Previously published at liberty.me in January 2016.
As the new year reigns in we see much of the same from previous years. The ever present fear mongering from within the comfort of one’s own nation at the expense of apparently ‘invading’ others. The reasons to curb immigration and multiculturalism has a great many dot points on its near endless list of checks against foreigners. One has always been the apparent misogynistic backwardness that Oriental cultural groups seem to hold in regards to their own womenfolk, let alone another’s. The recent rape of two women in Germany and the numerous sexual assaults around the same time, all from recently arriving Syrian nationals, only further cements the argument that many cultural chauvinists hold in regard to the ‘dirty orientals’.
Germany is still a relatively young nation in recent terms and its history has been tumultuous to say the least as it set about late on its own colonial expansion into Africa, Oceania and Asia. It jockeyed for top position among industrial and military leaders of the World and always had the most educated in its populace at every stage of its history. Despite Germany’s many triumphs and tragedies at its own and others’ expense, its darkest moment was in the early to middle of the last century. Defeat in 1918 at the hands of superior Allied forces, humiliation afterwards at Versailles, inflationary mismanagement by interwar governments and bullying from its Western neighbours picking at the lean flesh of the remnants of Germany. All of which led to the rise of a Nationalist movement which ultimately led to the election of Adolf Hitler. It was with the currents of the time and the fervour felt from within Germany but also across the World that saw a sense of vindication in foreign adventurism. A ramping of nationalist pride and instincts.
As the German state grew and expanded along more martial lines, history was reinvented so as to suit the contemporary narrative. Scapegoats, as always, are a convenient scarecrow for any regime. It was the Jews, Gypsies, Anarchists, Communists (many of which had helped the Nazis come to power), fifth columnists and any other ‘undesirables’ who were used as a means upon which to unload the misgivings of Germany’s plight. The ultimate fate of these individuals was both terrifying and tragic. Like previous genocides, purges and mass imprisonment the German regime used the language of law and fear so as to validate itself. Many Germans were unaware of the ultimate fate of their State’s victims but, in their ignorance and obedience, they were in many ways complicit. However benign and reluctant or outright naïve they may have been, ultimately many were perhaps indifferent. Like the genocides and incarcerations of the Armenians by the Turks, the Ukrainians and others by the Soviets, the Indians by the British, the Native Americans by the United States, the Namibian peoples by the previous German regime, the Congolese by the Belgians and many Chinese by their various regimes, warlords and so on. The Nazi Government felt it had historical precedent to ‘get away’ with such terror and used law to condemn its victims to horrible deaths.
It was only after the inevitable war between Germany and the Allied nations, including the Soviet Union, that saw some of the criminals of the Nazi regime come to justice before a victors’ tribunal. Though many with very bloody hands would be utilised by the victors in the coming cold war. Some were hung, imprisoned and condemned for many of the things that their executioners were themselves doing or had done. It is not that Justice is simply blind, she can be raped as well. It was as the Allied and Soviet forces began to cross into the German frontier that the civil populace began to experience a terrifying and sanctioned violence, specifically against the female population. An onslaught of rape and murder savaged the German landscape beneath the vindicated thrusts of triumphant victors.
German women and girls had experienced sporadic rapes at the hands of invading Allied troops in the past. During the 1920s and early ‘30s, whenever the French regimes felt Germany was behind on its war reparations it would send its soldiers into the Rhineland with the basic mandate to rape and pillage with all of the crude romantic illusion of a Viking raid. Such incursions inspiring greater anger and desire to re-arm and strengthen Germany. At the time however this unfortunately became an accepted fate of a defeated people. The league of nations and much of the World ignored it. It was not until after World War Two, that the conquerors were again determined to exact revenge and inflict greater misery upon the populace because of the crimes of their Government. It was not enough the long war and mass carpet bombings of civilian dense cities had destroyed much of Germany and killed hundreds of thousands of people, no the German people needed to pay with their womanly virtue it seemed.
