How many rapes did the Wehrmacht commit in the Soviet Union during World War II?

Every year in May we hear Germans and those who use them complain about the rapes of the Red Army after its victory over the Nazis. And every year two hugely important topics are overseen: First, concerning rapes, the Soviets weren’t better or worse than the Americans. Second, before the Soviets raped German women, German soldiers invaded the Soviet Union and raped Soviet women.

Rapes in particular, and violence against civilians in general, doesn’t seem to bother the modern public in most cases. It is considered problematic only when it can be attached to Holocaust. That is, if the Nazis rape a woman and she happens to be Jewish, that’s a problem. But if she is non-Jewish, then it isn’t even worth mentioning. At least that’s the impression I get from reading materials on the topic.

Such behavior on the Western side can be explained by the fact that the Cold War was about finishing what the Germans started in Russia. You cannot have compassion with people whom you intend to nuke. What’s striking is that Soviet and Russian historians, politicians, and propagandists never used that topic in their ideological fight against the West. It seems they don’t care about their women as well.

But a hypocrisy doesn’t cease to a hypocrisy just because everybody supports it. In this post I estimate the number of rapes committed by the Germans on the Eastern front, primarily in the Soviet Union.

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