Jan 6, 2011
In America, atrocities that were committed against Germans during World War II are virtually unknown. After all, Americans are very fond of the simple dichotomy of “Good” and Evil.” Hollywood has done their job well in convincing Americans that Germans during the Nazi era personify the complete and utter epitome of evil. For the average American to recognize that some (let alone millions) Germans were victims during World War II might put them into a stupefied state and could possibly shatter their Hollywood produced moral compass, a potential tragedy, no doubt. Of course, in the creative world, some of the atrocities have seen the light of day, even with the Hollywood blinders so carefully covering American eyes. German-American author Kurt Vonnegut’s science-fiction novel Slaughterhouse-Five semi-autobiographically tells the author’s experiences as an American POW during the Anglo-American firebombing of the city of Dresden, an act of government executed terrorism with the sole agenda of killing civilians. Naturally, with around ¾ of the German military occupying the eastern front during World War II, the Germans committed most of their atrocities against the Soviet Union, something the Red Army would payback with blood covered interest when the course of the war changed and German defeat became inevitable. In the German film A Woman in Berlin directed by Max Färberböck, the viewer is exposed to the true story of one woman’s account as a victim of the mass raping of German women during the occupation of Eastern Germany by the Red Army.
At the conclusion of World War II, the mass raping of German women had practically turned into Soviet war policy. The Soviet Jewish propagandist Ilya Ehrenburg boasted to the advancing Red Army troops, "that blonde hag is in for a bad time." With sadistic Judaic vengeance, Ehrenburg also wrote in a leaflet addressed to Soviet soldiers "...the Germans are not human beings...nothing gives us so much joy as German corpses." Unfortunately for Ehrenburg, he did not to get to witness firsthand the mass rapes that he would help promote. Unlike the holy holocaust number of six million, the exact number of German women raped during the initial Soviet occupation has yet to be exactly quantified, ranging between tens of thousands to two million. In the film A Woman in Berlin, we see through the eyes of one woman and her friends the repeated raping of individual women (each victim was raped as many as 70 times). Apparently, the Soviets were so rape-crazy that they also raped Soviet and Jewish women, surely an expression of the Marxist commitment to diversity. A Woman in Berlin is set from 20 April to 22 June 1945 in a Germany that laid in ruins. The film’s protagonist Marta Hillers (played by the beautiful Nina Hoss) goes from idealistic bourgeois Nazi to a woman using her body as a plaything for Soviet soldiers (in an desperate attempt at survival) in just a matter of a couple of months.
Like starving children locked in a candy store, the Red Army soldiers featured in A Woman in Berlin rape Germany women with a guiltless thirst and pride immediately after occupying Berlin. With certainly no pun intended, the German women don’t know what hit them as they are raped by barbarian-like Soviet troops. After being raped a couple times, Marta Hillers soon realizes that if she is going to be raped, it is going to be a man of her choosing. Despite being victims of rape, the German women featured in A Woman in Berlin are not portrayed in the most angelic of lights. Being the most beautiful woman in her area, Hillers soon has a Soviet officer wining and dining her and a group of her friends. To save her exquisite German body, Hillers goes from bedding a Nazi officer to a Soviet officer without a second thought, eventually falling dubiously in love with her Russian gentleman. For the best argument against feminism, one just has to look at the position of women during war as the truest argument against gender equality. Like freshly cut meat and German cigarettes, the woman of A Woman in Berlin become property (albeit, conspiring property) used by the victorious the Red Army for whatever they see fit.
Marta Hillers must have been very happy that she was born beautiful as her Russian rapist is quite the romantic and falls in love with the enemy. To the credit of women, Hillers is able to manipulate her Russian officer into even siding with her over his own people. Of course, the Russian officer’s romantic allegiance to a German woman soon leads to his deluge; truly an expression of the power one woman can have over a man’s life. Ultimately, A Woman in Berlin is a film about the absurdity of humanity. The Red Army starts out raping and pillaging in the film but by the end display kindness and friendship with their German enemies. It must have been a sight to see a bunch of intoxicated (with Vodka, the holy water of Russia) Russian soldiers and German women dancing together at a party in a bombed out German home as shown in A Woman in Berlin. The film is like a less melodramatic and less artsy version of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s The Marriage of Maria Braun. Like the lead lady of Fassbinder’s film, the female protagonist is determined to restore her dignity, even if involves ruining the lives of a couple men in the process.
Posted by Soiled Sinema at 9:06 PM
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