Scary pages of the story: a brothel in Auschwitz
76 years ago, Heinrich Himmler issued an order to organize brothels in concentration camps. The diabolical plan was intended to force prisoners to work harder for the "reward" in the form of sexual pleasures. Female prisoners were lured into the brothel with the promise of additional food and better conditions. They serviced up to 20 men a day under the vigilant supervision of German overseers.
Immediately behind the notorious Auschwitz gate, with the inscription "Work makes it free," is one of the least known nightmarish camp sites. To make the prisoners work harder, Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, ordered the opening of brothels for them in the concentration camps of occupied Europe. The plan was adopted in October 1941. According to him, a well-working prisoner could get a ticket to a brothel as a reward. The first brothel was organized in 1942 in Mauthausen (Austria). He was followed by Ravensbrück, Buchenwald, Dachau and Flossenburg. In total, ten brothels worked in concentration camps.The largest of them was located in Polish Auschwitz (Auschwitz), in block No. 24 near the gate.
Auschwitz was the most powerful death machine in history: about 1.1 million people died here. The plan to organize a camp brothel was embodied by the SS man Siegfried Schwela, the chief camp doctor. He brought rules to the concentration camp physicians: both men and women in a brothel must be healthy, women must be sterilized, only the missionary position can be used. In addition, the doors had to be equipped with eyes, through which the guards should watch that the woman did not spend with the client more than 15 minutes.
Of course, racial norms were also observed: the Germans had to go only to German women, the Slavs - to Slav women. Russians and Jews were not allowed into the brothel.
Even before the realization of his plans, Shwela was killed by resistance fighters. However, in 1943, the plan was brought to life by another SS doctor, Osvad Kaduk.
The Auschwitz bordello was located in block 24 - in this house to the right of the gate.
Women prisoners (of course, non-Jews) were lured into a brothel with the promise of better conditions of detention and food.The girls, most of whom were barely over 20, were served, on average, 6–9 men at the “visiting hour” from 8 to 10 in the evening. Sunday was also a working day for them.
A total of 21 women worked in the brothel.
Men who were allowed to visit a brothel were subjected to degrading medical examination. An SS doctor smeared their genitals with a special cream. Even earlier, they were called out to the brothel for the whole camp, where the guards escorted them. Many "awarded" were so sick and exhausted that they physically could not take advantage of this opportunity.
“After the arrival of the new transport, the SS men came to the new female prisoners and said that they were looking for women for light work,” says historian Iga Bunalska. “Some later refused to find out what was“ easy work ”, but others remained. Then the doctors selected young and pretty women who were sent to work at the institution. "
Brothels worked not only in Auschwitz, but also in other camps. The picture shows the institution for prisoners in Buchenwald.
SS doctor Siegfried Schwela, who developed a detailed plan and instructions for creating a camp brothel.
“Brothels worked every day in the evenings, opening up after checking. The brothel workers had warm housing, each had a separate room with decent furniture,” says Bunalska. “They received food from the SS kitchen and beautiful linen that came from warehouses where things were stored killed prisoners. They received the necessary medical care. It was so much easier to survive in the camp. I must say, the contrast between these women and the rest of the prisoners - hungry, ragged, exhausted, beaten - was striking. "
“The brothels were another mockery of the SS men,” said former prisoner Joseph Jaina. “Anyone who thinks that it was a gift for prisoners simply cannot imagine Auschwitz. It was another example of German cynicism, another example of humiliation.”
Another prisoner, Mieczyslaw Hare, said: “Everyone was gathered on the parade ground. The boss proudly distributed the first coupons to the new brothel. He called out the numbers and distributed the coupons in front of the entire camp. Professor Henrik Mianowski was one of the winners. He worked very well and taught chemistry. He tried to explain that he would prefer extra bread or soup, but without success. "
Coupons handed out deputy head of the camp, the famous sadist Hans Aumeyer. In 1948, he was hanged for war crimes.
The surviving prisoner Sophia Bator-Steppeen recalled how the girl was seduced to work in a brothel, promising an additional ration of bread. “When they announced that they were looking for volunteers for a very easy job, she volunteered,” recalls Bator-Stepien. “During the examination, the doctor asked her if she knew what work she was talking about. She replied no. Then he said it will be an easy job, and she will have a lot of bread. He said: "You will have to communicate with men, and I will also give you a small operation so that you do not become pregnant." She was told: "Think, you are still young, maybe you want to become a mother ... "- but she replied that she does not care about motherhood, she just wants bread."
For many girls, working in a brothel was a chance for life - or at least for a better life. “We saw a girl in a beautiful blue dress with black braid, hairdo, heels and make-up,” recalls Bator-Step'yen. “We were terrified. brothel. "
Wilhelm Brass, who photographed women for documents, said: “They came to me, laughing, joyful. Everyone was very pretty. They were joking in front of the camera. Eight were Polish girls, seven were German. They were full of hope — the hope that this work gave them ".
According to the historian Iga Bunalska, German soldiers and even SS soldiers also used brothels, although racial purity laws forbade them to do so.
“As far as we know, the soldiers often used a brothel,” says Bunalska. “Of course, they did it illegally, perhaps by giving bribes to Oswald Kaduk, who was in charge of the establishment.
Many women after serving in a brothel received bread posts in the camp, some of them survived the war. However, nothing is known about their fate, and it is unlikely that they told anyone about their experiences. One thing is certain: work in a brothel gave them a chance to survive. Indeed, for many of them the choice was simple: either a brothel or a gas chamber in Birkenau. "
The brothels in Auschwitz were closed in January 1945, after the liberation of the camp.