An Interview with Professor Elena Senyavskaya (Еленой Сенявской)
Full member of the Academy of Military Sciences, Specialist in the Military History of Russia in the 20th century, Expert in Military Psychology, Author of more than 250 Scientific Papers.
Original Russian Language Article: http://sovsojuz.mirtesen.ru/blog/43183030982/1.-Vyimyisel-i-pravda-ob-«Iznasilovannom-Berline».-Oproverzhenie (Net Published 22.3.2016)
(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)
The US Cold War rhetoric is premised upon the disinformation that Soviet Communism was exactly the same as Nazi German fascism, and that Joseph Stalin was no different to Adolf Hitler. This ahistorical approach to misrepresenting the past has been so successful in the West, that many people are subsequently confused and dumbfounded to learn that the Soviet Union was an ‘ally’ of Britain and the US during WWII, and suffered between 27-40 million casualties fighting the Nazi German invasion of the USSR. The purpose of this US disinformation is to hide and obscure the egalitarian nature of Socialism, and turn the mind of the average Western worker against any association with it. In its drive to preserve its system of predatory capitalism, the US ideologues had to play-down the obvious advantages that Soviet Socialism offered the international working class, and drive a permanent wedge between the Western proletariat and its Soviet counterpart. To this end, much was borrowed by the US myth-makers from the Nazi Minister for Propaganda – Joseph Goebbels. The leading researcher of the Institute of Russian History (which is part of the Russian Academy of Sciences), is Doctor of Historical Sciences – Professor Elena Senyavskaya (Еленой Сенявской). Professor Elena Senyavskaya is an expert in the Nazi German and US disinformation campaign aimed at sullying the reputation of the Red Army, and associating its ‘liberation’ of Berlin with a deliberate policy of mass rape. Professor Elena Senyavskaya states that it was Joseph Goebbels who first ‘invented’ the idea that the Soviet Red Army was an army of barbaric rapists and murderers. He did this by simply accusing the Red Army of carrying-out the holocaustal activities the Nazi German Army had been routinely committing within the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe. The Nazi German Army, enthused as it was by racist rhetoric of its own superiority, carried-out mass rapes of Soviet women and young girls as part of its demeaning of an inferior race. If the victims were not gang-raped to death, or killed in some other equally hideous manner, the resulting pregnancies would ensure that the Slavic ethnicity would be replaced with at least partly ‘Aryan’ off-spring, making the Soviet population easier to control from a Nazi German point of view. Goebbels simply inverted the situation and incorrectly presented the marauding Nazi German Army as ‘liberators’, and the self-sacrificing Red Army as ‘brutish’ savages. The problem for the Nazi Germans had been that ordinary German people were beginning to go over to the advancing Red Army – seeing it as a ‘liberator’ from Hitlerite oppression. In an attempt to counter this, Goebbels concocted the story that the Red Army had a policy of ‘raping’ any girl or woman aged between 8 – 80. This scare tactic was designed to encourage the German civilian population to either fight the Red Army as it approached, or to retreat with the Nazi German Army as it was pushed back.
