MYTH #1: Stalin encouraged Soviet troops to rape German women and joked about it by saying “soldiers are entitled to a little fun.”
SOURCE: “Coversations with Stalin” by Milovan Djilas, 1961.
TARGET OF MYTH: Progressives, feminists, all decent human beings.
REBUTTAL: 1. There is only one source for this story, the book “Conversations with Stalin” by Milovan Djilas. 2. The story is uncorroborated by other sources or other witnesses. 3. The one and only version of this story was related 17 years after the incident is supposed to have happened. 4. Djilas relates the incident as happening in 1944; at a time when Soviet troops were far from the German border and no allegations of mass rape had yet been made. 5. Bias — Djilas, at that time an envoy of Tito’s, later became an extreme anti-communist.
CONTRARY EVIDENCE: “Officers and men of the Red Army! We are entering the country of the enemy… the remaining population in the liberated areas, regardless of whether they’re German, Czech, or Polish, should not be subjected to violence. The perpetrators will be punished according to the laws of war. In the liberated territories, sexual relations with females are not allowed. Perpetrators of violence and rape will be shot.” Stalin, Order of the Day, January 19, 1945.
CONCLUSION: Unlikely in the extreme. Uncharacteristic remark for Stalin to have made to a foreign visitor. Uncorroborated or supported by other sources or witnesses. Single source for story is a hostile witness. Story contradicted by published Soviet declaration and by the fact that, although rapes did occur, Soviet troops accused of rape were court-martialed and, if convicted, executed.