committed in East Germany during and after WWII.
But Allied soldiers were, apparently, not much better.
A German historian estimates in her book that French, British and American soldiers raped 860,000 Germans at and after the end of the WW2, including 190,000 sexual assaults by American soldiers.
When the Soldiers Came includes interviews with victims, stories of the children of rape and research that she conducted over the course of a year and a half into birth records in Allied-occupied West Germany and West Berlin.
“Now, 70 years after the war, it's long past the time when one could be suspected of dealing with German victimhood,” Gebhardt, an author and lecturer at the University of Konstanz, told The Local.
“There is no longer the question that one might want to relativize the responsibility of the Germans for the Second World War and the Holocaust.”
Gebhardt said she arrived at that number of sexual assaults by estimating that of the so-called ‘war-children’ born to unmarried German women by the 1950s, five percent were products of rape.
She also estimates that for each birth, there were 100 rapes, including of men and boys.
Gebhardt’s numbers are higher than previous estimates. A well-received 2003 book by American professor of criminology J. Robert Lilly, Taken by Force, estimated that American soldiers committed around 11,000 rapes in Germany.
While an article published by Der Spiegel on Monday raised questions about whether Gebhardt’s figures accurately reflected the incidence of sexual assault in post-war Germany, Lilly told The Local that her estimates were certainly reasonable.
“Gebhardt’s numbers are plausible, but her work is not a definitive account,” said Lilly in an interview with The Local, explaining that no exact number could ever be known because of a lack of records.
“It is confirmation of research that I have done and it adds to this ongoing discussion of what happens in the underbelly of war - What goes on that we haven’t talked about.”
Much of the discussion of sexual assaults against Germans has focused on the Soviet troops in east Germany, who are estimated to have committed between one to two million rapes during the time.
Gebhardt said she wanted to challenge the assumption that it was only the Red Army that was responsible for such acts.
“Goebbels warned that the Red Army would rampage through Germany, would rape German women and commit atrocities against civilians... People hoped that they would be occupied by Western troops and not the Soviets,” she said.
“But the course of events was the same. Both sides plundered valuables and mementoes, and soldiers often committed gang rapes against women.”
Gebhardt’s research also included records from Bavarian priests recording the Allied advance in 1945, including one description that reads “the saddest event during the advance were three rapes, one on a married woman, one on a single woman and one on a spotless girl of 16-and-a-half. They were committed by heavily drunken Americans."
The book paints a much darker picture than what is often seen in cinema and literature of the Allied troops who liberated Germans from the Nazi regime and thus could take time for people to fully absorb, Lilly said.
“It will be resisted to some extent. There are American scholars who will not like it because they may think it will make the war crimes committed by the Germans less bad,” Lilly said. “I don’t think it will minimize what the Germans did at all. It will add another dimension to what war is like and it will not diminish that the Allies won.”
That chimes with Gebhardt's attitude to her work, which she says aims simply to expose the horror of such actions in war. "War actions that led to the defeat of Germany, the defeat of the Nazi regime, are a different question than the rapes, which were more personal and served no military purpose," Gebhardt said. "Rapes can't decide a war.
The rapes "lasted for years, not just at the moment of the conquest," she added. "They weren't just part of the violence that took place in the last weeks and days of the war, but continued for years."
Matt Hancock, the culture secretary who is responsible for charity regulation, said: “These allegations are deeply shocking and Oxfam must now provide the Charity Commission with all the evidence they hold of events that happened in Haiti as a matter of urgency."
“The reported historic behaviour of senior aid workers is abhorrent and completely unacceptable. Charities must ensure that they have the highest standards of transparency and safeguarding procedures in place to protect vulnerable people and maintain the trust of the public.”
A Times investigation found that Oxfam, which receives £300 million a year in British government funds and public donations, allowed three men to resign and sacked four for gross misconduct after an inquiry into sexual exploitation, the downloading of pornography, bullying and intimidation.
A confidential report by the charity said that there had been “a culture of impunity” among some staff in Haiti and concluded that children may have been among those sexually exploited by aid workers. The 2011 report stated: “It cannot be ruled out that any of the prostitutes were under-aged.”
