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The end of World War Two was not the same all over Germany It was quite civilized in the West, where the Americans and the British approached, fought, and eventually occupied It was anything but civilized in the East, where the Russians came There were significant differences between the Western occupying forces namely, the Americans and the British and the Russians Yes, most of the Russians soldiers and even officers were primitive folks, many of which country population of the vast Russian prairies, with their average education level far below that of the American and the British soldiers Yes, it was also in their culture that is, if you wish to call this culture that the victors loot the conquered areas, rob the defeated, and rape their women Yet one cannot only account the behavior of the Russians to them being uneducated, primitive, and, if you wish to say so, animal like One should never forget how the German soldiers, members of a nation of poets and thinkers , members of what they had been made to believe a master race , had acted in Russia when invading the country without any provocation They had just simply acted like pigs No, I ll take this back I don t want to insult pigs O.k., not all German soldiers had acted like that But plenty of them They had not only robbed poor peasants of their livelihood, that is, their livestock, their meager food storage, and, quite often, their last loaf of bread, leaving them to starve, they had also murdered civilians of all ages, including children, and they had brutally raped women and killed some right after.So what kind of behavior would someone expect from a Russian soldier whose wife, sister, and or daughter had been raped by invading German soldiers and or whose whole or partial family had been murdered or left to starve Women remaining in Berlin, left with next to none supplies and with no possibility to leave the city , got the brunt of this Russian behavior For the actual contents of this book, please read the description of this book You might also wish to read about Marta Hillers, the assumed author of this book, which was, and still is, published with Anonymus as author Here is the link to Wikipedia s entry on Marta Hillers reading this book, I now understand why my grandmother, who wasn t particularly religious, was praying every night that the Americans would arrive at our town before the Russians would get here Again, I have no intention to vilify the Russians Btw, my husband is 1 4 Russian His paternal grandfather was an officer POW in the First World War He was assigned to slave labor on the farm where my husband s grandmother was the farmer s daughter Who are THE Russians anyway Who are THE Germans Who are THE Americans THE Russians are the Berlin rapists they are Tolstoy they are Ivan the Terrible they are Dostoyevsky they are Putin they are the fabulous dancers of the Bolshoi Ballet they are my Russian Goodreads friends they are my husband s grandfather.THE Germans are Hitler and the Nazis they are Goethe and Schiller they are Angela Merckl they are my nice and also my nasty previous German neighbors they are my friend Mariele, who was one of my dying mother s caregivers and who purchased a mistreated mountain lion from a pimp and drove some thousand miles until she could finally deliver the animal to a zoo that would take it.THE Americans are George Washington they are Mark Twain they are Richard Nixon they are John Steinbeck they are my beloved Barrack Obama they are the first American GI I saw, who gave me the piece of chocolate he had in his pocket and my mother the fish he had just caught they are our pious Mormon neighbors and they are Donald Trump and the addle brained masses who voted for him. Two days after finishing, I still can t stop thinking about the haunting beauty of this rare journal, deeply saddened at the events described and equally saddened she didn t write This is the kind of book that sucks all the oxygen out of the air, that needs space once it is finished The idea of starting something new is out of the question, almost sacrilege One wants a moment of silence, to reach through time and hug the writer, which cannot be done.The prose is understated and often brilliant Our fate is rolling in from the east Her skills of observation superb I ve never seen read a victim of war describe so much personal pain with so little animosity or bitterness toward the events and perpetrators If I could only read five books on WWII, this would be one of those five It is, perhaps, the best example of what happens in a conquered city rape, murder, pillage The account is first person No axe to grind This version, by the author s wish, was not republished until after her death, just a few years ago You can find her name if you google the story, but it is apparent she wanted neither fame nor money from her account If I could give a book a rating higher than five stars, I would honor A Woman in Berlin such. When we speak of war fatalities, of those who have fallen, of those who have offered themselves up as sacrifices for the purpose of but to what purpose We think of fallen soldiers on the battlefield, yet far behind those front lines that so often are saluted in honor with parades and holidays are the women Throughout the history of humankind, women of all ages have been treated as the prize of the conquerer To the winner go the spoils, and the spoils are women A Woman in Berlin is a journal kept over a two month period of time in 1945, when Berlin was overtaken by the Russian Soviet Army The author, dubbed simply Anonymous, is rud to be a German woman named Marta, well educated, perhaps a journalist who has seen much of the world but not in this way For eight weeks she chronicles the battle of the woman in war Over 100,000 women are raped over this 8 week period in Berlin Not once, but over and over again The diarist writes of this time in a way that perhaps only a journalist could, keeping emotions in check, remaining clear eyed, intelligence evident, apparently using her writing as a tool of survival If the horrors of war are indescribable, the horrors of what women have had to endure as the human spoils of wars over time has had little examination, little if any punishment arguably this behavior has even been encouraged , and even less understanding This book is important reading to anyone wishing to understand war Any war Who will pin purple hearts on these women for their suffering and degradation Who can measure the wounds that never heal and their lifelong consequences to invidividuals and to societies These are the unsung heroes who are forced to submit, yet so often rise up first to rebuild what war has torn apart homes, families, lives The first time this diary was published, it was not received as the heroic work of a survivor The diarist was ostracized, because so often people turn away from and deny what hurts most, what reminds us of the depravity in mankind She gave instruction to not publish these pages again until after her death, which arrived in 2001 But this is a timeless book, because women are being used and abused as the spoils of wars today Witness Bosnia and Kosovo, Darfur, Iraq, and the list goes on to include every battle in which man has raised a weapon, himself becoming a weapon of destruction Essential reading. 