The mythology of Red Army mass rapes in Berlin (and elsewhere throughout Germany) was slow to development in the post-WWII anti-Soviet climate. Even in 1945, as the Soviets and US collaborated to secure and rebuild a defeated Germany, Western generated rumours were being spread of the Red Army committing between 20,000 and 150,000 rapes throughout Germany (not just Berlin). As there was no documented evidence surrounding these rumours, no mainstream historian took them seriously (although the Western far-right ideologues continued to espouse Goebbels’ ahistorical ramblings). This changed with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. In 1992, two (bourgeois) German feminists – named , Helke Zander and Barbara Yor – published a book entitled ‘Liberators and Liberated’, within which they ahistorically stated that the Red Army had committed 2 million rapes throughout Germany during the closing months of WWII. This was a dramatic reworking of Goebbels’ main anti-Soviet idea, and a massive increase in supposed ‘victims’, but a logical assumption of how these ‘authors’ arrived at this number reveals the fallacy of their argument. This incorrect number was arrived at using the following flawed methodology. Zander and Yor focused on a single Berlin Hospital for the years 1945-1946, and assessed the births that occurred there. For both years it was reported that around 500 babies were born respectively, with 15-20 fathers being recorded as ‘Russian’. In two or three cases it was reported that the pregnancy was caused by rape. These two ‘authors’ then ignored the fact that the vast majority of pregnancies were consensual, and assumed that ALL were the product of rape. They then presented Goebbels’ Nazi German propaganda of the Red Army raping all German women between the ages of 8-80 years, and concocted the arbitrary figure of ‘2 million’ as an ‘estimate’ of supposed rapes committed throughout the Soviet occupied areas of Germany. (These two ‘authors’, incidentally, remain ‘silent’ about the well documented rapes carried-out in Germany by US and British troops). However, even after this highly unreliable book was published, the idea of ‘2 million’ rapes did not gain much traction until the British historian Anthony Beevor published his ‘Fall of Berlin’ in 2002, within which he repeats without question the research of Zander and Yor, and perpetuates the anti-Soviet rhetoric of Goebbels’ Nazi German propaganda. This is the history behind how the Red Army was misrepresented by Nazi Germany and modern German and British revisionist ‘historians’ sympathetic to the political rightwing.
Since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, German people have been tired of having to repent for the holocaust and destruction they brought to the world during the 1930’s and 1940’s. They have found solace in a type of fiction made fact, that demonises the USSR and equates Stalin with Hitler. This alternative history has gained a certain credence through the decisions of endorsement made by various European organisations, and of course, the European Parliament. Coupled with the US anti-Soviet (and now ‘anti-Russian’) position, the burden of ‘guilt’ for the appalling crimes of WWII is being shifted from Germany to Russia. An attempt is being made to make the Russian people take the blame for the crimes committed by the Nazi German regime. People like Zander, Yor and Beevor are pursuing a typical Western bias against Russia and against Soviet history. This may be viewed as a form of anti-Slavic racism. There is no doubt that a ‘united’ Germany is trying to ‘hide’ its Nazi past and with US help is actively transferring the burden of historical guilt onto Russia. The Soviet Red Army did no wrong and was on the winning side, it must always be remembered. The reality is that women were ‘equal’ and ‘respected’ within the USSR – as were all women from around the world. Men and women respected one another within Soviet Society, and wherever possible, this respect was exported outside the USSR. Considering the crimes committed by the Nazi Germans within the USSR, the defeated German citizens were treated very well. Did rapes happen? Yes – but on a very small-scale. This was considered a highly ‘immoral’ crime within the Red Army, with those responsible often being tried and executed, but the incidence was very low, certainly far lower than the rapes committed by US or British troops in Germany. A report by the military prosecutor for the First Byelorussian Front regarding the illegal actions carried-out against the civilian population for the period from April 22 to May 5, 1945. (i.e. seven armies of the front) states that whilst amongst a civilian population of 908.5 thousand people, it was recorded that 124 crimes took place, of which 72 were rapes. Total 72 cases for 908.5 thousand …
Front commanders were responsible for the ideological education of the Red Army soldiers, although guidance was also often issued by the Soviet Government. The point is that leaflets and lectures were given explaining that the German working class people needed to be liberated from the bourgeois fascist Nazi regime, and that it was the Nazi elite themselves that were ultimately responsible, and not the ordinary German people. It was made clear to every Red Army soldier that it was highly expected that sections of the German population might well support the Soviets, and that everything possible must be done to facilitate this eventuality. Regardless of official communiques from the Soviet Government in Moscow – front commanders had to strictly follow the ‘internationalist’ ideology of Marxist-Leninism. What the West has to ignore when propagating the ‘mass rape’ lies about the Red Army, is the numerous reports from former German soldiers who stated clearly how well-behaved the Soviet soldiers were, particularly toward the German children. Yes – it is reported that within a number of political lectures a certain portion of the Soviet soldiers ‘questioned’ the orders to be ‘kind’, virtually all Red Army soldiers did follow these directions (with the exception of a few). This is remarkable considering the death and destruction caused in the USSR by the Hitlerite forces. Indeed, Russian historian Yuri Zhukov (Юрий Жуков) is of the opinion that on the whole no serving Red Army soldier committed any rapes in Germany, but that the rapes that were committed were carried-out by former Red Army soldiers and Soviet civilians released from Nazi German Concentration Camps. Due to the horrors experienced in these terrible places, obviously these people were not in their right minds. Eventually the Soviet Authorities took control of the situation and these people were apprehended and put in hospitals or special medical centres to recover from their ordeal. This was followed by a mass feeding and rebuilding campaign within Eastern Germany by the Soviet Authorities.
