzzles of guns.
Spattered with blood, the Russian, lust satisfied, took over the covering of German soldiers. Mothers tried to protect their daughters, but they were beaten unconscious and dragged to the side, and then raped in that state. Even though Eric was a battle-hardened pilot, who had fought in hundreds of missions and who had received many wounds was struck in the heart by what he saw. By a superhuman effort of will he fought down an attack of vomiting.
Such an orgy just could not go on for long. Lust was sated, and began to appear the first signs of pity. Sometimes smiling, sometimes indifferent, sometimes a little depressed, Russian soldiers returned the women and girls. Those who were dragged away from the truck, nobody saw them again. Others fell unconscious in the arms of shaken fathers and husbands.
The Germans were herded into a makeshift camp in a meadow. They were allowed to go to the lake to wash and wash clothes. Then around the meadow was built a ring of 30 tanks to organize security for the night. Russian soldiers came again and again to the German women. The violence continued throughout the night, and stopped just before dawn. Women stumbled back, like broken dolls, after the Russian had satisfied themselves. Soldiers of JG-52 Squadron, which served E. Hartmann, had to make hard choices, and many of them made it.
When the first rays of the sun fell on the meadow surrounded by tanks, many Germans did not rise. Those who woke up, found themselves in a terrible realm of death, which was etched in red-hot iron in their memories forever. When Eric woke up, he saw a German sergeant with his wife and daughter lying beside him. The sergeant's wife quietly cut the veins of her hands with a homemade knife. Then he just killed his 11-year-old daughter, and then cut his own vein . Life slowly went away from them, while Eric lay nearby watching.
Other men strangled their wives and daughters and then hanged themselves on the sides of trucks. They preferred to die slowly and painfully. Erich began quietly talking to himself, to overcome the terrible effects of the bloody scenes in the mind. "You must live, Erich. You must survive to tell others about what happened. You can never forget what happens when man falls below any animal".
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