Camp brothel in Gusen, Austria
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 the criminal element, because regular inmates, penniless and emaciated, were usually too debilitated and wary of exposure to Schutzstaffel (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.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
A kapo or prisoner functionary was a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp who was assigned by the SS guards to supervise forced labor or carry out administrative tasks.
The women forced into these brothels came mainly from the Ravensbrück concentration camp,except for Auschwitz, which employed its own prisoners. In combination with the German military brothels in World War II, it is estimated that at least 34,140 female inmates were forced into sexual slavery during the Third Reich.
Ravensbrück was a German concentration camp exclusively for women from 1939 to 1945, located in northern Germany, 90 km (56 mi) north of Berlin at a site near the village of Ravensbrück. The largest single national group consisted of 40,000 Polish women. Others included 26,000 Jewish women from various countries: 18,800 Russian, 8,000 French, and 1,000 Dutch. More than 80 percent were political prisoners. Many slave labor prisoners were employed by Siemens & Halske. From 1942 to 1945, medical experiments to test the effectiveness of sulfonamides were undertaken.
German military brothels were set up by Nazi Germany during World War II throughout much of occupied Europe for the use of Wehrmacht and SS soldiers. These brothels were generally new creations, but in the West, they were sometimes set up using existing brothels as well as many other buildings. Until 1942, there were around 500 military brothels of this kind in German-occupied Europe. Often operating in confiscated hotels and guarded by the Wehrmacht, these facilities served travelling soldiers and those withdrawn from the front. According to records, at least 34,140 European women were forced to serve as prostitutes during the German occupation of their own countries along with female prisoners of concentration camp brothels. In many cases in Eastern Europe, Teenage girls and women were kidnapped on the streets of occupied cities during German military and police round ups called łapanka or rafle.
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.There are conflicting dates for the camp brothel in Flossenbürg: one source claims summer 1943; another states it was not opened until 25 March 1944.
Buchenwald was a Nazi concentration camp established on Ettersberg hill near Weimar, Germany, in July 1937. It was one of the first and the largest of the concentration camps within Germany's 1937 borders. Many actual or suspected communists were among the first internees.
The Neuengamme concentration camp was a network of Nazi German concentration camps in Northern Germany that consisted of the main camp, Neuengamme, and its over 85 satellite camps. Established in 1938 near the village of Neuengamme in the Bergedorf district of Hamburg, the Neuengamme camp became the largest concentration camp in Northwest Germany. Over 100,000 prisoners came through Neuengamme and its subcamps, 24 of which were for women. The verified death toll is 42,900: 14,000 in the main camp, 12,800 in the subcamps, and 16,100 in the death marches and bombings during the final weeks of World War II. Following Germany’s defeat in 1945, the British Army used the site as an internment camp for SS and other Nazi officials. In 1948, the British transferred the land to the Free Hanseatic City of Hamburg, which summarily demolished the camp’s wooden barracks and built in its stead a prison cell block, converting the former concentration camp site into two state prisons operated by the Hamburg authorities from 1950 to 2004. Following protests by various groups of survivors and allies, the site now serves as a memorial. It is situated 15 km southeast of the centre of Hamburg.
Dachau concentration camp was the first of the Nazi concentration camps opened in 1933, intended to hold political prisoners. It is located on the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory northeast of the medieval town of Dachau, about 16 km (10 mi) northwest of Munich in the state of Bavaria, in southern Germany. Opened by Heinrich Himmler, its purpose was enlarged to include forced labor, and eventually, the imprisonment of Jews, German and Austrian criminals, and eventually foreign nationals from countries that Germany occupied or invaded. The Dachau camp system grew to include nearly 100 sub-camps, which were mostly work camps or Arbeitskommandos, and were located throughout southern Germany and Austria. The camps were liberated by U.S. forces on 29 April 1945.
The camp brothels were usually built as barracks surrounded by a barbed-wire fence, with small individual rooms for up to 20 female prisoners, controlled by a female overseer ( Aufseherin ).The women 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 as patrons. 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 women were matched with 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). There is evidence (somewhat controversial) that in some of the brothels, women might have had tattoos inscribed on their chests saying Feld-Hure ("field whore"). Some of them underwent forced sterilizations as well as forced abortions, often resulting in death.
