German camp brothels in World War II


German camp brothels in World War II
Camp brothel in Gusen, Austria
Heinrich Himmler inspecting the camp brothel in Mauthausen/Gusen

In World War II Nazi Germany established brothels in the concentration camps (Lagerbordell) to create an incentive for prisoners to collaborate, although these institutions were used mostly by Kapos, "prisoner functionaries" and criminal element, because real inmates, penniless and emaciated, were usually too debilitated and wary of exposure to SS schemes. In the end, the camp brothels did not produce any noticeable increase in the prisoners’ work productivity levels, but instead, created a market for coupons among the camp VIPs.[1] The women forced into these brothels came mainly from the Ravensbrück concentration camp,[2] except for Auschwitz, which employed its own prisoners.[3] In combination with the German military brothels in World War II, it is estimated that at least 34,140 female inmates were forced to serve as prostitutes during the Third Reich.[3]

Contents

History and operation

The first camp brothel was established in Mauthausen/Gusen in 1942. After 30 June 1943, a camp brothel existed in Auschwitz, and from 15 July 1943, in Buchenwald. The one in Neuengamme was established in early 1944, Dachau's in May 1944, Dora-Mittelbau's in late summer, and Sachsenhausen's on 8 August 1944.[4] There are conflicting dates for the camp brothel in Flossenbürg: one source claims summer 1943[5]; another states it was not opened until 25 March 1944.[4]

The camp brothels were usually built as barracks surrounded by a barbed-wire fence, with small individual rooms for up to 20 women prisoners, controlled by a female overseer (aufseherin).[1] The sex workers were replaced frequently due to exhaustion and illness, and were usually sent away to their deaths later. The brothels were open only in the evenings. No Jewish male prisoners were allowed. Those with access to the customer lineup (Aryan VIPs only), had to sign up for a specific day and pay two reichsmarks for a 20-minute "service" based on a predetermined schedule. The prostitutes were matched with their clients by an SS-man. The market for the "prize-coupons" was routinely cornered by the common criminals who wore the green triangles (hence the "green men" denomination).[1] There is evidence (somewhat controversial)[6] that in some of the brothels, women might have had tattoos inscribed on their chests saying "Feld Hure" Field Whore or "Die Armeenhure" the Army Whore.[7] Some of them underwent forced sterilizations as well as forced abortions, often resulting in death.[3]

The subject of camp prostitution was alluded to in survivors' memoirs at least as early as 1972, when the first edition of Heinz Heger's book[5] was published. However, the subject remained largely taboo in studies of Nazism until the mid-1990s, when new publications by female researchers broke the silence.[8][9]

Sometimes the SS enticed women into becoming sex workers by promising them better treatment or reductions of their indefinite sentence. This caused anger or envy among some female inmates. Nina Michailovna, Russian camp prisoner, reported: “When we found out that a girl in our block was chosen, we caught her and threw a blanket on her and beat her up so badly that she could hardly move. It wasn’t clear if she would recover. They just wanted to have a better life and we punished them this way.”[10]

Homosexual prisoners and camp brothels

In addition to using camp brothels as a means to control inmates, encourage collaboration, and prevent riots and escapes, Heinrich Himmler also intended them to be used as a means of teaching pink triangle prisoners "the joys of the opposite sex"[5], i.e., as "therapy" for their homosexuality. Heger claims that Himmler directed that all gay prisoners were to make compulsory visits to the camp brothel once per week as a means of curing them of their same-sex attraction.[5]

