Red Army

Published in Chicago Tribune on September 24, 2002


On the day the Red Army arrived in central Berlin in April 1945, Magda Wieland took shelter in the cellar of her apartment house. The first Soviet soldier to find her was a 16-year-old Central Asian who raped her.

“I was completely alone,” Wieland said. “It was horrible. He . . . was swooning with the idea that I would be his girlfriend. But I knew more soldiers would come.”

And they did.

“They were quite angry and thin and without shoes,” she said of a group that arrived later that same day. “They looked hungry, and hungry for a normal life.”


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