“Peace sells, but who’s buying?”
Are there any changes that could be made to this world, that would make it better?
There’s a lot about the world that could stand some improving- that much is undoubtedly clear. But what improvements are actually possible?
This planet of ours is truly quite a stupefying one… when real, actual history can read like a very, very, very sick joke…
The book The Fall of Berlin by Antony Beevor came out in 2002, and was a New York Times Bestseller, although I only happened to learn of it fairly recently. It definitely, substantially, altered my prior conception of this particular facet of World War II and its aftermath.
Towards the end of the war, after the Red Army had entered into Germany, at one point when some German women were being gang raped by Soviet soldiers, and the women begged to be shot to end their misery, they got the reaction: Kill you? Hey, what do you think we are, uncivilized?
Meanwhile, at the Schulstrasse camp in Berlin, another surreal, yet possible, exchange:
Well, we’ve got good news, and bad news.
Could we have the good news first? We could sure appreciate some good news.
OK- the good news is that the SS aren’t going to come and shoot you- you’re liberated!
Oh, yes- that is wonderful, indeed! Good news couldn’t get any better for us than that. So now, what’s the bad news?
Meanwhile, somewhere else in Berlin…
I’ve got something to show you…
It’s very, very special to me…
I’ve had to keep it hidden away- this is the first time it’s seen the light of day in the past twelve years!
OK, OK, so show me this precious thing of yours already.
It’s my German Communist Party membership card! You see, I’m a communist, just like you guys!
Ah yes, that’s nice. Yup, very nice… Say, Fritz-
It’s Kurt, actually.
Whatever- is your wife around, by any chance? How about daughters, got any daughters?
Yeah, you get the idea. They were rather indiscriminate… nuns, grandmothers, adolescent girls, heavily pregnant women, and certainly plenty who weren’t Nazis, or even German (not that it’s justifiable in any case, of course, just to be perfectly clear on that score).
But, lest I be accused of being imbalanced…
I wouldn’t want that to be said of me.
I would not recommend viewing the Wikipedia page “War Crimes of the Wehrmacht”, if you’ve eaten recently. But herein, on this relentlessly ghastly page, does lie the answer to the question of the reverse, i.e., the extent of the rapes of Soviet women by the German army when they invaded the Soviet Union (well insofar as information from the crowdsourced Internet can be trusted, I suppose…) Anyway, after scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling (yeah, this page is raaaather long), when I finally reached that number, honestly my first reaction was that this must be a typo… there just seemed like too many zeroes in it- yikes, seven??
Holy Hypocrisy, Batman!
OK, so you might ask, why dredge up all this awful stuff from ancient history? How could it still matter, so many years later?
Well, just because many years have gone by, doesn’t mean that the underlying issue is no longer with us, in some form or another.
This is undeniably an extremely sensitive subject, and so I certainly don’t want to be misinterpreted regarding these matters…
Perhaps this little chart can clarify things- it assesses some possible reactions to the recent sexual assaults in Germany and some other European countries, purportedly being carried out by Muslim migrants:
Published in 2016 by Sandra Goldstein.