Cultural references

German concentration camp brothels were re-enacted in fictional Nazi exploitation films made in the 1970s such as Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, Last Orgy of the Third Reich, Love Camp 7, SS Experiment Camp and Nazi Love Camp 27.[11] Examples of Israeli fictional literature on the subject include writer's Yehiel De-Nur alias K. Tzetnik's book The House of Dolls and Stalag fiction genre.[12][13]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c "Camp Brothel." Wollheim Memorial. Accessed June 30, 2011.
  2. ^ New Exhibition Documents Forced Prostitution in Concentration Camps - Der Spiegel - 15 January 2007
  3. ^ a b c Nanda Herbermann, Hester Baer, Elizabeth Roberts Baer (2000) (Google Books). The Blessed Abyss: Inmate #6582 in Ravensbruck Concentration Camp for Women. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. pp. 33–34. ISBN 0814329209. http://books.google.com/books?id=3JM3AdnmE18C&pg=PA34&dq=%22it+is+impossible+to+speak+of+free+will+when+considering+the+circumstances%22&hl=en&ei=_RwrTYmtIov2tgPcpd3XBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22it%20is%20impossible%20to%20speak%20of%20free%20will%20when%20considering%20the%20circumstances%22&f=false.  (English)
  4. ^ a b Christl Wickert: Tabu Lagerbordell, in: Eschebach/Jacobeit/Wenk: Gedächtnis und Geschlecht, 2002, S. 44
  5. ^ a b c d Heinz Heger, Die Männer mit dem rosa Winkel, 5th ed., 2001, p. 137
  6. ^ Tom Segev, "Who was the camp whore?" Haaretz.com, January 13, 2011
  7. ^ Melissa Kuntz (2007) (WWW), The Forgotten Photographs: The Work of Paul Goldman from 1943-1961, Pittsburgh: American Jewish Museum See photograph of an inmate with chest tattoo published by Jerusalem Post, http://www.pittsburghcitypaper.ws/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A30183, retrieved January 10, 2011 
  8. ^ Christa Schulz, "Weibliche Häftlinge aus Ravensbrück in Bordellen der Männerkonzentrationslager" (Female prisoners from Ravensbrück in brothels for male concentration camp prisoners)
  9. ^ Christa Paul, Zwangsprostitution. Staatlich errichtete Bordelle im Nationalsozialismus (Forced prostitution: Brothels established by the National Socialist State).
  10. ^ In: Thomas Gaevert / Martin Hilbert: "Frauen als Beute" ("Women as Booty"), 2004 documentary film made for ARD. Quote in German: „Wenn wir wußten, daß in unserem Block eine ausgesucht wurde, haben wir sie geschnappt und ihr eine Decke übergeworfen und sie so verprügelt, daß sie sich nicht mehr rühren konnte. Es war unklar, ob sie sich davon überhaupt wieder erholen könnte. Die wollten doch nur ein schöneres Leben haben und wir haben sie so bestraft.“
  11. ^ Stiglegger, Marcus (2007-02-09). "Beyond Good and Evil? Sadomasochism politics cinema 1970s". IKONEN. Ikonenmagazin.de. http://www.ikonenmagazin.de/artikel/Nightporter.htm. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  12. ^ Schultzes Hündin, taz
  13. ^ "Folternde, vollbusige SS-Frauen «". Diepresse.com. 2010-02-18. http://diepresse.com/home/kultur/news/403105/index.do. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 

Books

  • (German) Christl Wickert (1996). "Das große Schweigen; Zwangsprostitution im Dritten Reich (The Big Silence: Forced Prostitution on the Third Reich)". WerkstattGeschichte 13: 90–95. ISSN 0933-5706. 



Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • World War II — WWII redirects here. For other uses, see WWII (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

  • German occupation of Luxembourg in World War II — Invasion of Luxembourg Part of the Western Front of World War II Date 10 May 1940 Location …   Wikipedia

  • World War II in popular culture — There is a wide range of ways in which people have represented World War II in popular culture. Many works were created during the years of conflict and many more have arisen from that period of world history. Some well known examples of books… …   Wikipedia

  • Timeline of events preceding World War II — World War II seriesv · d · e …   Wikipedia

  • Bombing of Dresden in World War II — Dresden after the bombing raid The Bombing of Dresden was a military bombing by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) and as part of the Allied forces between 13 February and 15 Febr …   Wikipedia

  • History of Germany during World War II — The flag of the Greater German Reich. This article is about the combat history of Nazi Germany. For other national history through the period (domestic activity, war production, etc.), see Germany in World War II. The history of Germany during… …   Wikipedia

  • Middle East Theatre of World War II — …   Wikipedia

  • Comparative officer ranks of World War II — The following table shows comparative officer ranks of major Allied and Axis powers during World War II. For modern ranks refer to Comparative military ranks. KEY: Navy Army Air Force[1] Waffen SS/Allgemeine SS Generic ranks not specific to any… …   Wikipedia

  • Outline of World War II — World War II articles Alphabetical index: 0 9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Campaigns  |  Countries  |  Equipment Lists  |  Outline  |  Timeline  |  Portal  | … …   Wikipedia

  • Collaboration with the Axis Powers during World War II — World War II seriesv · d · e …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.