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The District Court [Amtsgericht] of Meiningen: Decision about the Termination of a Pregnancy Following a Rape (January 9, 1946)

Beginning in August 1945, abortion after a rape was permitted in the Soviet occupation zone. However, it was often difficult to determine whether a pregnancy was in fact the result of a rape. In the present case, the District Court of Meiningen in Thuringia authorized an abortion even though the pregnancy was detected after a lengthy delay.

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On the evening of August 9 of last year, on the way from Bad Salzungen to Leimbach, where we were still living at the time, I and my husband, who was accompanying me, were stopped by six Russian soldiers. They came towards us in a passenger car and were obviously slightly drunk. They separated me from my husband; three men took me along into a nearby cornfield; three others kept my husband back. They threatened us with a pistol, so that we were unable to defend ourselves. All three Russians who had me in their power took turns raping me. Only after that was I let go again and allowed to return to my husband. Immediately after the incident I had myself examined here by Dr. Keitel, after I had already seen Dr. Schirmer in Salzungen, as I was afraid I might have been infected with something. However, at the time the doctors were unable to find anything, and no pregnancy, either. My period has always been very irregular, so that I myself was unable to infer anything when it did not appear. Only now, after another examination, has Dr. Keitel diagnosed a pregnancy. I have submitted the certificate to the health office.

I request the termination of my pregnancy and reinstatement into the previous position because of failure to adhere to the time limit.

I hereby affirm the truthfulness of my statements on oath.

Decided and pronounced:
that the applicant’s petition, despite missing the deadline, is accepted, and, furthermore, the attached decision is issued.

signed Dr. Lang, Barth

Source: Gisela Staupe and Lisa Vieth, eds., Unter anderen Umständen. Zur Geschichte der Abtreibung [Under Different Circumstances. On the History of Abortion]. Catalogue. A Publication of the German Hygiene Museum. Dresden, 1993, p. 77.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap

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