Saturday, August 16, 2008

The dark story of war - mass rape

I was proud of India army with its discipline and moral behaviors. But recently there were allegations against them in Congo. (The United Nations has accused the Indian Army troops of sexual exploitation, including child abuse, while on peacekeeping duty in Congo. Then I heard about the some more dark side of the war which I have heard many times but didn’t notice much. The dark story was always in dark waiting for the world to accept the brutality of war and its consequences.

The world is at war everyday. The number games of dead, wounded or seriously injured is familiar to us. In this epic story of hide and seek, victory and defeat, life and death there are many hidden plots and tactics which never surfaces. The most successful and brutal of these is mass rape, the mass humiliation of human race. No body notices these state (not only state all the parties in a war) sponsored terror. If we look at the history of all the aggression we can find many such untold grime stories of death and shame.

The biggest mass attack on the women’s dignity which I knew was that of Pakistan’s army in 1971. When they raped around 2,00,000 Bangladeshi (East Pakistan at that time) women. But then it still repeated in Congo, Sudan, Bosnia and all those known and unknown places in much larger scale.

Gita Sahgal, of Amnesty International - "Rape is often used in ethnic conflicts as a way for attackers to perpetuate their social control and redraw ethnic boundaries""Women are seen as the reproducers and carers of the community," she said. "Therefore if one group wants to control another they often do it by impregnating women of the other community because they see it as a way of destroying the opposing community."

The same tactic was used in a "very strategic attack" by state-backed Pakistani troops during the fight for Bangladesh's independence in 1971, Ms Sahgal said.

"They were saying 'we will make you breed Punjabi children'," she said, with the aim of weakening the integrity of the opposing ethnic group.


The Hebrew Scriptures describes the rape of the women of conquered tribes as a routine act. Foreign woman were often kidnapped as spoils of war, and forced to marry their captors/rapists. This was probably typical behavior in the Middle East during that era. In ancient times, rape was considered to be a crime against the victim's father or spouse -- whoever owned her. "The ancient Greeks and Romans would rape and enslave women after they had conquered a city."

In Nanjing, China, during 1937 & 1938, Japanese soldiers were responsible for massive levels of rape among the local Chinese population. There were "over 20,000 rape victims...when the soldiers themselves were not raping the Chinese women, they took great pleasure in forcing fathers to rape their daughters and sons to rape their mothers."

Millions of women victims raped by Russian soldiers during the last months of World War II. Anthony Beevor's book "Berlin -- The Downfall 1945" documents rape by Russian soldiers. "Beevor's conclusions are that in response to the vast scale of casualties inflicted on them by the Germans the Soviets responded in kind, and that included rape on a vast scale. It started as soon as the Red Army entered East Prussia and Silesia in 1944, and in many towns and villages every female aged from 10 to 80 was raped."

Random rape by soldiers during wartime has been a common phenomenon, particularly when there has been a lack of army discipline. "From [recent] conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina to Peru to Rwanda, girls and women have been singled out for rape, imprisonment, torture and execution. Rape, identified by psychologists as the most intrusive of traumatic events, has been documented in many armed conflicts including those in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cyprus, Haiti, Liberia, Somalia and Uganda."

Author Maria B. Olujic - "Rape was a weapon of terror as the German Hun marched through Belgium in World War I; gang rape was part of the orchestrated riots of Kristallnacht which marked the beginning of Nazi campaigns against the Jews. It was a weapon of revenge as the Russian Army marched to Berlin in World War II, it was used when the Japanese raped Chinese women in the city of Nanking, when the Pakistani Army battled Bangladesh, and when the American G.I.s made rape in Vietnam a 'standard operating procedure aimed at terrorizing the population into submission'."

I can’t write much more about these. This is a real horror much bigger than the holocaust or anything heard of till now. This is the worst punishment. And this is happening almost everyday. We the “cultured” human society are not doing anything to prevent this? Animals are far better than us.

Hey warlords, please spare our sisters and mothers. Fight with dignity like real men.


  1. The Greatest Mass Rape in History:
  2. U.N.: Brutality against women in Congo 'beyond rape':
  3. Japan's Mass Rape and Sexual Enslavement of Women and Girls:
  4. “Not Women Anymore…” The Congo’s rape survivors face pain, shame and AIDS
  5. The silent story of Bosnia:
  6. Democratic Republic of Congo: Mass rape - time for remedies:
  7. Human Rights Watch/Africa : SHATTERED LIVES:Sexual Violence during the Rwandan Genocide and its Aftermath
  8. "News from Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues, Inc.," at:
  9. Heather A. Blackburn and Stacey M. Thomas, "Rape Warfare," 1998-FEB-25, at:
  10. "Sexual violence as a weapon of war," UNICEF, at:
  11. Maria B. Olujic, "Women, Rape, and War: The Continued Trauma of Refugees and Displaced Persons in Croatia," Anthropology of East Europe Review, Volume 13, No. 1 Spring, 1995; Special Issue: Refugee Women of the Balkans
  12. Colleen Hsia, "Nanjing Massacre: A Retrospective," at:
  13. John Baird, "Rape of Nanking: Remembering the horrors of World War II," at:
  14. Peter Almond, "Feature: Book on WW II rapes upsets Russia," at:
  15. Anthony Beevor, "Berlin -- The Downfall 1945," Viking, 2002.
  16. Dahlia Gilboa, "Mass Rape: War on Women," at:
  17. Valerie Oosterveld, "When women are the spoils of war," UNESCO, at:
  18. "International Law Relating to Rape in Armed Conflict,"
  19. "Rape in Times of Conflict and War: A resolution from the General Board of Global Ministries approved by the 1996 General Conference of The United Methodist Church," at:
  20. From: Stefan Blaschke, "History of Rape: A Bibliography," at:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From: Stefan Blaschke, "History of Rape: A Bibliography," at:

The URL is incorrect. It is: