As an ongoing part of False Allegation Awareness Month, we bring you another tidbit of history, courtesy of Robert St. Estephe. And as with each of Robert’s lessons, we are reminded that there is nothing new under the sun. False rape lies have been a part of the western landscape for a long, long time. Often we find that the driving force behind the misdeeds, as well as their unfortunate efficacy at harming the accused, is obscured by the ignorance and bigotry of the general population.
From the fictional struggle of Atticus Finch to the very real nightmare lived by the Scottsboro Boys, racial hatred has been part of the equation. It even extends in more modern times to cases like Duke Lacrosse, where the perception of the falsely accused’s status as white and affluent worked to congeal public perception against them.
But it is the trappings of sex, gender and misandry that underlie the continued popularity of rape lies, fueling a modern false rape culture that is no different in essence than lynch mobs in the 1930’s rural south.
Haywood Patterson (Scottsboro) and David Evans (Duke) would appear to be and are very different kinds of men. One rich, the other poor. One Black, one White. One educated, one not. Though worlds apart in race, socioeconomic status and the times in which they lived, both had the commonality of being accused of a sexual crime by a female liar in a society that was predisposed to think them guilty.
They were both men, and that was enough to get them railroaded in front of the entire world.
And it appears that this same understanding of how sexual power actually works between women and men (which is to say it works well for women and not for men) was embraced by the German’s during World War II.
In an attempt to turn American troops against each other during the early part of the way, false rape allegations were attempted to be used as a weapon. They counted on the fact that most men hate rape with such abandon that they will engage in witch trials in order to serve up some “justice.”
Feminazis? Oh, yeah, but not just the ones that Rush Limbaugh talks about. –PE
FULL TEXT: Early as it is in the occupation of Germany, the American army appears to have won one major battle against an evil which might have seriously undermined its authority.
It was the battle of the fake rape cases.
As yet, few level-headed high army officials are certain whether it was an organized campaign of subtle sex sabotage or merely a sort of individual feminine guerrilla campaign.
Whatever its origin – either individual or collective – it has pretty definitely failed.
~ Viewed as Murder. ~
To understand the seriousness of the original situation when American troops first swept into Germany it must be realized that, for both moral and disciplinary reasons, our army views rape as civilian courts view murder. American soldiers have been hanged for rape in several European countries where this war has been fought.
Thus, word of the American army’s penalty for rape obviously filtered into Germany. That at least some nazi-minded frauleins heard of it and made their plans is now a matter of record. Others perhaps “innocently” – if that word is fitting – fell into the scheme.
It should be said that the army’s overseas rape cases generally have been fewer than would occur among a similar number of similarly aged civilians in most countries. But suddenly in Germany the military police began to be approached by numbers of women crying “Rape!”
Arrests were made immediately, but investigations prior to courts-martial began to unearth many discrepancies, for instance:
Out of three such complaints in one division, medical investigation revealed that two of the girls were virginal and civilians testified that the third was a known prostitute.
All three finally admitted they had been prompted by the departing Germans to try the rape racket as a means of harassing American troops.
~ Followed Instructions. ~
Several cases of German girls found fraternizing with doughboys first appeared as sex cases. The frauleins realized they had been found out and mistakenly thinking they too would be punished for such fraternizing they immediately cried “rape” in hopes of saving themselves.
The soldiers were punished for such fraternizing – but there’s a difference between a $65 fine and hanging.
More than once it developed that frauleins who said they had been raped did not even know what the English word “rape” means. They had merely been instructed briefly on how to say it. Rape remains a hanging offense in the American army – but no doughboy is going to the gallows simply on the word of a clever German girl.
[Kenneth L. Dixon, “Army Thwarts Fake Rape Plot,” syndicated (IP), The Racine Journal-Times (Wi.), May 15, 1945, p. 2]