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Not to downplay how serious this stuff is, I actually read this and was like, wow, the numbers this lady is proposing are way higher than what I would have thought, and I would have already guessed on the high end. (From The Local):
Professor Miriam Gebhardt’s book When the Soldiers Came, published this week, includes interviews with victims, stories of the children of rape and research that she conducted over the course of a year and a half into birth records in Allied-occupied West Germany and West Berlin.
“Now, 70 years after the war, it’s long past the time when one could be suspected of dealing with German victimhood,” Gebhardt, an author and lecturer at the University of Konstanz, told The Local.
“There is no longer the question that one might want to relativize the responsibility of the Germans for the Second World War and the Holocaust.”
Gebhardt said she arrived at that number of sexual assaults by estimating that of the so-called ‘war-children’ born to unmarried German women by the 1950s, five percent were products of rape.
She also estimates that for each birth, there were 100 rapes, including of men and boys.
Gebhardt’s numbers are higher than previous estimates. A well-received 2003 book by American professor of criminology J. Robert Lilly, Taken by Force, estimated that American soldiers committed around 11,000 rapes in Germany.
While an article published by Der Spiegel on Monday raised questions about whether Gebhardt’s figures accurately reflected the incidence of sexual assault in post-war Germany, Lilly told The Local that her estimates were certainly reasonable.
“Gebhardt’s numbers are plausible, but her work is not a definitive account,” said Lilly in an interview with The Local, explaining that no exact number could ever be known because of a lack of records.
“It is confirmation of research that I have done and it adds to this ongoing discussion of what happens in the underbelly of war – What goes on that we haven’t talked about.”
Much of the discussion of sexual assaults against Germans has focused on the Soviet troops in east Germany, who are estimated to have committed between one to two million rapes during the time.”
Millions of rapes you say, I’m just going to continue to try not to think about that one. Read the rest over at The Local.