(Photograph of Auschwitz, [Public Domain] via Pixabay)
The overseers of Nazi concentration camps orchestrated more than the systematic mass murder and medical experimentation on innocent civilians and prisoners. They also ran brothels that were forcibly worked by their woman prisoners.
Around 1942, Heinrich Himmler and the SS began to construct brothels in concentration camps to incentivize hard work from the prisoners who acted as informants and aided in the function of the camp. The first ‘special building’ was built in the Mauthausen concentration camp, but over the next years, at least nine more brothels were constructed in places such as Buchenwald, Dachau and Auschwitz. In these camps, prisoners who pleased the SS would receive vouchers that they could use at the brothels for a fifteen-minute session with a prostitute.
Some women supposedly joined the brothels willingly—for the prostitutes were well fed and housed—but if there were no volunteers, the wardens would seize women to fill the brothels by force. Jewish prisoners were forbidden from working in or visiting the brothel, but political prisoners, gypsies and other ‘anti-socials’ were allowed entrance.
- “Auschwitz: The Nazis and the ‘Final Solution,’” episode “Exploitation.” Documentary mini-series, 2005.