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Thread: The Abwehr’s assessment of Russian women

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    Default The Abwehr’s assessment of Russian women

    [FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3][*******#000000]If you read the title and expect this post to be critical of the conduct and morals of Russian women, during WWII, you will be disappointed. So read on![/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3][*******#000000]The Abwehr was Germany’s military intelligence service. In the Eastern Front they had a lot of responsibilities like protecting the occupied areas from Soviet agents and saboteurs, combating partisans and generally keeping the population under control.
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    [FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3][*******#000000]In order to carry out their mission they built up a large spy network that employed individuals of both sexes and various ethnicities, religions and political convictions. [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3][*******#000000]In Foreign Military Studies report P-122German Counterintelligence activities in occupied Russia 1941-44’ pages 75-82 (available through the fold3 site), there are several paragraphs devoted to the personality traits that made Russian women different from their western counterparts. I found it so interesting that I decided to post the relevant part here:

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    [SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Calibri]o. Russian Women [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Calibri]The difficulties encountered by the Germans in working with female Russian agents were far greater than those experienced with male Russians. The Soviet women differed greatly from their Western counterparts in character, customs, and opinions. Some of the character differences in the Russian women were inherent while others were the result of Soviet influence and living conditions in the USSR. [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
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    (1) Peculiarities of Russian Women [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]

    [SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Calibri]The principal trait of contemporary Russian women was their independence, which was shown in all aspects of their behavior and especially in their relationships with men, Soviet women participated more actively in political activities than was surmised by the Western world. In the USSR, women often occupied high positions and exerted enormous influence on public and economic life. It was not unusual to find a woman directing a big concern, serving as chairman of an organization like the Society for the Promotion of Aviation and Chemical Defense (Osoaviachim), or as secretary of one of the Communist Party organizations . Moreover, the women in the USSR received training on an equal basis with the men. This developed their self-confidence. The Russian women occupying such high positions had more power over their subordinates than that enjoyed by their Western counterparts. A Soviet woman in high position could discharge an employee and turn him over to the NKVD for imprisonment. In the USSR, it was the official or political position that determined an individual's power, not the ***. Despite the generally demoralizing effect of Communism, Russian women had retained the high moral standards accredited to them. The Soviet system had influenced them to a lesser degree than the men. Russian women kept their word, were less amenable to bribery than the men, detested all excesses, and frowned on work for material gain only. Most Russian women were very strong and of great endurance, and were able to withstand pain as well as hunger, thirst, and cold far better than spiritual privation. Apart from these character traits, they owed their mental formation to the influence of foreign, especially to French, literature. They were influenced by the novels of de Maupassant, which were relatively well known in the USSR. Soviet propaganda also exerted a certain influence, pointing out that the Westerner, educated under capitalism, looked to women as a means to satisfy his ****** desires and neglected completely their personalities. [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
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    (2) Recruiting or Russian Female Agents [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]

    [SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Calibri]It was a long time before the Abwehr understood Russian women well enough to be able to employ them profitably. Other methods had to be used than those employed in recruiting Polish, Latvian, French, and Belgian women. The recruiting officer had to show that he was not interested in the prospect as a woman, for she would refuse to collaborate if she became suspicious of his intentions. [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
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    (3) Inducements[/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]

    [SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Calibri]The Abwehr personnel often stressed the inequalities of a woman’s position under the Soviet regime. True, she enjoyed equal rights, but she had to work harder and under greater difficulties. Her work under the Soviets was unsuitable and did not correspond to her physical make-up and mental qualifications, besides being injurious to her health. Moreover, the Soviet system disorganized the family. Husband and wife worked hard all day. If they desired advancement, they had to fulfill obligatory public services, attend meetings and lectures, serve on committees, sign manifestos, etc. On returning home, both were too tired to enjoy each other's company. The wife was unable to, educate and influence her children for luck of time, end apart from this, the Communist Putty did not permit any influence deviating from the Party line as set down by Lenin and Stalin. From infancy, every boy was influenced by the Soviet regime; he attended Soviet schools, and later joined Pioneer and Komsomol (Young Communist League) organizations. The case of Pavlik Morozov was always used a convincing example of what happened to children brought up by the Communist Party. Pavlik, the twelve-year old son of a collective farmer, denounced his father to the NKVD. For this betrayal, he was slain by his grandfather. The Soviets, however, erected a statue in Pavlik's memory, calling him a hero for betraying his father. Material inducements influenced women in Russia but not as much as they did elsewhere. Money gave them an opportunity to dress well, to buy cosmetics, and to pretty themselves, things they were unable to do on a large scale before the war.



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    [SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Calibri]This was only a part of my original post available in my blog here.[/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]

  2. #2
    Banned User Laworkerbee's Avatar
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    2) Recruiting or Russian Female Agents
    It was a long time before the Abwehr understood Russian women well enough to be able to employ them profitably. Other methods had to be used than those employed in recruiting Polish, Latvian, French, and Belgian women. The recruiting officer had to show that he was not interested in the prospect as a woman, for she would refuse to collaborate if she became suspicious of his intentions.
    Brother ain't that the truth.

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    Senior Member themacedonian's Avatar
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    On returning home, both were too tired to enjoy each other's company. The wife was unable to, educate and influence her children for luck of time, end apart from this, the Communist Putty did not permit any influence deviating from the Party line as set down by Lenin and Stalin. From infancy, every boy was influenced by the Soviet regime; he attended Soviet schools, and later joined Pioneer and Komsomol (Young Communist League) organizations.

    Is it just me or that is the lifestyle now in western countries!

    True Russian women are independent.

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    Senior Member [WDW]Megaraptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themacedonian View Post
    True Russian women are independent.
    Here they seem to be more of the "don't pursue higher education and get married by age 20" type.

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    Senior Member rhino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [WDW]Megaraptor View Post
    Here they seem to be more of the "don't pursue higher education and get married by age 20" type.
    "to a well off guy"

    cant forget that part

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    Senior Member Atlantic Friend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhino View Post
    "to a well off guy"

    cant forget that part
    Divorcing the guy and leaving with half of his money does count towards independence.

    Interesting find anyway, this Abwehr report. I wish I could read decent German.

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