This blog is not to judge the women who had sex with the Nazis during World War 2. It is just to highlight the fact that it did happen, not only in brothels, but that is where I will focus on in this blog.
I could have called the blog “Sleeping with the enemy” but lets be honest, there was very little sleeping involved.
The German generals realized they would never prevent their soldiers from having sex. Instead of trying to stop sexual activities, they decided to control them. So, the German army established a vast network of military brothels throughout the occupied territories.
The Germans operated over 500 military brothels during World War II. For example, Paris had nineteen brothels in the inner city alone. Over the course of the war, between 34,000 and 50,000 young girls and women were forced into prostitution. However there were women who worked as prostitutes and some of them were happy enough to entertain the German troops and Nazis. Not all women who engaged in sexual contact with the Nazis were prostitutes either.
On June 25th, 1940, the Battle of France was over. The country had fallen to the German invader in a matter of six weeks. What ensued was a four-year-long period of occupation, a formation of a puppet state in the southern part of the country, and an army in exile, struggling to once again see the shores of its homeland.
Despite the fact that there was a foreign occupying force present, however, life in France continued – or at least tried to continue – as usual. The famous Parisian cafés and cinémas were now open to German soldiers that were taking leave from the frontline, as well as those stationed in France. The notorious nightlife of which they had heard so much about before the war, with its brothels and clubs running all night, now seemed to be within their conquering grasp.
But what interested the young German soldiers and officers the most were the beautiful and glamorous French girls. Since many of them seemed to show as much affection for the dashing Hugo-Boss-uniform-wearing invaders as any other man, a number of relationships developed all over the occupied area of the country, as well as in Vichy France, which was under de facto German control.
The Wehrmacht was able to establish a thoroughly bureaucratic system of around 100 new brothels already before 1942, based on an existing system of government-controlled ones.The soldiers were given official visitation cards issued by Oberkommando des Heeres and were prohibited from engaging in sexual contact with other French women. In September 1941, Field Marshal von Brauchitsch suggested that weekly visits for all younger soldiers be considered mandatory to prevent “sexual excesses” among them. The prostitutes had a scheduled medical check-up to slow the spread of venereal diseases.
Of course the evilness of the Nazis also came through in establishing these brothels. This one was set up in Brest, France. The Nazis converted this former synagogue into a brothel.
Another reason to set up brothels was obsessive homophobia. In the minds of the Nazis, the lack of sex with women would lead to homosexuality among men. If soldiers visited prostitutes, this would deter them from becoming homosexual.
Of course this wasn’t only the case but in most of the occupied territories, but France had the most brothels. The always had a more relaxed attitude towards sex
As I stated at the start I am judging the women. Sex is a powerful human instinct. In retrospect we can all judge, but some of these women had to look after families, and this was the only way they knew they could earn money.
Many of them paid a hefty price after the war.
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