Historically, socially, politically, and despite the vast amount of research,
information, statistics and personal recollections,
midtwentieth century Germany is an aeon that remains unreservedly incomprehensible.
Aside from severe political strife that left a city divided and leftover Nazism
still prominent, there was also the mourning of millions murdered,
a country stripped of civility and the ongoing post-shock of a war that destroyed everything around its inhabitants.
One of the many forgotten tragedies of the second World War is the mass and often repeated raping of German women committed largely but not exclusively – by Soviet servicemen.
Estimations of the number of victims range from tens of thousands to a possible two million,
machine the devastating results of which lead to an inescapable presence and effect felt throughout the post-war years,
even giving birth to a proportion of the next generation and cementing the horror of the 1940s forever more,
creating a branded inability to forget.
Put plainly, 1945 may have marked the end of the war but the end of suffering for German people it did not.
Hans-Joachim Roedelius of cult ’70s kraut bands Cluster and Harmonia recalls growing up both through the war and in a post-war Germany.
“I grew up as a child in Nazi Germany (Berlin) machine after I was born in October 1934, and I had a hard time after the war started in 1939,” he says. “
Then I had a hard time again in the Russian Zone until I crossed the border to the West (in 1960 to West Berlin )
where I found myself first amidst the so called Wirtschaftswunder
(German for ‘economic miracle’, referring to West Germany’s economic postwar boom) and later on in those most turbulent movements of the late sixties.
I didn’t participate actively in the political part of it,
not that I wasn’t interested at all,
I was just a burned child from what I had to bear in Berlin during the bombings of World War II and afterwards as a soldier and prisoner in the so called DDR
(Deutsche Demokratische Republik or German Democratic Republic, in English).”
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