Rapes committed by Americans in Moosburg an der Isar, Germany

Moosburg an der Isar is located 45 kilometers to the North-East of Munich, next to today’s airport in Erdinger Moos. At the end of the war, in 1945, it’s a town with 10,000 inhabitants.


Six days before the end of the war the mayor Hermann Müller (who holds this position since 1933) decides to surrender to the victors without fighting. On April 29th, 1945 American negotiators appear in the town in order to negotiate the surrender. At the beginning, everything runs smoothly. The commander and the mayor agree and arrange a capitulation. But on the next day, a Sunday, the Waffen-SS begins to build entrenchments. An American officer is outraged: “That’s what a word of honor of a German officer is worth.” American tanks slowly approach the town.

At 10:15 the fight of Moosburg begins. The SS gives way to superior might and retreats behind a bridge over the river Amper. The inhabitants sit in their basements. Grenades explode. One of the church towers is being shot at. Fires break out. There is a fight on the square in front of the church. First GIs appear in the courtyard of a parsonage. The square in front of the monastery is full of tanks. At a distance, the fights continue. The SS retreated over the Isar river and blowed up the Isar bridge. One part of German soldiers hides in the houses. Later it turns out that two teenage members of Hitler Youth shot at American tanks from revolvers.


The Americans begin to plunder the town with exceptional brutality. When someone doesn’t open the door voluntarily, they are blown up. Then the troops pillage the houses from the basement to warehouse. They take not only food, but everything that fits into bags made from duvet covers. Entire wheelbarrows full of stuff change owners: egg boxes, cheese from the dairy, beds, mattresses, quilts, preserving jars, frying pans, and many other things. Gasping, the American soldiers carry heavy loads on their backs. On their belts hangs dead poultry. In one basement they stumble upon 80,000 liters of wine. They carry it out in bathtubs, washtubs, milk cans, and buckets. The pillaging lasts for eight days. But that’s not all.

On Monday, the first day of conquest, first reports of rapes reach the pastor of Moosburg Alois Schiml. When the GIs enter a house where there are men, these are chased away at gunpoint or knife. One or two accomplices stand on guard. Several girls jump from the second floor on the street and lie injured there. Other women search refuge in the clergyman’s house. One of the halls there is transformed into a dormitory.

American military government issues an order, according to which a list of all inhabitants with their names and age must be nailed on doors of every house. “It is easy to guess, which consequences this decree had. 17 girls and women who were raped by Negroes one or multiple times were admitted to the hospital. Other girls and women come to the office hours of the doctor. In the adjacent village Volkmannsdorf black Americans raped a woman as well.” The pastor writes.

The fate of one maid is particularly shocking for him. The girl is raped by a white GI who wears a steel helmet. She has been melancholic before. During the following days she gets paranoid, especially when she sees a steel helmet. She receives asylum in the clergyman’s house. After her mood seemingly improves, she wants to return home. A couple of days later, she attempts to kill herself by falling from the third floor of her house. She is delivered into the hospital, into the “madman’s cell” as it was called back then. After about two weeks she is allowed to leave the cell, but her fellow patients keep an eye on her. One afternoon she sees three American soldiers wearing steel helmets enter the hospital. Panicking, she runs into the fourth floor and jumps, her head hits the paved surface. There she remains lying, covered with blood and unconscious. An American military doctor examines the girl and detects a fracture of the skull, which runs from the back of the head to the forehead. But she doesn’t seem to have any inner injuries. On August 1st, 1945, Schiml reports: “She is still alive, is geting better and is mentally healthy again.”


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