Estimates of the total German war dead range from 5.5 to 6.9 million persons. A study by German historian Rüdiger Overmans puts the number of German military dead and missing at 5.3 million, including 900.000 men conscripted from outside of Germany’s 1937 borders, in Austria, and in east-central Europe. Overmans estimated in 2014 that in all about 353.000 civilians were killed by British and American bombing of German cities.
An additional 20.000 died in the land campaign. Some 22.000 citizens died during the Battle of Berlin. Other civilian deaths include 300.000 Germans (including Jews) who were victims of Nazi political, racial, and religious persecution, and 200.000 who were murdered in the Nazi euthanasia program. Political courts called Sondergerichte “Special Courts”, sentenced some 12.000 members of the German resistance to death, and civil courts sentenced an additional 40.000 Germans.
Mass rapes of German women also took place. The two largest Berlin hospitals estimated that at least 100.000 women had been raped by Soviet soldiers only in the German capital. Half-drunk Red Army soldiers, armed with rifles and machine guns, made unarmed Germans stand in rows. Other Russians forced women and girls to lie on the ground, tore off their clothes and began raping them. The male Germans could only silently clench their fists.
At the end of the war, Europe had more than 40 million refugees, its economy had collapsed, and 70 per cent of its industrial infrastructure was destroyed. Between twelve and fourteen million ethnic Germans fled or were expelled from east-central Europe to Germany. During the Cold War, the West German government estimated a death toll of 2.2 million civilians due to the flight and expulsion of Germans and through forced labour in the Soviet Union. This figure remained unchallenged until the 1990s, when some historians put the death toll at 500.000–600.000 confirmed deaths. In 2006 the German government reaffirmed its position that 2.0–2.5 million deaths occurred.