8 Although this book was and still is published anonymously, in 2003 the author was identified as Marta Hillers, a journalist who had died two years previously at the age of 90 She was cultured, well travelled, multilingual, and 34 years old when she wrote this diary, which covers only 58 days It was first published in 1954, in English, then four years later, in German They really hated it in Germany.Wiki quotes a German author Hans Magnus Enzensberger about the book s reception and it s worth repeating here German readers were obviously not ready to face some uncomfortable truths German women were not supposed to talk about the reality of rapes and German men preferred not to be seen as impotent onlookers when the victorious Russians claimed their spoils of war The author s attitude was an aggravating factor devoid of self pity, with a clear eyed view of her compatriots behavior before and after the Nazi regime s collapse, everything she wrote flew in the face of the reigning post war complacency and amnesia.After that she would not allow the book to be published again She had been abused by a whole new bunch of people So it had to wait another 50 years, until her death, and a new translation, and then, only then, could people take the harsh truth she was recording.We, her present readers, have to deal with the fact that Marta Hillers worked for the Nazis throughout the war but, as Wiki says, kindly I suppose, she was probably not a member of the Nazi Party In Samuel Richardson s Pamela, in Bram Stoker s Dracula, in Liaisons Dangereuses, and a thousand other epistolatory novels, the reader s credulity is strained by the characters continually finding the time in their busy adventures to write a detail crammed account of the exciting events of the day It s one of those literary devices that has always seemed completely unrealistic to me But this book appears to prove it can and has been done just like that During the longeurs between being bombed, scavenging for food and being attacked by Russian soldiers, Marta Hiller writes with pinpoint immediacy and with remarkable fluency A TRUTH ABOUT WAR INSTEAD OF THE USUAL EVASIONS AND EUPHEMISMSHere is the truth soldiers, all of them, from commanders down to the lowly infantry, who conquer enemy territory regard the rape of women as their right They don t even stop to consider the concept of rape It s not rape to the soldiers, it s payback, for what the enemy did to their sisters, daughters and wives, maybe, but also, mostly, it s just because they want to There is no such thing as military discipline in the chaos of an advancing front line In most cases there is a deliberate policy of allowing wholesale rape, for various reasons let the men blow off some steam, relax, take a little pleasure and let the enemy feel our wrath You heard about the sack of Rome, the fall of Troy, the collapse of the Third Reich, all these big yet soothingly distant words sack, fall, collapse But this diary gives you the hour by hour of what actually happens when an invading army fights through your city street by street, and engulfs your own street. Then what happens to the civilians If you re female, you are expecting to be raped Maybe you can stash your daughter in some hideyhole Maybe you can dress as a man Maybe you can use make up to make yourself look olderThat s ironic, right The older ones over 50, say can be glad for their faded looks All other females expect their turn will come It usually doesn t come by rough seizing, what happens is that a couple of soldiers just turn up at your door, push it open, and invite you to sit down for a couple of friendly drinks They re smiling, they re happy souls, look, they have brought vodka, there s no reason to become alarmed Or, one will turn up unannounced around ten at night, looking for a place to sleep It s your bed he has in mind, not the sofa.What Marta does, and what we imagine other resourceful women doing, or trying to do, is, after the first onslaught by drunken squaddies, find herself a protector, an officer type, who she will allow to rape her regularly on the understanding that he will keep others away This works until the hurly burly of the war drags her first Russian officer away she has to get a new one pronto, or the squaddies will be back And so it goes Outside , the war is still on And we have a new morning and evening prayer For all of this we thank the Fuhrer A line we know from the years before the war, when it was printed in praise and thanksgiving on thousands of posters, proclaimed in speeches Today the exact same words have precisely the opposite meaning, full of scorn and derision I believe that s what s called a dialectic conversion.When civil society was restored, this treatment of women as sex slaves faded away when the German men came back to Berlin and elsewhere, and patched together their domestic life, they didn t want to hear a single word about what had happened in their absence The whole subject of rape was buried by mutual consent Just, in fact, like the crime of child abuse neither the victim nor the perp ever wants to talk about it I can t recommend this book, it s beautifully written, but it s just so grim Men will be depressed to get so strongly the sense that the soldiers were thinking of course we will have sex with these women What, are you crazy You would too if you were here This is our reward for our heroic fighting Anyway, it s just a bit of fun why all this squawkingand women will be reminded why their mothers told them never to live in a war zone, in case they had forgotten that useful advice. {Download} ì Eine Frau in Berlin: Tagebuch-Aufzeichnungen vom 20. April bis 22. Juni 1945 ñ A New York Times Book Review Editors ChoiceFor Eight Weeks In , As Berlin Fell To The Russian Army, A Young Woman Kept A Daily Record Of Life In Her Apartment Building And Among Its Residents The Anonymous Author Depicts Her Fellow Berliners In All Their Humanity, As Well As Their Cravenness, Corrupted First By Hunger And Then By The Russians A Woman In Berlin Tells Of The Complex Relationship Between Civilians And An Occupying Army And The Shameful Indignities To Which Women In A Conquered City Are Always Subject The Mass Rape Suffered By All, Regardless Of Age Or Infirmity