The Reichsmark was the currency in Germany from 1924 until 20 June 1948 in West Germany, where it was replaced with the Deutsche Mark, and until 23 June in East Germany when it was replaced by the East German mark. The Reichsmark was subdivided into 100 Reichspfennig. The Mark is an ancient Germanic weight measure, traditionally a half pound, later used for several coins; whereas Reich, that is realm in English, comes from the official name for the German nation state from 1871 to 1945, Deutsches Reich.
The subject of forced prostitution in the camps was alluded to in survivors' memoirs at least as early as 1972, when the first edition of Heinz Heger's bookwas published. However, the subject remained largely taboo in studies of Nazism until the mid-1990s, when new publications by female researchers broke the silence.
Josef Kohout was an Austrian Nazi concentration camp survivor, imprisoned for his homosexuality. He is best known for the 1972 book Die Männer mit dem rosa Winkel, which was written by his acquaintance Hans Neumann using the pen name Heinz Heger, which is often falsely attributed to Kohout. The book is one of very few first-hand accounts of the treatment of homosexuals in Nazi imprisonment. It has been translated into several languages, and a second edition published in 1994. It was the first testimony from a homosexual survivor of the concentration camps to be translated into English, and is regarded as the best known. Its publication helped to illuminate not just the suffering gay prisoners of the Nazi regime experienced, but the lack of recognition and compensation they received after the war's end.
National Socialism, more commonly known as Nazism, is the ideology and practices associated with the Nazi Party—officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party —in Nazi Germany, and of other far-right groups with similar ideas and aims.
Sometimes the SS enticed women into serving in the brothels by promising them more humane 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."
In addition to using camp brothels as a means to control inmates, encourage collaboration, and prevent riots and escapes, Heinrich Himmler intended them to be used as a means of teaching pink triangle prisoners "the joys of the opposite sex",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 homosexuality.
The French documentary Night and Fog mentioned the existence of concentration camp brothels as early as 1955. This film, by director Alain Resnais, included extensive original footage of the camps and was based on interviews with survivors. German concentration camp brothels were also 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 .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.
Czech author Arnošt Lustig wrote a novel Lovely Green Eyes ( ISBN 1559706961), which tells a story of a 15-year-old Jewish girl deported to a camp and forced to serve in a brothel during World War II. In Australian television drama A Place to Call Home , current events bring painful memories of war for the Australian-born Jewish convert Sarah Adams. The audience learns that not only was she an internee at the Ravensbrück concentration camp, but she was forced into a camp brothel; willing herself to survive the ordeal solely because of her love for her French husband, Rene. After liberation, on being told erroneously that he had died, she had a mental breakdown. The dramatic revelation that he was not dead followed.
Natzweiler-Struthof was a German-run concentration camp located in the Vosges Mountains close to the Alsatian village of Natzwiller in France, and the town of Schirmeck, about 50 km (31 m) southwest of the city of Strasbourg. Natzweiler-Struthof was the only concentration camp established by the Nazis on French territory, though there were French-run temporary camps such as the one at Drancy.
Irma Ida Ilse Grese was an SS guard at the Nazi concentration camps of Ravensbrück and Auschwitz, and served as warden of the women's section of Bergen-Belsen.
The Mauthausen–Gusen concentration camp complex consisted of the Mauthausen concentration camp on a hill above the market town of Mauthausen plus a group of nearly 100 further subcamps located throughout Austria and southern Germany. The three Gusen concentration camps in and around the village of St Georgen/Gusen, just a few kilometres from Mauthausen, held a significant proportion of prisoners within the camp complex, at times exceeding the number of prisoners at the Mauthausen main camp.
House of Dolls is a 1953 novella by Ka-tzetnik 135633. The novella describes "Joy Divisions", which were groups of Jewish women in the concentration camps during World War II who were kept for the sexual pleasure of Nazi soldiers.