Oxfam was part of a massive international relief effort in Haiti after the earthquake in Port-au-Prince in 2010, which killed 220,000 people, injured 300,000 and left 1.5 million homeless.
The revelations have caused international concern and triggered widespread coverage in the press throughout Europe. This morning Liz Truss, the chief secretary to the Treasury, called the revelations “shocking, sickening and depressing”.
Gavin Shuker, Labour MP for Luton South, said: “In case you were wondering, teenage girls, in one of the poorest countries in the world, immediately following an earthquake don’t by any measure ‘choose’ prostitution.”
One of the men allowed to resign without disciplinary action was Oxfam’s country director there, Roland van Hauwermeiren. The report said that Mr Van Hauwermeiren, 68, admitted using prostitutes at the villa rented for him by Oxfam with charitable funds.
Despite the admission, the charity’s chief executive at the time, Dame Barbara Stocking, offered the Belgian “a phased and dignified exit” because sacking him would have “potentially serious implications” for the charity’s work and reputation. After the internal inquiry, two other men in management were able to resign while four were dismissed for gross misconduct, including over the use of prostitutes at the apartment block where Oxfam housed them.
Prostitution is illegal in Haiti and the age of consent is 18. Paying for sex is against Oxfam’s staff code of conduct and in breach of United Nations statements on the behaviour of aid workers, which the charity supported. Oxfam said that it did not report any of the incidents to the Haitian authorities because “it was extremely unlikely that any action would be taken”. None of those accused has been arrested or faced any criminal charges.
The charity said that it disclosed the sexual misconduct to the Charity Commission but the regulator told The Times last night that it never received the final investigation report and Oxfam “did not detail the precise allegations, nor did it make any indication of potential sexual crimes involving minors”. The commission said that it was asking Oxfam to review what happened and “provide us with assurance that it has learnt lessons from past incidents and is taking all necessary steps to ensure risks are minimised”.
An appendix to the investigation report raised a lengthy list of management concerns over the situation in Haiti and asked: “How far back and why did the culture of impunity in Haiti develop . . . Were there signals that could have been picked up earlier?”
Their attitude of impunity did not develop overnight. The commission must investigate all projects where the men who resigned or were fired were involved for many years.
The charity acknowledged that staff in Haiti had felt intimidated and unable to raise the alarm. Sources with knowledge of the investigation alleged that the report had been “watered down” and one claimed that Oxfam bosses “deemed it unnecessary to pursue some of the allegations if we could get enough to simply dismiss the individuals”.
Oxfam announced in September 2011 that a small number of staff had left after a misconduct investigation. It stressed that the issues did not concern fraud over its £70 million aid budget in Haiti but did not disclose sexual misconduct. The charity said yesterday: “Oxfam treats any allegation of misconduct extremely seriously. As soon as we became aware of a range of allegations — including of sexual misconduct — in Haiti in 2011 we launched an internal investigation. The investigation was announced publicly and staff members were suspended pending the outcome.” It added that the allegations “that under-age girls may have been involved were not proven”.
Oxfam was founded by Quakers, social campaigners and academics in Oxford in 1942. It is Britain’s fifth largest charity, with an income of £392 million last year. Its British arm employs 5,300 people worldwide and works with 22,000 volunteers.
Oxfam failed to warn aid agencies about staff caught using prostitutes in earthquake-torn Haiti, allowing them to take jobs among vulnerable people in other disaster zones.
A spokesman said: “Moreover, we received positive references from former Oxfam staff who worked with him, among them a [former] HR person.”
A Times investigation revealed yesterday that Oxfam covered up the scandal in Haiti. Mr Van Hauwermeiren and six other men left the charity after an investigation into using prostitutes, downloading “pornographic and illegal material”, bullying and intimidation.
The Department for International Development (Dfid) is reviewing its work with Oxfam. Last night Theresa May called for a “full and urgent investigation” into the charity, which receives tens of millions of pounds in aid. “We want to see Oxfam provide all the evidence to the Charity Commission of these very serious allegations,” a No 10 spokesman said.
A probe has been launched into a top human rights barrister after she was accused of trolling a string of child sex abuse victims online.
Messages sent on social media sites from various personal accounts in Hewson’s name have seen her brand victims “lunatics”, “manipulative”, “dangerous”, “cowardly” and “nutwings”.
