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15 October 2014
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Berlin. Late 1944-1945. Surviving the Russian Atrocities

by doverrog

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Irene Lambert (Inge Keller)
Location of story: 
Berlin and the near area
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
16 September 2004

I felt it important to place on record the account of what happened to four young girls who had just matriculated from their school and who were caught up in the final horrors of the war end.
The horror of the Russian occupation of their homes by troops deliberately brought in from the depths of eastern Russia where they had no concept of modern western civilisation and whose actions recalled those of the Barbarians in the sacking of Rome!
"Two of the soldiers (Russian) were playing football. ... everytime it (the ball) flew through the air there were two streamers sticking out of it and flapping about. She saw a little girl's head, neatly severed at the neck, covered in blood, the face quite unrecognisable as human. The streamers she had seen flapping about, were two plaits that might once have been blonde but were now caked with blood and dirt. One Russian picked it up by the plaits and threw it to his comrade who continued the game."
"A Russian soldier came walking out the door, buttoning his trousers. She saw her friend....she was lying almost naked from the waist down, her tracksuit trousers in tatters on the floor. Where her eyes used to be, were two blood encrusted holes, where he had driven his knife in. Her throat had been cut and there was a large pool of blood where her head had almost been severed."
Irene Lambert endured Russian savagery to survive and go on to work for the British before marrying an Englishman.
I have no connection with Irene, but was so moved by her account that I beleive it important to record that often the ordinary citizen who has no control of events around them suffers at the hands of those who make wars.
It seems that the account of the horror of Russian occupation is often put to one side - even justified as two wrongs are seen to possibly make a right.
I sincerely recommend that anyone interested in the suffering of civilians should endevour to read Irene's account.
It's entilled "The Other Side of the Coin" and published by "Vanguard Press" of Cambridge.
It would be pointless of me to make any more quotes but sufice to say the she physically survived men who had no conscience and no scruples..
I hope we can all learn lessons!
(The quotes above have been made with the kind permission of Irene Lambert.)

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These messages were added to this story by site members between June 2003 and January 2006. It is no longer possible to leave messages here. Find out more about the site contributors.

Message 1 - Russsian Atrocities in Berlin

Posted on: 26 February 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Dear Doverog -
Exactly the same thing was going on in Vienna where a regular Infantry Corps were first into Vienna and behaved correctly - within three days they were recalled, and a Corps of Mongols were given the order - "Do as you please " They did, much to the shame of the Russians but we were not supposed to critisise as after all - we were allies !

One horrific tale we were told of a company of Mongols entered a Maternity unit - raped everyone in sight and then bayonneted the expectant mothers... this was a huge joke as these men were even lower than animals.

Unfortunateluy our other Ally must share the blame for the Berlin atrocities as they held back Monty's army when he could have been in Berlin five weeks before the Russians got there !

Many survived in Vienna but they have absolutely no regard for anything Russian to this day as they raped and pillaged their way all through their sector of Austria. We saw trainloads of goods all heading east,stolen from everywhere !

When the British Army finally were allowed into the agreed sector and made their H.Q. in the Schoenbrunn
Palace... it took a whole battalion (750 ) of Pioneers to clean it up, as they had no concept of hygene..or anything else !

Civilisation is only a very thin veneer at times.


Message 2 - Russsian Atrocities in Berlin

Posted on: 05 March 2005 by doverrog

I wasn't aware of the events you describe in Vienna, but I'm afraid it doesn't suprise me.
It's perhaps one of the greatest shames the victors have to carry that we (and the USA,France and the other Allies), went along with this when our raison d'etre for the war was one of fighting for freedom and liberation of the oppressed.
It is also to our detriment that even now there is very little publicity given to the Russians behaviour.
TV and Radio seem keen to dwell on the Nazis' behaviour but give little time/programming (if any) to the events that took place within the Russian areas of control and to our acquescence to those events.
I would be interested to know if schools, colleges and universities even cover it within their history syllabuses.
Are those responsible for the turning of 'blind eyes' still exercising censorship of information about those horrors that they allowed to take place?
It should also be asked if Stalin saw this weakness as yet another signal for him to pursue his subjection of the peoples within his post-war empire, without fear of interference from the Western Powers?
I have to say that the quote that "The victors write the history" has never been more true!!


Message 3 - Russsian Atrocities in Berlin

Posted on: 05 March 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Dear Doverog -

I appear to have a slightly different view of the so called History which is seldom taught these days and has been absorbed in the - mainly American - revision of History - inasmuch as they won the war despite our efforts to confuse them with facts on how to run a war !