What is little known today, is how German civilians fled in terror from the British and US Armies that advanced into Western Germany. Western atrocities against the German population is a subject for another topic – but the idea that Germans ‘instinctively’ headed to the Western Allies is a myth. Soviet troops treated German women (and girls) with respect and did not even visit prostitutes (an act looked down upon by the Soviet officers). German civilians often arrived in the Soviet Zone of Occupation with tales of all kinds of abuse suffered at the hands of the Western Allies. Evidence suggests that US soldiers carried ‘gang rapes’ of German girls and women – usually accompanied by much violence. The US High Command turned a blind eye to these mass rapes, and would only occasionally punish a ‘Black’ soldier – despite most US rapes perpetuated by ‘White’ Americans. This is obviously a reflection of the racism that exists throughout US society. It seems that the US Authorities over the years have tried to ‘hide’ the behaviour of their White troops by scapegoating Black troops. On the other hand, some Black troops – such as the French Senegalese in Stuttgart – are reported to have raped around three thousand women and girls in the Subway, over a one or two-day period. In occupied Italy, for example, the Allied Moroccan troops are said to have raped women, girls and young boys. However, the vast majority of the rapes and looting throughout Western Germany were carried-out by ‘White’ British and American troops. These crimes are very well documented in the West but not very well known throughout the Western population. Not so long ago, Western websites were sharing a photograph of a Soviet soldier apparently wearing ‘two’ wristwatches – with cries of ‘looting’! – before it was pointed-out that one of these supposed watches was in fact a Soviet-issued ‘compass’. Another picture of a Red Army soldier apparently ‘stealing’ a bicycle from a German civilian actually shows bicycles being ‘commandeered’ by order of the Soviet Authorities.
Part of the problem with interpreting Soviet history properly, is that nowadays there are Russian academics who accept the US Cold War disinformation as ‘fact’ and do not question it. These types of people are like ‘enemies within’, which teach false history and perpetuate anti-Soviet and anti-Russian lies. Sometimes these individuals are just misled, but at other times they know exactly what they are doing. Prior to the collapse of the USSR, this kind of incorrect thinking only existed in the West – where it was invented and perpetuated – but today it has penetrated Russia at many levels to the extent that Russian people no longer know their true history. This is a case of US Cold War rhetoric continuing to cause damage to Russia from within, with Russians spreading the damage to future generations. I would say that bona fide academics know the true history because the facts are readily observable through research, but the internet has generated many misinformed ‘amateur’ historians who research nothing and share ignorance everywhere. What these distorters of history continuously omit is the truly horrific fate of Soviet women and the mass rape and abuse that they suffered at the hands of Nazi German troops and other Axis forces. It is the suffering of Soviet women that is being written-out of history, being replaced by the myth of the suffering of Nazi German women. This is exactly the result that Joseph Goebbels wanted and expected through his basic manipulation techniques. Black becomes white, up becomes down, and good becomes bad, etc. In the first decade following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West ensured that the films and documentaries that appeared all repeated the Nazi German and US lies about the USSR, about Stalin and about SMERSH, etc. Russian soldiers were depicted as drunken layabouts prone to violent outbursts, and the USSR not as an advanced Socialist society, but rather as a regime soaked in blood. This is brain-washing through the popular media which was illegal during the years of the USSR, but which is common currency today. The Soviet Leadership (particularly during WWII) is presented as fascist thugs that ordered the shooting of its best and most talented individuals, and won WWII by accident. None of this is true, and all of it is pure anti-Soviet fantasy from the West. There is no documented Russian language evidence for these things happening, and no reliable eye-witness reports. This pseudo-history forms a counter narrative to the facts of actual history and is used to obscure what really happened for what the US and Nazi propagandists would prefer the people to believe.