One outraged victim said: “This can’t go on. She has to be stopped.”
In other posts, Hewson tells those sharing their horrific experiences with others to “shut the **** up”.
She appears to brand one alleged victim “as vulnerable as a lorryload of gravel” and criticises victims “whinging” about their ordeals.
The Sunday Mirror has also seen a post in which an account in the lawyer’s name refers to an official from the Bar Standards Board as “*****” and discloses her home address.
The Bar Standards Board, which was set up to regulate barristers, is one of the bodies investigating complaints against Hewson.
Victim Clare Sheahan has called for the lawyer to be struck off. Clare, who says she was attacked by a paedophile at 10, told officials that Hewson has trolled her and others on Twitter for two years.
The 62-year-old said: “She has made people’s lives hell. I wish she could see the effect her messages are having on people who are already vulnerable."
“She’s in a position of power and people look up to her but I believe her posts will discourage people from reporting abuse or sharing their pain.
“What if someone self harms, or even commits suicide, because of what she has said? If she’d experienced the complete and utter terror that a child feels when being attacked by a paedophile I’m sure she’d take a different view.”
London-based Hewson rose to prominence after speaking out against the investigation into celebrities that followed the Jimmy Savile scandal.
She has also called for the age of consent to be lowered to just 13.
Hewson got a harassment warning from police last March following a report from fellow lawyer Sarah Phillimore.
The Bar Standards Board also looked at claims by law student Mehul Desai, a supporter of Phillimore, that he had received death threats from Hewson, which saw her receive a harassment warning from the Met Police.
She left her chambers at 1 Gray’s Inn Square the following month and is now self-employed.
Clare said Irish-born Hewson has described her as a “lunatic” and a “fishwife” and questioned her claims to have been abused as a child on holiday in the 1960s.
Clare, from South London, who has spent many years campaigning against child sex abuse and reached out to other survivors online, said she was targeted by Hewson after disagreeing with a point the lawyer made on Twitter.
She said: “I asked her why she was saying such nasty things about child sex abuse survivors. I didn’t understand why, as a barrister, she’d do that. That’s when the onslaught started. I eventually blocked her but friends told me that she continued to slag me off.”
Clare is one of at least two people who have complained to the Bar Standards Board. She has also contacted police. She said: “I’m lucky to have a good support network of family and friends to pick me up. Others aren’t so lucky.”
A spokesperson for Hewson said: “Ms Hewson has not been formally notified of any complaints to the BSB by alleged victims of child sex abuse.
“She has respectful relations with genuine victims.”
Clergy believe some abuse complainants are "simply out for the money", an expert has told General Synod.
Roger Singleton, a former chair of the Independent Safeguarding Authority, said that while attitudes among church members had improved, some priests still treated abuse allegations with "ambivalence, even hostility," and were "unable or unwilling to accept the need for sensible, proportionate measures" to prevent abuse.
As part of an update by church leaders on the Church of England's preparation for a series of abuse inquiries later this year, the former chief adviser to the government on the safety of children said some clergy "minimise the impacts which physical, sexual, emotional or spiritual abuse can have on people's lives". In some cases, he said, they "believe that complainants are simply out for the money".
He added that the Church needed to "grasp the nettle of dealing with clergy, readers, priests with PTO [permission to officiate] and lay leaders who persistently fail to attend training opportunities or speak disparagingly about reasonable safeguarding measures".
The bishop of Leeds also said that relations with the police needed to be improved, and said bishops were "frustrated by having to take the rap for things which are not our responsibility".
The welfare of children in your churches/schools, etc. is always your responsibility. The lack of effort to rid the church of paedophiles is something you will have to answer for.
Nicholas Baines added: "Months can go by when we're told to do things and not to do things, we can't go public, and we see the suffering that that engenders as well, either for those who have had allegations against them, or who are in the end proved innocent."
Peter Hancock, the lead bishop for safeguarding, acknowledged that the situation was "deeply unsatisfactory and deeply frustrating", but warned that the Church should not "turn its frustration" onto other agencies.
He said that funding for measures to prevent and deal with abuse allegations had risen five-fold since 2014, and that up to 30,000 people had been given training on how best to deal with them.