Stutthof was a Nazi German concentration camp established in a secluded, wet, and wooded area near the small town of Sztutowo 34 km (21 mi) east of the city of Danzig in the former territory of the Free City of Danzig. The camp was set up around existing structures after the invasion of Poland in World War II, used for the imprisonment of Polish leaders and intelligentsia. The actual barracks were built the following year by hundreds of prisoners.
Hildegard Martha Lächert was a female guard, or Aufseherin, at several German World War II concentration camps. She became publicly known for her service at Ravensbrück, Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau. After the war she was sentenced to a total of 27 years in prison for her brutal treatment of inmates during her camp service of which she only served close to ten. She later did work for the CIA and for the West German spy agency the BND.
Therese Brandl was a Nazi concentration camp guard. In March 1942, Brandl was one of several SS women to be assigned to Auschwitz I concentration camp. Her duties included watching over women in the sorting sheds and as the SS Rapportaufseherin.
The Aufseherinnen were female guards in German concentration camps during the Holocaust. Of the 55,000 guards who served in German concentration camps, about 3,700 were women. In 1942, the first female guards arrived at Auschwitz and Majdanek from Ravensbrück. The year after, the Nazis began conscripting women because of a guard shortage. The German title for this position, Aufseherin means female overseer or attendant. Later female guards were dispersed to Bolzano (1944–45), Kaiserwald-Riga (1943–44), Mauthausen, Stutthof (1942–45), Vaivara (1943–44), Vught (1943–44), and at other Nazi concentration camps, subcamps, work camps, detention camps, etc.
Maria Mandl was an Austrian SS-Helferin infamous for her key role in the Holocaust as a top-ranking official at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp where she is believed to have been directly complicit in the deaths of over 500,000 female prisoners. She was executed for war crimes.
Margot Elisabeth Dreschel, also spelled Drechsler, or Drexler, was a prison guard at Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
Johanna Langefeld was a German female guard and supervisor at three Nazi concentration camps: Lichtenburg, Ravensbrück, and Auschwitz.
The Hamburg Ravensbrück trials were a series of seven trials for war crimes against camp officials from the Ravensbrück concentration camp that the British authorities held in their occupation zone in Germany in Hamburg after the end of World War II. These trials were heard before a military tribunal; the three to five judges at these trials were British officers, assisted by a lawyer. The defendants included concentration camp personnel of all levels: SS officers, camp doctors, male guards, female guards (Aufseherinnen), and a few former prisoner-functionaries who had tortured or mistreated other inmates. In total, 38 defendants were tried in these seven trials; 21 of the defendants were women. Executions relating to these trials were carried out on the gallows at Hamelin prison by British hangman Albert Pierrepoint.
Alice Orlowski was a German concentration camp guard at several of the Nazi German camps in occupied Poland during World War II.
Emma Anna Maria Zimmer was a female overseer at the Lichtenburg concentration camp, the Ravensbrück concentration camp and the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination/concentration camp for several years during the war.
Luise Danz was a Nazi German concentration camp guard in World War II. She was born in Walldorf (Werra) in Thuringia. Danz was captured in 1945 and put on trial for crimes against humanity at the Auschwitz trial in Kraków, Poland. She was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1947, but released due to general amnesty on August 20, 1957.
Karl Franz Gebhardt was a German medical doctor and a war criminal during World War II. He served as Medical Superintendent of the Hohenlychen Sanatorium, Consulting Surgeon of the Waffen-SS, Chief Surgeon in the Staff of the Reich Physician SS and Police, and personal physician to Heinrich Himmler.
Nazi exploitation is a subgenre of exploitation film and sexploitation film that involves Nazis committing sex crimes, often as camp or prison overseers during World War II. Most follow the women in prison formula, only relocated to a concentration camp, extermination camp, or Nazi brothel, and with an added emphasis on sadism, gore, and degradation. The most infamous and influential title is a Canadian production, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1974). Its surprise success and sequels led European filmmakers, mostly in Italy, to produce dozens of similar films. While the Ilsa series were profitable, the other films were mostly box-office flops, and the genre all but vanished by the mid-1980s.
Malchow was one of the numerous sub-camps of Nazi concentration camp: Ravensbrück, located in Germany, which is believed to be first opened in the winter of 1943. It was located at Malchow in Mecklenburg.