Why nobody talks of American war crimes in World War II

“After the war, it was easier to talk about the Red Army raping women,” says Gerhardt, than to challenge the collective memory of the western Allies in 1945 as liberators. Stereotypes from the First World War of uncivilized Russians from the East, and Nazi-era propaganda about the Red Army also played their role, explains the author of the book, called “When the Soldiers Came.”

While spreading stories of “uncivilized” and “brutal” Russian soldiers, many Western historians have remained silent on the massive casualties sustained by the Soviet Union during the Second World War. While the war claimed the lives of 418,000 Americans, 600,000 French nationals and 450,000 Britons, the USSR’s casualties amounted to 27 million. On Soviet territory, Nazi soldiers committed hideous atrocities on a scale that could hardly be imagined by the West, such as the hanging and burning alive of peaceful civilians, including women and children.

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American rape in an idyll

In the idyllic Oberwarngau in district Miesbach two sisters are mowing on June 20th, 1945. One GI jumps from the forest, shoots one young woman, and chokes the other one. Then, he drags her into the undergrowth and abuses her. Because he doesn’t have cartridges, he tries to kill her with a stone.

You can find more information about the violence of American troops against civilians in Europe here.

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Lethal rapes committed by US soldiers in Upper Bavaria

Rapes with lethal consequences occured in Munich’s vicariate Mariahilf, where a woman from the Welfenstrasse was first abused, and then shot by American soldiers.

In Unterstein bei Berchtesgaden an 11-year old girl is shot in her foot during an escape attempt.

A woman injures herself when she jumps from a balcony.

In Tittmoning a woman dies due to an acute cardiac death because both of her daughters are threatened by GIs.

In Schönberg a young woman dies because of an abortion done wrong.

You can find more information about the violence of American troops against civilians in Europe here.

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“Hunt for women and girls”: American mass rapes in Upper Bavaria

Overall, the invasion reports of pastors in Archdiocese of Munich-Freising show an oppressive picture of an actual, comprehensive mass rape in Upper Bavaria, committed primarily by US soldiers, occasionally also by the French. Among others, it happened in

1. Lochhausen,
2. Obertaufkirchen,
3. Feldmoching,
4. Schellenberg bei Salzburg,
5. Neumarkt,
6. Oberau,
7. Ebersberg,
8. Grafing,
9. Holzkirchen,
10. Freising,
11. Miesbach (incl. rapes of children),
12. Moosach,
13. Kirchdorf bei Haag,
14. Wolfratshausen,
15. Otterfing,
16. Traunstein,

as well as in Munich in the parishes

* St. Emmeram,
* St. Achaz and
* Namen Jesu.

In many communities the pastors write generally about a “hunt for women and girls”, e. g. in Allach.

You can find more information about the violence of American troops against civilians in Europe here.

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American rapes in Dorfen

Pastor Matthias Kern from the parish St. Wolfgang in Dorfen writes:

“It had bad and exciting consequences that during the first two weeks cars with black and white soldiers came from Dorfen. Their pretext was to search for [German] soldiers. They forced their way into the houses and pounced on women and girls. Possibly, the rape may have succeeded in 5 to 10 cases.”

You can find more information about the violence of American troops against civilians in Europe here.

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What happens when you are female and trust American “liberators” in 1945

Pastor Ludwig Axenböck from the parish Schönau writes on July 21st, 1945: “A woman who lived in Mailling and who has been evacuated from Munich spent a lot of time with the Americans, drank with them. They threw her from the car in a forest and drove over her. She suffered a quintuple pelvis fracture and had to spend 10 weeks in the hospital of Aibling.”

You can find more information about the violence of American troops against civilians in Europe here.

Sources

  • Mirjam Gebhardt, “Als die Soldaten kamen“, chapter 3, “Wer schützt uns vor den Amerikanern?” (“Who protects us against the Americans?”)

The biggest problem of pastor Stephan from parish Oberhummel

Cleric Stephan from parish Oberhummel is particularly pitiless in his feelings. He writes that there have been heavy plunderigs and rapes.

But the “biggest problem” are liberated concentration camp inmates to whom the best food was offered. They ate too much of it and got sick.

You can find more information about the violence of American troops against civilians in Europe here.

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What the Catholic church cares and doesn’t care about

On the way Catholic priests from Archdiocese of Munich-Freising kept record about the rapes by the American soldiers in 1945:

From the reports of the priests it becomes clear that in their eyes the sexual violence in their communities wasn’t by far the largest problem. They report with much more detail and often with more indignation about plundering of the soldiers, the former prisoners of war, forced workers, people released from concentration camps and their own population. There are many detailed reports on property crimes and a few brief ones about sex offences. You can’t help, but get the impression that the clerics cared more about the integrity of their church towers and safety of their altar wine rather than the safety of the female part of the congregation.

You can find more information about the violence of American troops against civilians in Europe here.

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American and French rapes in Archdiocese of Munich-Freising

The Archdiocese of Munich-Freising is approximately comparable to the government district of Upper Bavaria. On its sparsely populated 12,000 square kilometers live more than 2 million people, 90 % of them Catholic. [According to reports by Catholic priests] In 21 communities there are reports of “multiple” rapes without a more precise number. 113 cases are described explicitly (with name and often address).

If we assume that there were, on average, 3 cases in 21 communities that provided no precise data, then the total number of rapes during the first three months of occupation (first the French, then the American one) amounts to about 200 cases.

You can find more information about the violence of American troops against civilians in Europe here.

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