It was not an accident that caused Eisenhower to divert Monty's three armies away frothe "liberation' of Berlin, but rather a decision made without the knowlede of the joint chiefs and certainly the British Chiefs of Staff - at least according to Alanbrooke, who knew something about winning wars. This allowed the Russians to take their time (5 weeks) to enter Berlin and middle Europe for the following 40 years !
Whereas our raison d'etre was to free people from oppression, our ally had a different agenda as some of their powerful financial types in New York wanted the Russians deep into Europe, and they succeeded !But we mustn't mention that as they will fall out with us, and sue our boots off !


Message 4 - Russsian Atrocities in Berlin

Posted on: 06 March 2005 by doverrog

I think both of us have the same view.
What's incredible is that it's almost "not correct" to mention these things.
As always money talks and as ever the power of those who had most to gain financially influenced the politicians and war leaders of the day.
Rather like the stupidity of Iraq today!
I couldn't agree more about American revisions to history.
Look at the way Holywood has always had the affrontery to alter fact and present it as history. Even now we have such recent popular films as the one about the U Boat the Americans captured and so got hold of the Enigma codes. Many children, and adults, will unfortuneately see this film as factual and thus yet another British acheivemant becomes American!
I wrote to my MP and to the Home Office only to be told that although some people had pointed the out the errors in this film and felt it an insult to the real people involved, it was only an entertainment and not intended as history!
They seem to overlook that power that the media has to change peoples knowledge - except of course when politicians want to sell us a message.


Message 5 - Russsian Atrocities in Berlin

Posted on: 06 March 2005 by doverrog

Hi again.
Could you direct me to your entry please troopertomcannon?


Message 6 - Russsian Atrocities in Berlin

Posted on: 06 March 2005 by doverrog

Whoops sorry "canning"!


Message 7 - Russsian Atrocities in Berlin

Posted on: 06 March 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Dear Roger -

your last posting had me scratching my head for a while until I too - tried to reach me through the search box - alas I am no more - this is not at all strange as the BBc in their wisdom had cut back both my stories i.e. 20 odd plus my discussions input to zero from around 60 - I think they must be economising or being just - well strange !
I'll get on to Penelope and ask for advice - she is usually very good !
cheers for now !


Message 8 - Russsian Atrocities in Berlin

Posted on: 07 March 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Roger -
I have let Penelope know about the zilch contribution from the search(sic) box and await her knowing instructions !
meanwhile - click on my name which is in red at the top of the posting to get you onto my personal page - there again all previous discussions on the various forums are missing so I cannot back track anything I have written over the past few months - they have strange ways !
cheers - tomcan


Message 9 - Russsian Atrocities in Berlin

Posted on: 10 March 2005 by doverrog

Thanks Tom - Your entries make fascinating reading!


Message 10 - Russsian Atrocities in Berlin

Posted on: 10 March 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Doverog -
To get back to your thread after the slight diversion set to rights by penelope - the Film that gets me there is nothing we can do about now is the "Bridge Too Far " where we have
Rundstedt taking over the panic stricken German Armies fleeing through toward Ahrnem, he is asked " who will be in charge of their next assault?"...he then answers - " Oh Patton ... he is their best" ! At that point I am off my chair and heading for the floor ! The real floor
leveller is at near the end when Horrocks(Edward Fox) LT.Gen(30 Corps) - Browning (Airborne Deputy to the US Brereton)
( Dirk Bogarde) also a Lt.Gen are advised by the MAJOR Gen. of the US Airborne - to "pull'em out".
Why Fox, Bogarde and Michael Caine put up with that twist of History in the American version - I shall never know - it must have been the lure of Money ! Similarly when Sean Connery stepped off the landing craft in " The Longest Day " announcing to all and sundry that "he was back" ! and disappeared under the waves!What the Americans failed to appreciate - and still do not, is that those two books on which the films were made, were written by a Southern Irishman who hated the British but was advisor to the Director - he died however before "The Bridge" and his widow took over ! She was just as bad - as was the "driver" for Eisenhower who was always denigrated as British -and did her share - but was in fact from Southern Ireland ! They don't learn much - even given time !Just look at the messes in Korea - Viet Nam - Panama- Grenada - Gulf 1 & 2 - Afganistan...
Glad you enjoy my postings - we did have a lot of humour - at times !