It has been estimated that Soviet soldiers alone raped approximately 1.4 million Germans in the Eastern provinces. Girls from as young as eight to women as old as eighty suffered this violent indignity. It was not just that these women were raped, many were murdered after some during and a few beforehand. The violent lust for German women and girls was so widespread that most commanders simply ignored it or joined in. Those not violently taken were given the ‘option’ to provide comfort for food rations, chocolate or nylons. While some Allied and Soviets chased around the countryside looking for loot, the majority enjoyed the innocence of girl and womanhood. Though it seems that the majority of the rapists were Soviet soldiers, a good many Allied, most notably American service personnel participated in these criminal actions. But it was not a crime. Because crime needs law, and victors and rulers write the laws. Those few American soldiers that were tried and executed for rape were African Americans. The white uniformed rapists did not seem to suffer the same fate as the coloured ranks. Perhaps in these instances the crime was not the rape itself but perhaps only an extension of many US domestic racially motivated laws.
It seemed that writers and journalists, while aware of such actions, all but looked away. Many making note of such conduct as though it was an inevitable fixture of fate. Should those Soviet, American, British and French rapists so define every man from their respective nations and cultures? Should they represent every other soldier, however brave or cowardly, that donned the same uniform? Should the civil populace, their families included, be responsible for such actions? Or are these simply individuals acting out in a mass sanctioned orgy of lust and violence? Is the rape of Germany validated because the Germans of this era were considered simply evil? In the end justice was trampled beneath the considerations of history and millions of victims suffered miserably. Rape is still rape, regardless of who does it and who suffers it.
As Germany slowly recovered and endured beneath two differing regimes, many women in the East would go on to suffer before their Communist overlords. As is the case beneath any Government, those uniformed enforcers hold a power over the civil populace with both force of arms and legality. It was here that many victims were raped as a means of interrogation or blackmail. It was not the first time nor the last that police officers would use sex as a means by which to buy a woman’s freedom. In the West such abuse was less common but as always along with any occupying force emerges a cottage industry of call girls and brothels. Germany was no exception as Allied soldiers enjoyed favourable postings, stationed permanently in Germany at first to stop the Soviets from breeching the Fulda Gap and post-Cold war, just because. It was around these military towns and cities that many girls were invited at young ages to serve the uniformed ranks in the most traditional way that a girl could. The rape or forced prostitution of German girls did occur however it was far less common than those experienced in East Asia at the hands of the same military. And the outcomes as far as Justice goes were always much the same.
As West Germany began to experience a great boom, recovering from the war, price controls and dictates from the occupying forces, a freer marketplace began to revive industry and commerce. Poverty began slowly to minimise, especially when compared to those unfortunates in East Germany. Because of this Germany had a labour shortage and many immigrants were invited to fill these shortfalls. This saw many Turks come to Germany. It was here that the fears of Oriental barbarians began to take hold of many native Germans. Reports of real and imagined rape, assault, theft and murder increased and while some immigrants were involved, their involvement was nearly always exaggerated and polarised. This would continue all the way up until the present. The image of the dirty Turk a forever present boogieman within many European minds, second only to the dreaded Roma or Gypsies. Tragically Turkish immigrants did rape German women and German men did rape immigrant women, the outcome terrible for the victims. The narrative however absolute as individuals became collective examples.
With the recent refugee crisis caused by the Syrian-Iraq wars and the German government’s determination that their regime would take in a large swathe of the Syrian refugees, many from within and without Germany have voiced their protests at such a dangerous endeavour into multicultural integration. As many of the refugees are ‘fighting age’ males it has only helped to further depict the refugees as being either terrorist plants or outright rogues. Many of these ‘fighting age’ males are defectors or young men avoiding conscription to fight a war in which they do not believe in or do not wish to fight against fellow Syrians. Despite many outsders’ perceptions, the war in Syria-Iraq is more complex than simply Assad’s regime, Allied coalition, Russia and Daesh, the regions complex history predates 2012. In any case, these refugees were taken in by Germany and other European nations, however reluctantly.
