May 2-1945 The Fall and Rape of Berlin
On May 2, 1945, the last major European battle of World War II came to a close – Berlin had fallen to the Soviets. Close to one million Soviet soldiers and more than twenty thousand tanks and artillery pieces were in action to break through the “Gates to Berlin” which was defended by about 100,000 German soldiers and 1,200 tanks and guns.
The victory is a matter of great pride in the former Soviet Union.
The defeat of the Third Reich began a brutal occupation in which, as reported by the BBC, up to
two million German women were raped during the last six months of World War Two, around 100,000 of them in Berlin.
It was rarely spoken of until after 2003 when the publication of Anonyma and subsequent movie, A Woman in Berlin, depicting the chaos and terror that followed the fall of Hitler.
The book and film were critically acclaimed and encouraged other women to step forward and tell their story.