Figures released earlier this week by the Church revealed that it dealt with 3,300 safeguarding concerns or abuse allegations in 2016. Around one in five involved clergy or other church officials.
Synod also heard that the Church had provided 25,000 documents to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and submitted 36 witness statements.
Senior bishops expressed regret and apologised for the church's failings when dealing with abuse survivors.
Dr Martin Warner, the bishop of Chichester, said survivors were "people, not a tricky problem to be solved", adding: "No-one should underestimate what it takes to make an allegation, to relive the abuse, to undergo the inevitable processes of forensic enquiry, and to face again the devastating possibility of not being believed."
The diocese of Chichester is due to be subject to a hearing of IICSA at the beginning of March. It has been criticised for past failings dealing both with convicted paeodophile bishop Peter Ball, who was released from prison last year, and with the case of George Bell, former bishop of Chichester, who was accused several decades after his death of abusing children, and whose case the church failed to manage properly, according to an independent report released at the end of last year.
The Church has denied Bell's family the chance to be represented by a lawyer in the new investigation, the BBC reported. They will instead be represented by a safeguarding expert.
The church is behaving like a "small dictatorial government", Lord Carlile told the broadcaster. "This flies in the face of the recommendations I made which the church said it accepted. I'm afraid the Church has got to get a grip on this."
Tim Thornton, the bishop at Lambeth, told the Today Programme that Lord Carlile does not specify whether the representative should be a lawyer or a safeguarding expert.
On Saturday morning a group of victims and survivors met senior members of the Church ahead of the day's meeting of Synod. Senior bishops including the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and Sarah Mullally, the bishop-elect of London, met the group for a short period of silence on the steps of Church House.
The Associated Press
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — The Marist Brothers in Chile opened a canonical investigation Friday into the sexual abuse accusations shaking their order with the first testimony from one of the alleged victims.
Isaac Givovich Contador testified for more than three hours to the Salesian priest in charge of the investigation, David Albornoz. When he left, a visibly affected Givovich was unable to talk to reporters at a news conference even though he was to speak on behalf of four other victims.
"What Isaac has just gone through in this place is part of a tremendously traumatic and re-victimizing process," said Jose Andres Murillo, one of the victims of Chilean priest Fernando Karadima, the most visible face of sexual abuse in the South American country. Karadima's case is not related to the Marists.
Murillo, who accompanied Givovich during his testimony, said the canonical process is "not transparent" and the abuse victims have more trust in Chile's justice system.
"We do not have full confidence in this canonical process," he said. "The main process that Isaac and the other survivors are taking to seek justice will be in the Chilean criminal courts."
The Marists are not priests, but a Catholic order dedicated to education. It has schools in several countries.
The Marist brothers and Salesians did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A document obtained by The Associated Press last year indicated that the Marists in Chile said a brother who worked at two of the order's schools had abused at least 14 minors from the 1970s until 2000. A statement by the Marists to parents and teachers said the order had begun legal action against Abel Perez.
The case came to light in 2017 when former students began organizing on the internet and telling their stories.
A school bus attendant was arrested in Kolkata on Saturday for alleged sexual harassment of a class nine student on the premises of the Bengali-medium educational institution, the second such incident within two days in the capital of West Bengal.
Acting on a complaint lodged by the victim, the police arrested Malay Barua, the bus attendant, on Saturday morning. The school has its own fleet of buses.
The complaint was recorded at Rabindra Sarobar Police Station on Friday evening. Sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act were slapped against Barua.
“Malay uncle (the bus attendant) misbehaved with me. I asked him why he was doing it. He asked me to keep quiet and warned that if I revealed it to anybody I would suffer more. Malay uncle used to travel with us in the same school bus,” the student told the media.
A classmate of the victim confirmed the incident.
“My friend shouted when uncle misbehaved. I rushed to her. But before she could tell me anything, Malay uncle told us not to tell anybody or else the situation would get worse,” she said.
The school authorities said they will decide what action to take against the accused at a meeting on Monday.
“We are yet to verify the veracity of the allegation. However, ensuring the safety of our students is our top priority and we will do it,” Sheela Sarkar, teacher-in-charge of the school said. “It is a type of incident that we come across even in some families,” she added.
