Request for a memorial to the two million German women who were raped in 1945

International Women's Day (March 8th)

On occasion of the International Women's Day (March 8th), the Society for Threatened Peoples requests a worthy memorial to the two million German women who were raped after the end of the war in 1945. "It is high time to set up a memorial to the victims of the terrible crimes committed by the Red Army – but also to commemorate the victims of mass rape in other wars or civil wars, such as in Bosnia or Darfur," stated the human rights organization in Göttingen on Thursday. "To this day, the survivors of these heinous crimes feel left behind."

Many feminists and humanists have repeatedly condemned the mass rapes in Germany, but the general public has systematically blocked out the sad fate of the women and girls of whom 200,000 died during or after being raped. Mass rapes in other wars have also been overlooked, repressed or denied for many years.

"The memorial in Berlin should stand for the fate of the 'victims of yesterday', emphasizing the need for a commitment towards the victims of today," stated the STP. A few weeks ago, the rape of a young woman in India had shaken up the German and international public. Now, the human rights organization stipulates that the focus should also turn to the suffering of women in other countries. These days, women and girls of the Kachin, Karen and Shan in Burma, displaced people from Darfur in the large refugee camps and women on every side of the Congolese civil war are becoming victims of this heinous crime.

The German-Jewish philosopher Ernst Tugendhat labeled the mass rapes of 1945 as "terrible atrocities" without any justification. The STP demands that the German national and international policy should focus on trying to do anything possible to protect women from being raped. This also includes efforts to fight forced prostitution in Germany, for it is intolerable that women and girls are being abused and raped here every day.

The STP, not least dedicated to fighting genocide, has repeatedly drawn attention to cases of rape and called for government initiatives to fight these crimes – in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in South Sudan, in Kurdistan and West Papua, in Biafra and East Timor, in Rwanda and Chechnya.