East Prussia was the ﬁrst German region visited by the Red Army, and to some extent the worst treated. The ﬁrst incursion, at Nemmersdorf on 21 October 1944, was to be a foretaste. In the course of a single night the Red Army killed seventy-two women and one man. Most of the women had been raped, of whom the oldest was eighty-four. Some of the victims had been cruciﬁed. Gauleiter Koch refused to allow the population to ﬂee. Hitler wanted East Prussia to prove the resilience of the German people. That autumn the East Prussians watched the departure of the birds: ‘Yes, you are now ﬂying away! And us? What is to become of us and our land?
After The Reich by GILES MACDONOGH
HOW IT ALL BEGAN.....
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