Sexual Violence and Its Prosecution by Courts Martial of the Wehrmacht

TitleSexual Violence and Its Prosecution by Courts Martial of the Wehrmacht
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsBeck, Birgit
EditorChickering, Roger, Stig Förster, and Bernd Greiner
Book TitleA World at Total War: Global Conflict and the Politics of Destruction, 1937-1945
PublisherCambridge University Press
CityCambridge; New York

Although the losses during the global conflict from 1939 to 1945 cannot be calculated with any precision, civilian casualties far exceeded military losses. In the Soviet Union, two-thirds of all the losses were civilian. Despite the importance of civilian casualties in during the Second World War, little research has been done on one gender specific crimes and violence. One form is sexual violence, particularly sexual assaults including rape on girls and women. Wartime rape has remained a taboo for historians. This book chapter explores the sexual violence practiced by  officers and soldiers of the German Wehmacht during the Second World War against female civilians in East and West Europe and the very different level of persecution by the courts martial of the Wehrmacht in the Eatsern and Western occupation territories.

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