German military brothels in World War II

Soldatenbordell - in Brest, France

Soldatenbordell – in Brest, France

Wehrmacht brothels” and SS officer brothel s, which could serve German Wehrmacht soldiers and SS members were established by the Wehrmacht during the Second World War in the occupied territories. They are indistinguishable from the camp brothel s that existed in the concentration camp n.

During the war, about 500 of these brothels were set up in occupied countries. In German-occupied Denmark, there was no Wehrmacht brothels.

View of the Wehrmacht and Nazi leadership

9 September 1939 gave the Minister of the Interior Wilhelm Frick, a decree which should govern the new police treatment of prostitution in the “operational area” of the German Wehrmacht. By prohibition or tracking wild prostitution health hazards of the Wehrmacht should be prevented. Prostitution was allowed “only in special houses” are entertained under the supervision of the German medical service. A general prohibition of sexual activity was thought to be “inopportune, because thereby the number of Notzuchtverbrechen and the hazards of violations of § 175 of the Penal Code would increase (prohibition of homosexual acts).”

In a command of the Commander of the Army, Walther von Brauchitsch, is stated: “The sexual intercourse with female health not controlled personnel must be prevented as far as possible”. He also called on the German soldiers to practice “by sexual self-discipline field”, “Especially for the married soldiers is this commandment for granted.”

The army doctor and the Quartermaster General in the Army High Command gave out in the second half of July 1940 two complementary decrees which initiated the establishment of the brothel s soldier s and the pursuit of wild prostitution in occupied France in the way. The arrangement was to seize selected brothels for the occupying power. The implementation of the directives in a Report of the Chief Medical Officer of the District Chief B of 23 September 1940 documented.

Working conditions, earnings and police and medical control of Bordella Asked were controlled by means of a comprehensive catalog edition in great detail.

Selected young women were later forced into military brothels

Selected young women were later forced into military brothels

Prostitution in occupied France

After only six weeks of western campaign of the Armed Forces, which ended with the defeat of France, were 1.5 million Frenchmen, including husbands and fathers, as prisoners of war or forced laborers in Germany, the women often had to “fend for themselves”.

Relations / affairs with soldiers or casual prostitution were a matter of survival for many women. The Frenchman Patrick Buisson writes, between occupying German soldiers and the female population of France had an active sexual intercourse prevailed. Soon after the occupation of France turned out that a considerable extent spread venereal disease among soldiers en. On 29 July 1940 was ordered that Wehrmacht brothels were set up which were under control of the Armed Forces Medical Inspectorate. Do so under the present in large numbers in France such brothels were selected who met German hygienic requirements. Infected prostitutes repeated uncontrolled soldiers of the Wehrmacht, they were deported to concentration camps. The implementation of the arranged prosecution of prostitutes was free to transfer a substantial part of the French police. Thus, the medical officer of the field headquarters of the French police ordered Orleans in October 1941, all outside of the Wehrmacht brothels working “soumises filles” (such as: ‘submissive women / girls’) to arrest and transfer to the camp Jargeau. Between October 1941 and November 1944 from the surrounding region at least 303 women who were accused of prostitution wild, interned in the camp. The internment in Jargeau was connected with the system of Wehrmacht brothels. From December 1941, the occupiers French women from the camp were put on in Wehrmacht brothels. Regarding the form of recruitment for brothel work with the consent and at the request of the internees was, in fact, it was one of the few ways to escape the camp. Those working in the Wehrmacht brothels Frenchwomen were examined by the Wehrmacht regular medical and in the case of an infection admitted to hospital (against their will). The investigation led local medical officers under the supervision of the army medical service through.

a Wehrmacht brothel in Brest

a Wehrmacht brothel in Brest

Sexual contacts with French women outside the controlled brothels should be stopped. The aim was to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, security police motives played a role. As it was feared that French resistance groups could fix on agents of German Wehrmacht. In addition, private relations between soldiers and female civilians seemed generally suitable to undermine the discipline of the troops and their authority over the population of occupied France.

In a report of Feldkommandantur doctor from Angers in November 1940, states: “The brothels were in 14 days from 8,948 soldiers attended, of whom 2,467 intercourse exercised.”

Towards the end of 1941, the Wehrmacht had only in County A military – an area that included about a third of German-occupied northern zone – 143 Wehrmacht brothels, in which 1,166 women worked. In the port city of La Rochelle at least 250 French women were employed in Wehrmacht brothels during the year 1942.

At Le Mans it was near the Cathedral of Le Mans

a Wehrmacht brothel, especially for German, who came from out of town.

Soviet Union

The same situation was difficult for the Soviet Union, the Wehrmacht to solve, because the official prostitution was prohibited there. After wild prostitution had developed the High Command of the Army in March 1942 ordered the establishment of Wehrmacht brothels for the Soviet Union.

For fear of newsgathering for the partisans uncontrolled prostitution was strictly followed. Also in the Wehrmacht brothels in the Soviet Union had to be examined regularly to women.

Origin of Women

In the Wehrmacht brothels were both in Poland and in France “previously have known and monitored prostitutes” working women or those who had been “obtained by notification to report for the brothels.” The historian Regina Muhlhauser writes that “recruitment of prostitutes” was made ​​in a mixed form of “traditional employments” and “different forms of forced prostitution”. Since fear of military espionage prevailed, was requested by the prostitutes to be “politically innocuous”. The selection of staff ordered the Wehrmacht brothel also in terms of “race”. Since it was not officially prostitutes in the Soviet Union, they were recruited there again.

In German-occupied Norway Norwegian no, but only French prostitutes were working.

Cinematic Reception

•Thomas Gevaert, Martin Hilbert women as prey – Wehrmacht and prostitution (documentary), first broadcast 12 January 2005 ARD

Related Topics

•Comfort Women – forced prostitutes in Japanese military brothels during World War II

•Sutler – Army attendants in the Middle Ages, going about in addition to supply troops and partly of prostitution


•Gabriele Czarnorwski Women – State – medicine.Aspects of the body politics of National Socialism. In: Women between selection and extermination. Contributions to feminist theory and practice. No. 14, 1985.

•My Insa: Wehrmacht and prostitution in occupied France. Edition caulking, Bremen 2002. ISBN 3-86108-789-8

•Christa Paul: forced prostitution.Government established brothels in National Socialism. Edition Hentrich, Berlin 1994. ISBN 3-89468-141-1



Waffen SS

German occupation of Europe 1939-1945

Nazi forced labor

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