Police on Friday arrested Soumen Rana, a dance teacher at Carmel Primary School, for alleged sexual abuse of a class 2 student over several months. Rana was sent to police custody for three days by a city court on Saturday.
After the sexual abuse came to light, angry parents demanding action against the accused teacher gathered in front of the school in Deshapriya Park in south Kolkata on Friday. They also alleged that there are no closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras inside the campus and questioned the presence of male teachers in a school meant only for girls.
Two police officers, including the officer-in-charge of Tollygunge police station, were injured in a scuffle with the agitating parents. One person was arrested on charges of assaulting policemen during the agitation.
“We will ensure such things never take place again. Please help us run the school smoothly. Unless you cooperate with us, we cannot run the school,” said sister Shilpa on behalf of the authorities of Carmel Primary School on Saturday.
She said classes will resume from Monday.
Two more cases in December
Only two months back in December, two individual incidents of sexual assaults on school students had been reported.
At GD Birla School, two male physical education teachers had been arrested for sexually abusing one of their student, who was only 4-year-old. Another such was reported at MP Birla Foundation Higher Secondary School.
Following an incident of sexual abuse at her preschool in Sahibabad, the three-and-half-year-old girl is in a state of shock and trauma. The doctors, after getting her medical examination done, have put her on medication to help her recover.
Her parents had lodged an FIR against the woman peon of the preschool and stated that the accused woman inserted fingers into the girl’s private parts in the washroom of the school and even threatened to lock her up if she revealed the incident to anyone.
The girl is the only child of her parents and she was subjected to sexual abuse by the woman attendant in her preschool not once but twice this week. The second incident, on Thursday, made her parents suspicious that something was amiss and they enquired in detail with their daughter.
“She told us about a similar incident on Monday. Then, we had given her some medication and she was cured ?????. Again, on Thursday, she returned from school and complained of severe pain in her private parts. When we asked, she told us that this was the second time that she was subjected to a sexual assault this week. She also told us about a similar assault by the same woman last summer as well,” the girl’s father said.
Her father is a senior officer with an IT major. He approached the police and accompanied them along with the child to the school where she pointed to the accused woman.
“The parents of the other students also accompanied us and asked their children if they had face a similar abuse. Some of them have reported that their child was similarly abused by the woman. I think the woman is mentally sick. We will again approach the school authorities and request the district officials to order closure of the school as such incidents have become common there,” he said.
Following her medical examination, the girl returned home on Friday and continued to remain in a state of trauma.
“We will not be sending her to the same school anymore. The preschool boasts of professional staff and even charges a high fee. But such incidents will deter any parent from admitting their child to such a school,” he said.
The accused woman was arrested by the police on Friday and produced before a Ghaziabad court.
The school authorities did not respond to this reporter’s queries, despite an assurance that they will revert.
PREVALENCE of rape in the Cordillera region remains one of the biggest concerns of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
During the weekly Kapihan sa Baguio, DSWD-CAR focal person for children's sector Carmencita Chaluyen reported the continuing cases of sexual abuse in the provinces of Ifugao, Kalinga, Abra and Mountain Province.
"Based on the sexual abuse cases recorded DSWD, in 2014, Ifugao recorded nine cases, four in Kalinga and three in Abra. In 2015, Abra recorded five cases while Kalinga had four. In 2016 Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province recorded five cases each," Chaluyen reported.
Chaluyen said available data for 2017 are those coming from the centers and institutions such as the Regional Haven for Women and Girls focused on child sexual abuse cases.
"We have a total of 16 cases for 2017. For the Haven for Women and Girls, it recorded 13 cases, while for Sexual Trauma Center, it recorded three child sexual abuse cases," Chaluyen.
Chaluyen stressed data coming from the DSWD Central office indicates rape have the highest number of sexual abuse cases followed by incest, and acts of lasciviousness from 2012 to 2016.
"This is the challenge which we are facing as of the moment. Although all agencies have the needed data like the Philippine National Police, most victims do not report these cases," added Chaluyen.
She assured the Regional Sub Committee for the Welfare of children and the Regional Inter Agency Committee for Trafficking, Child Pornography, and Violence Against Women and their Children are coming up with a regional data for a standard reporting of cases.