"Special Constructions" and Camp Society. To the Role of Brothels in Concentration Camps  Cover Image
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"Sonderbau" und Lagergesellschaft. Die Bedeutung von Bordellen in den Konzentrationslagern
"Special Constructions" and Camp Society. To the Role of Brothels in Concentration Camps

Author(s): Robert Sommer
Subject(s): History
Published by: Institut Terezínské iniciativy - Sefer
Keywords: Sexuality; concentration camp; masculinity; forced prostitution; inmates society; Holocaust; National Socialism; brothels;

Summary/Abstract: A rather unknown aspect of the history of the Nazi concentration camps is the existence of brothel barracks which were constructed for male camp prisoners in most of the major concentration camps, i.e. Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Dachau, since 1942. Those brothels were part of an incentive system designed to increase the productivity of slave labor. Female prisoners from the women concentration camp Ravensbrück or Birkenau were selected to serve in those “special construction”, as they were officially called by the SS. Camp brothels played a very small roll to most of the male inmates. Many of them knew very little about its existence nor the in there incarcerated women. Only few men, over all “Aryans”, were allowed to visit such institution. Out of them a vanishingly small number attended it regularly and demonstrated through that their physical power and high position in the camps inner hierarchy. Others simply wanted to have a human contact or see a women which they had not been able in many years. The SS also forced prisoners to visit a camp brothel and showed through that their total power over the prisoners and furthermore humiliated them by forcing them to participate in sexual exploitation.

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 13
  • Page Range: 288-339
  • Page Count: 52
  • Language: German