Message 11 - Russsian Atrocities in Berlin

Posted on: 14 March 2005 by doverrog

We are obviously of like mind.
What a great pity that future generations will be "educated" by popular images from film etc and not by a record of the actual events.
However, I suppose that was always the case.
There's apparantly a Richard 111 society which campaigns to put right his historical record as we all are tainted by the image that Shakespear gave us when he was writing for the victors of the wars of the roses.
At least an American audience can rest peacfully in the knowledge that whatever goes wrong history will show that from the "Indians" (Native Americans"} to the curent date, the US has led and won every battle!


Message 12 - Russsian Atrocities in Berlin

Posted on: 14 March 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

The fact that History is no longer taught with any convictions appears to have given the US people the idea that inasmuch as they have won every war and other fracas - they seem determined not only to not finish them e.g Korea,Viet Nam etc - but to start them ! Iran appears to be next on the list ! Blessed John Wayne is surely next for Canonisation !


Message 13 - Russsian Atrocities in Berlin

Posted on: 16 March 2005 by doverrog

You'd better beleive it!!!
What a pity Arnie can't become President, then he could zap everyone the US can't make a profit from!!!
More seriously though it's a great shame that America has so much it has acheived like NASA (with German help!), computers (with British help!) etc, that instead of this need to turn the whole world into an American colony they could come to terms with other cultures - recognise that other peoples have much to offer and indeed have acheived much without the US.
My biggest worry is that they seem to be hell bent on trying to prove that the fiction they sell themselves, could actually be true!.
For once I do have to say that I admire (and I say this with some caution) the French for their determination not to do what the US tells them!.
We've drifted well away from WW11 but let's hope that those who do run the country will learn from real history and make sure that future generations appreciate what really happened so that some grip on reality remains in the future.
I beleive that this site will go a long way to ensure that.
The BBC is to be congratulated for providing an enduring legacy for people to research.
After all no one (except the US) wants to see the continuation of needless killing of human beings.


Message 14 - Russsian Atrocities in Berlin

Posted on: 16 March 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Dear Roger -
I'm not too sure that politicians learn anything beyond their own immediate and future needs. We have a situation over here with the "friendly" neighbours to the south where they have been applying unfair - according to NAFTA - WTO etc - duties to our shipments of lumber as the inefficient lumber producers in the US of A cannot match us - they have also inflicted a ban on all shipments of beef as they actually found one cow with the mad cow disease which had been born in Alberta - ( they can't find 50,000 illegal immigrants - but they found ONE cow !)the continuing struggle to sell our wheat to them is long past a joke - now they are picking on the only commodity which the very small province of Prince Edward Island can produce - potatoes !They already steal all our fish from all three coasts ! Now our Federal Govt.wants to call all the arguements off and give in to them. Many of us say to turn off the oil tap - the natural gas tap - and the electric switch, and see how long they can argue in the cold and dark, however we are all enjoying a very welcome early spring and so the window of opportunity for the big switch off is closing fast !
Which is a pity as they now have time to change the goal posts once more and the lwyers can have another field day !
plus the fact that a very influential group have decreed that the world would be better off if there were only half a billion population, so at least 4.5 billion of us have to go ....


Message 15 - Russsian Atrocities in Berlin

Posted on: 19 March 2005 by doverrog

After a fair bit of snow , around 6cms, last week we now have sunny warm 20deg and blue sunshine here.
Don't you just miss British weather?
Incidently it seems a pity to me that Tony Blair or indeed any British Prime Minister ,doesn't put any work into developing links further with Canada, but instead prefers to place Britian as a sort of sub-state of the US giving them even more power to ignore bothe us and the rest of Europe,
A bit of news that caught ny attention and which shows how politicians have no memorys for what they did in the past - a Dutch buisnessman is to face trial for supplying
chemicals to Iraq during the Iraq/Iran war.
Yet, as his defence points out, Saddam Hussein was a "Good Guy" at the time, having been put in power by US support and supplied with "advisors" arms etc by them to fight the Iranians!!!
Doesn't that remind us of the "Allies" and Russia/Stalin in WW11 and what followed?
I also see that the US is keen to dig up Alaska to get more cheap oil they can guzzle at about £1.25 ? a gallon
while the rest of us pay £4 a gallon!
So much for caring about the future of the planet!!!!


Message 16 - Russsian Atrocities in Berlin

Posted on: 19 March 2005 by Andy1971

Enjoyed reading these posts fellas, seems 3 of us have similar views.


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