I have written four books in the “Schneider” series and in each, I’ve explained that Schneider had left his grandson a legacy, a code hidden in 3,000 crossword puzzles. That code led Paul Trifthauser to discover his grandfathers legacy. An espionage network so lethal as to put fear into the hearts of the worlds most powerful men.
In book 5, Trifthauser attempts to enter his grandfathers world by channeling him. In writing this, I’ve had to research extensively not the war, but the plunder afterwords. This led to a topic that I never expected to find. The intentional coverup of literally millions of rapes.
It would be fruitless to put a number on them and attach proportional guilt. The Russians certainly did the most, the Germans were the most systematic, but is even one rape against a 7 year old girl by 8 men at gunpoint not enough?
Part of my research is my fathers scrapbook, it’s thick pages yellowed and worn with age. On the front of a black binder with a finely pressed design along the outside is a single word. “Invasion.” As a boy, he followed the war by cutting pages out of the Buffalo News, and pasting them in his scrapbook. There are maps, articles, pictures of generals and troops, invasion plans and portraits of my dad’s hero’s. Eisenhower, Montgomery, Patton, Nimitz and his “Natsy” enemies, Hitler, Goebbels and Himmler. Peppered in between are cartoons of the enemy portrayed as monsters.
No where in all of his pages is the word rape mentioned. There are few, if any memorials to the victims of rape.
There were forty million people killed in WW2, and given the number of multiple rapes and women raped repeatedly during the occupation a number in the vicinity of ten million rapes is not out of question. The Germans built concentration camp brothels to give “incentive” to the workforce, but these were the civil ones. 34,000 women worked in the camp brothels. But in most cases, the rapes were violent, the women beaten even when they relented and one in ten died of their wounds. An entire generation of children was born to east German woman from Russian soldiers. Judging from abortion statistics and live births it was estimated that 100,000 women were raped just in East Berlin.
I’m not sure how to treat this in book 5. Certainly Schneider would have seen them. Should I do what every other writer does? Simple ignore them? Does anybody want to know? I’m guessing not. Do people want simple hero’s and villains? Or can truth make it’s way in?
This book has not yet been titled and is less that 10% done. It will represent, for me, the single most difficult task in my life. It will require an enormous amount of editing and footnotes. “Ghosts Never Die was hard… real hard but it’ll be a term paper compared to this. How does Schneider confront millions of rapes and what will Trifthauser learn. I can’t wait to find out.
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