This all hinges on the Soviet Victory on May 9th, 1945, over the forces of Nazi German fascism. This victory by the Red Army had and continues to have immense historical impact upon world history. The Red Army brought men and women together from all over the Soviet Union and Russia, and served as a world-wide anti-fascist inspiration. The Nazi Germans tried to stop the Red Army on every level (including the use of anti-Soviet propaganda) but this rightwing effort failed. Where Goebbels has been successful is that his distorted thinking has been kept alive and developed by the US and its European Allies between 1945 and the present day. Not only did the USSR build a progressive Socialist society, but its victory over Nazi German fascism proved the superiority of its socio-economic structure even though warfare was not the primary focus of its existence. Building a peaceful world premised upon scientific development was the true purpose of the Soviet regime, but as these exposed the Western, capitalist system as being inherently inferior and of no developmental use for the working class, the enemies of Socialism must attack and destroy the true purpose of the USSR and replace it with a degenerate mirage. Modern Russia has been losing this battle of disinformation because there has been no reaction at State level. The Russian Government today remains ‘silent’ every time an anti-Soviet lie is perpetuated through the media, and makes no attempt to counter these untruths with alternative sources of reliable knowledge. This is a ridiculous situation where the Russian government refuses to act in the best interests of the Russian people. The Russian government says and does nothing whilst foreign money pays for anti-Soviet and anti-Russian films to be made in Russia! Even Czar Nicholas I acted against plays that criticised the Russian Army. Virtually every other government in the world acts in the best interests of its people – except in modern Russia. Could you imagine the US allowing Russian money to pay for a WWII film that depicts US soldiers mass raping German women? Of course not – the West never allows the truth of the behaviour of its soldiers in Germany to become common knowledge (although it is known by academics). In 1989, a Canadian author named James Buck published a book entitled ‘Other Losses’, which argued that around 1 million Germans ‘starved’ to death in relocation camps in the US Zone of Occupation. Although his work was well researched, factual and conveyed real history, the Western academic community turned on Buck and attempted to discredit his work because it contradicted the preferred US Cold War disinformation story of the Red Army being the bad guys. The current Russian Government will not even raise its voice against obvious false history that insults all Russian (and Soviet) people.
Eyewitnesses in Germany – 1945
“… At the end of my first day in Berlin, I was sure that the city was dead. Human beings simply could not live in this horrific pile of garbage. By the end of the first week my performances began to change. Society began to revive among the ruins. The Berliners began to receive water and food in quantities sufficient to survive. More and more people were engaged in public works under the guidance of Russians. Thanks to Russians who have extensive experience in dealing with such problems in their own devastated cities, the spread of the epidemics was put under control. I am convinced that the Soviets did more in those days to give Berlin a chance to survive than the Anglo-Americans could have done in their place … ”
“… After the fighting moved to German soil, soldiers of the Allied front units and those who followed directly behind them committed many rapes. The number of them depended on the attitude of this senior officers … The lawyers admitted that for violent and perverted sexual acts with German women, some soldiers were shot, especially in those cases when they were Negroes. However, I knew that many women were raped by white Americans. No action was taken against these criminals … ”
“… Severe discipline prevails in the Red Army. There are no more robberies, rapes and bullying than in any other zone of occupation. Wild stories about atrocities emerge due to exaggerations and distortions of individual cases under the influence of nervousness caused by the immoderation of the manners of Russian soldiers and their love for vodka. One woman who told me most of the tales of Russian cruelties, from which the hair stands on end, was eventually forced to admit that the only evidence she saw with her own eyes was how drunken Russian officers shot pistols into the air and threw bottles …”
©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2018.
Russian Language Source: