The Fall of Berlin 1945 by Antony Beevor

The writing and the research of this book is first rate, but still, reading endless accounts of the orgy of mass rape committed by the Red Army in 1945 is quite disheartening. Stalin from the beginning intended that the Soviet army would reach Berlin before the Western Allies, but he deliberately misled Churchill and Eisenhower to conceal his motives. The German people certainly suffered during this war, but it is disturbing how after the war hardly any of them perceived how they had brought this disaster on themselves. Many had no sense of moral burden and seemed to feel that the only thing they had done wrong was let themselves be defeated. The Soviets likewise did not cover themselves with glory in the war’s aftermath; a large portion of the Red Army that had seen the better living standards of Germany with their own eyes and had begun to doubt the efficiency of state socialism were deemed subversive and sent to Gulags. A miserable chapter in history that is worth remembering.

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