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Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.

Terrible conditions in Russian-held territory,   pp. 78-81 PDF (1014.0 KB)

Page 78

Olympic Stadium. On top of the Victory Arch flies the French
tri-color put up by the French July 14th last. The Reichstag and
the Kroll Opera House are completely demolished.
You get a sickly feeling of nausea from the stench of body
decomposition and the devastating wreckage all about. You see
old women on the street faint from malnutrition. You never see
a smile on the face of a Berliner.
Later we motored to Potsdam. Here too is entire destruction.
Kaiser Wilhelm's palace is demolished. When the Russian guard
standing on duty at Sans Souci, the palace built by Frederick the
the Great, refused us admittance, we tossed him some cigarettes
and continued unmolested into the palace. It is undamaged. In
the courtyard we saw huge trucks-the Russians were removing
the contents of Sans Souci. Everywhere you hear the Russians
have looted Germany as no nation has ever been looted before.
Terrible Conditions in Russian-held Territory
It is difficult to find anyone who knows exactly what is going
on to the east of Berlin as this region is in the hands of the Rus.
sians and travel is positively forbidden to the Allies. I pause in
the diary to include some authoritative reports which came to me
from Count von Preysing, Roman Catholic Bishop of Berlin.
I learned the following:
The situation between the Elbe and Oder rivers is intense.
There are about 8,000,000 persons in the woods and on the roads
without any supplies-no food, medical care, etc.
Great numbers of women are infected with gonorrhea as the
result of rape. Hundreds die of dysentery and typhoid fever.
From one Silesian refugee group of 2400 persons, more than
1000 died. In the forests around Berlin dozens of corpses are
hanging from trees. More than an entire generation of Germans
have become prisoners of war in the hands of the Russians.

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