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Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel laureate who was then a young officer, described the horror in his narrative poem Prussian Nights: "The little daughter's on the mattress,/Dead.But he admits that he was "shaken to the core" to discover that Russian and Polish women and girls liberated from concentration camps were also violated."That completely undermined the notion that the soldiers were using rape as a form of revenge against the Germans," he said."By the time the Russians reached Berlin, soldiers were regarding women almost as carnal booty; they felt because they were liberating Europe they could behave as they pleased.That is very frightening, because one starts to realise that civilisation is terribly superficial and the facade can be stripped away in a very short time."Beevor's high reputation as a historian ensures that his claims will be taken seriously.Jews, however, were not necessarily regarded by Soviet troops as fellow victims of the Nazis.
The Soviet commissars had commandeered German concentration camps in order to incarcerate their own political prisoners, who included "class enemies" as well as Nazi officials, and their attitude towards the previous inmates was, to say the least, unsentimental.
Facing a failing career, Susann meets a successful promoter who becomes her husband.