This, excerpt from A WOMAN IN BERLIN by Anonymous, recapitulates,


It’s strange how the men always start by asking, ‘Do you have a husband?’ What’s the best way to answer? If you say no, they start making advances right away. If you say yes, thinking they’ll leave you in peace, they just go on with their grilling: ‘Where is he? Did he stay in Stalingrad for good?’ (Many of our troops fought at Stalingrad; they wear special medal.) If you have a real live man around, one you can actually show them (as the widow does with Herr Pauli, even though he’s her tenant and nothing more), they’ll bask off a bit – at first. But they don’t really care; they take what they can get, married or not. However, they prefer to keep the husband out of the way for as long as needed, by sending him off somewhere or locking him up or doing something else. Not because they’re afraid. They’ve already noticed that none of the husbands here are very likely to fly into a rage. But having one around makes them uncomfortable – unless they’re completely plastered.” (Anonymous 2006)







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