Europe is a region of confused destiny. It is the old world, pretending to be new age. It struggles with national and cultural identity while hiding beneath a federation of singular identity. It has many intertwined histories but is the crucible for nearly all of Western civilisation. It is a region that in recent times portrays itself as liberal and open minded, but has a history of persecution, militantism and vicious chauvinistic imperialism. It has many languages, most spoken far and wide and yet beneath a singular union supposedly has a Euro voice. It claims to champion justice while it has itself an unjust past, boasts the rule of law as it supports and hosts the lawless and vile. It makes claims at secularism and yet it was the heart of Christendom. Classical Liberalism flickered among the viciousness of monarchy, fascism and communism. All of these elements are confined into a very small part of the World and, because of the centralised nature of governance, forces these people to suffer and endure despite their many qualms, fears, hopes and dreams. It attempts to unify so many histories and destinies with a singular fate. While many embrace the plight of these refugees and see them as individuals fleeing tragedy, others fear them as being violent foreigners who will bring a contrary way of life by their mass invasion. Many of the refugees can not control their fates and the actions of others among their ranks. The German political cabals decision to import on mass scores of refugees is a political one of mixed outcomes. Individuals both native and from abroad are caught up inside this mix.
If these mostly Syrian refugees are defined by the actions of those few rapists on New Year’s Eve, then how should we define the militaries, nations and cultures of the mass rapists of Germany’s past? Hardly anyone from the refugee community, be they Shiite, Maronite Christian, Baha’i or Sunni, condones those rapes or mistreatment of German women yet despite this the entire populace of refugees and Syria itself are condemned. It is said that ‘Islam’ as broad a theology as it is, is not only a terrorist’s faith but also one that condones and invites rape. While quotations from deranged Islamic community ‘leaders’ suggesting that the victims invite rape upon themselves or that men have a right to such, do the rounds in the Twitter-sphere, these are still only individuals spouting off their own disgusting opinions. Unfortunately more rapes will follow, human beings always do wicked things, the raping individuals should be punished severely. No matter who they are.
The trouble is that the German women raped by Allied and Soviet soldiers were apparently deserving of such a crime, just as some despicable leaders from within some Islamic sects claim now. That because of what the Nazi regime had done, it somehow validated the rapists’ rights to these women. Or because they are infidels and what ever other litany of putrid excuses. Individuals on the ground make these savage decisions on their own and should be bludgeoned harshly for it.
Every rapist, whether uniformed or not, always feels that they have a right to their victim. It is why much of this history has been ignored or, when investigated, validation has been sought to defend the rapists. Such validation as drunkardness, post-traumatic stress, vengeance for Nazi crimes or temporary war insanity have all been used. It would be a completely disgusting disregard to the recent rape victims, should one seek to use the excuse that the rapists were fleeing a war zone or that they were suffering from traumatic stress and this thus validated their raping of these women. It is a miracle of bias and cultural self-interest to look at victims of such torment and say that one group is deserving while the other is not. And let us just suppose that those women relegated as being ‘Nazi’ or ‘the Kaiser’s’ women, were in fact worthy of such retribution. What then does this say about the virtues of the Allies, their culture and theology?
Rape is a disgusting human trait. It knows no cultural constraint. It is not theological in origin and rapists wear many uniforms and speak many different tongues. Whether the rapist is a European coloniser of North American peoples, a Federal soldier in Sherman’s march to the sea, a Gestapo fiend, NKVD brute, LAPD flat foot, one of Lord Kitchener’s finest, a member of the Japanese army at Nanking, a former President, a comedy legend, a US Army soldier at Mai Lai, an arrogant football player, a recently freed slave, a Corsair pirate in the Mediterranean or a Syrian refugee. There is no one cultural profile that makes someone a rapist. To use the victims as a political punchline only further serves to humiliate them and detracts from the crime. To hold one victim up above others also only seeks to condone some rapists while further condemning their victims. To pursue the narrative that the Orient is the home to all rapists will ultimately only further divide the many peoples on this Earth. All victims and rapists are individuals. Collectives simply allow these violent individuals to thrive, as history continues to show, while many other victims are forever dismissed. If many wish to look to the East and accuse Islam or the Orientals of being the harbingers of rape, so be it. But please do so after looking upon the reflective glass of your own history. Individuals make the decision to rape, their actions not only haunt the victims but also their community. Rape is rape.
Kym Robinson, January 2016