French women were brought into Wehrmacht brothels and forced into prostitution. There is evidence that sexual violence was institutionalized in the German army.
Of the more than 17 million Wehrmacht soldiers until 1944 just 5349 were punished for "moral crimes". Overall, however, military sentences were passed against some 1.5 million members of the Wehrmacht for desertion or self-mutilation. The small number of sanctioned sexual offenses provides little information about the actual extent. Rather, rape was either not displayed, or they only played a "minor role" in the eyes of the military judge.
There were rapes as this led the commander of the 14th Army in September 1939, to urge his commanders after the invasion of Poland to take action against the "mistreatment of defenseless" and to "rape". In September 1941, when the Wehrmacht was in the Soviet Union, Field Marshal Günther von Kluge in a command ordered to maintain the "discipline" after the increase of rape.
A major factor in the low number of convictions is that enemy people were considered outlaws on the orders of Hitler which prevailed since May 13, 1941, which forbade persecution of German soldiers for "actions committed by members of the Armed Forces against enemy civilians".
Nevertheless, there were so many cases of rape committed by SS men that the complaints from the top echelons of the Wehrmacht reached even the Führer’s headquarters. War records prove that rape was also committed by members of the Wehrmacht. In order to control the spread of venereal diseases, brothels were set up for the Wehrmacht (approx. 500 throughout the war) and for SS officers where hundreds of girls and prostitutes, mostly of Polish and Russian origin, were forced to work "Whore for Hitler's troops" was tattooed on these young women. (after March 1942, Jewish women were no longer allowed to work in brothels). Forced prostitution and rape were common in concentration camps, female prisoners being mainly the victims. Documents presented at the Nuremberg Trials in 1946 prove the fact that systematic acts of rape were committed by the German conquerors.
"Rape by SS men was common, There were complaints that Wehrmacht soldiers too raped."
In World War II, the German military brothels were set up by the Third Reich throughout most of occupied Europe, for the use by their soldiers in the Wehrmacht and for the SS officers. These establishments were sometimes set up via existing brothels which they took over in the West, but generally organized as new, especially in the East. Until 1942, there were 500 brothels of this kind in Western and Eastern Europe. Operating in hotels confiscated by the Nazis, these self-evident war-rape sites used to serve travelling soldiers and those withdrawn from the front. In combination with the German concentration camp brothels, it is estimated that at least 34,140 women were forced to serve as prostitutes during the Third Reich. In most cases, especially in Eastern Europe, the women were being caught on the streets of occupied cities in Łapankas (Nazi German military kidnapping raids against civilians) and forced to serve as prostitutes thereafter.
"German Wehrmacht soldiers, members of the SA and the SS and the police battalions were the ones who raged equally cruel and patriarchal in all the occupied countries of Europe"
The Foreign Ministry of the Polish Government in Exile issued a document on May 3, 1941, describing the mass kidnapping raids conducted in Polish cities with the aim of capturing young women for sexual slavery in new brothels attended by German soldiers and officers. At the same time, Polish girls as young as 15, classified as suitable for slave labor and shipped to Germany, were sexually exploited by German soldiers usually at their place of destination.
The Swiss Red Cross mission driver Franz Mawick wrote in 1942 from Warsaw about what he saw:
"Uniformed Germans ... gaze fixedly at women and girls between the ages of 15 and 25. One of the soldiers pulls out a pocket flashlight and shines it on one of the women, straight into her eyes. The two women turn their pale faces to us, expressing weariness and resignation. The first one is about 30 years old. "What is this old whore looking for around here?" – one of the three soldiers laughs. "Bread, sir" – asks the woman. ....."A kick in the ass you get, not bread" – answers the soldier. Owner of the flashlight directs the light again on the faces and bodies of girls. ... The youngest is maybe 15 years old ...... They open her coat and start groping her with their lustful paws. "This one is ideal for bed" – he says.".
In the Soviet Union women were kidnapped by German forces for prostitution as well; one report by International Military Tribunal writes "in the city of Smolensk the German Command opened a brothel for officers in one of the hotels into which hundreds of women and girls were driven; they were mercilessly dragged down the street by their arms and hair.
This is from the secretly recorded tapes of the conversation between captured German soldiers in a Britain prison. It appears in the book Soldaten by Sonke Neitzel
'First we hit her in the t**s with a stick and then we beat her rear end with a bare bayonet. Then we f***** her, and then we threw her outside and shot at her. When she was lying there on her back, we threw grenades at her. 'Every time one of them landed near her body, she screamed.'
'And just think, there were eight German officers sitting at that table with me, and they all broke out laughing.'
France surrendered on June 22, 1940. It provided many brothels for the German occupiers. In the second half of July, two orders were issued for the suppression of street prostitution and the establishment of brothels for the Wehrmacht. Nazis confiscated existing brothels, put in its own staff, adhering to the criteria of Aryan racial purity. Officers were not allowed to go to these places, they were put up in hotels. Thus Wehrmacht commanders wanted to stop the spread of homosexuality and sexually transmitted diseases in the army to increase the incentives for soldiers, prevent intimate relationships on the side, for fear of espionage.
The leaders of the Wehrmacht established a thoroughly bureaucratic system of around 100 new brothels already before 1942, based on a existing system of government controlled ones. The soldiers were given official visitation cards issued by Oberkommando des Heeres and were prohibited from engaging in sexual contact with other French women. In September 1941, General von Brauchitsch suggested that weekly visits for all younger soldiers be considered mandatory to prevent any "sexual excesses" among them. The sex workers had a scheduled medical check-up to prevent the spread of venereal diseases. The order to regulate the soldiers' sex life was issued on 29 July 1940. From that point on, free prostitution was forbidden and persecuted by the police. As before, the prostitutes were paid a nominal fee. The soldiers had to bring up the money themselves from their regular pay.
Due to the high incidence of rape, homosexuality and disease among soldiers, on September 9, 1939 the Minister of the Interior Wilhelm Frick decreed the establishment of brothels in the occupied territories.
Rape of German Women During WW2 (Eyewitness Account)
Rape of German Women When The Country Lost The War
Mass rape of German Women
Rape of Japanese Women By American Soldiers (WW2)
BRUTAL MASS RAPE OF GERMAN WOMEN During (And After) WW2
Brownmiller, Susan : Against our will. rape and male dominance
The book in German (Gegen unseren Willen. Vergewaltigung und Männerherrschaft)
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