Sexual violence was a widespread reality during the war and the occupation in the Soviet Union: Wehrmacht soldiers and SS men made women and girls victims of sexual torture, committed rape and sexual enslavement. They also visited both 'secret' prostitutes and official military brothels, and had encounters with women who were forced to trade sex for protection or food. In some areas, they engaged in consensual relations, which sometimes led to applications for marriage permits.
This book dispels the myth that military leaders, in adhering to the Nazi ideology of 'race defilement', strictly repressed soldiers' sexuality. Regina Muhlhauser opens up new perspectives on the complexity of wartime sexual practices beyond the Nazi case by looking at the whole spectrum of heterosexual encounters--forced and consensual, violent and non-violent, commercial and non-commercial. In doing so, she develops a more nuanced understanding of soldiers' sexual behavior and the ways in which military commands assess soldierly sexuality and integrate it into their strategic thinking.