Jewish women used in Wehrmacht brothels?

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michael mills
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Re: Jewish women used in Wehrmacht brothels?

Post by michael mills » 14 Sep 2010 04:20

It is estimated that a minimum of 34,140 women
from occupied states were forced to work as prostitutes during the Third Reich.
Were they forced? Or were they existing sex workers who worked for pay?

In occupied France, for example, the Wehrmacht made it mandatory for sex workers to operate out of supervised licensed establishments where they were subject to health checks. It was prohibited for sex workers to provide commercial sexual services to Wehrmacht personnel as private operators, outside the purview of the licensed establishments. The aim of the Wehrmacht in enforcing this measure was of course to protect the health of their personnel.

Many French sex workers objected to being compelled to work in supervised establishments since that inhibited their freedom of operation. But to describe the compulsory measures applied by the Wehrmacht in this case as "sexual slavery" would be simply a nonsesne, since the women involved were already professional sex workers.

The problem with the historiography on this issue is that it is nearly always produced by persons with an ideological agenda, eg they believe that all forms of commercial sexual service-provision, or indeed that all sexual acts between men and women, constitute oppression of women. Anybody starting from such an ideological viewpoint could not do otherwise than view the system of sexual service-provision to Wehrmacht personnel as "sexual slavery".

I suspect that when this issue is examined dispassionately, it will turn out to be a case of the Wehrmacht conscripting all available sex workers for the provision of services to its own personnel, at the expense of the private sector, rather of the massive enslavement of innocentand reluctant virgins.

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Re: Jewish women used in Wehrmacht brothels?

Post by TISO » 15 Sep 2010 16:52

mr.Mills oviously you don't take into account that conditions in western Europe i.e. France which you quote were completly different that in eastern Europe in general and eastern front in particular.

one would do well to read this rather comperehensive study - chapter 4 from page 154 (page 164 in pdf) is devoted to German military brothels:
http://www.victimsheroessurvivors.info/ ... vivors.pdf

page
Another example is the story of a young Jewish woman from Lithuania forced
into a brothel by the Germans. She returned to her husband after the war, but they needed to ask
their rabbi if it was right for the husband to accept her, even though she had been forced.(7) Thus,
by both state and societal pressures, these stories were silenced
the footnote No.7
7 Harry Gersh, The Sacred Books of the Jews, New York: Stein and Day, 1968, pp. 181-183, quoted in
Brownmiller, Against, 54.
I know link to this study was posted before (where do you think i got it ;-))

BTW there is a rather good rebuttal of rassenshande argument
there is a chapter devoted to Sexual Violence against Jews by Germans from page 303 (pdf page 313)

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Re: Jewish women used in Wehrmacht brothels?

Post by uberjude » 16 Sep 2010 15:24

This book that came out recently may answer the question—haven’t read it, but it looks useful: KZ Bordell by Robert Sommer http://historytodaymagazine.blogspot.co ... chive.html

As for the rest, it seems reasonable to conclude that camp personnel had sex with Jewish inmates—there’s certainly enough anecdotal evidence. As for the suggestion that the inmates wouldn’t be attractive enough, keep in mind that there were lots of different jobs at these camps. Some women worked hard labor; some worked in offices, or in places like Canada where they would have had access to food. And, of course, becoming a favorite of a guard early on could ensure precisely that one got such a job, and such perks.

At the same time, it seems unlikely that the official brothels would use Jews, especially because there were so many non-Jewish female inmates available.

I would like to disagree, however with some of the statements made by von Tulloch(I know, it was a long time ago, but I wrote most of this up before I saw the date, and the general caveats are still useful)

1. It’s not terribly helpful to draw conclusions about behavior in extreme circumstances from cultural standards in normal circumstances. He wrote:
However, I can tell you with no reservations that NO religious Jewish woman would allow herself to be used as a whore in a brothel by anti-semites. She would kill herself, first. That is a fact.
Well, it isn’t. Normally, an Orthodox Jew wouldn’t eat unkosher food, violate the Sabbath, pretend to be a Christian, etc. etc. But we know that during the Holocaust, plenty of Orthodox Jews did all this and more. Some lost their religion, some didn’t, but extreme circumstances lead to extreme behaviors (and of course, many Jews in the camps weren't particularly pious to begin with)

2. It’s not terribly helpful to draw conclusions about behaviors in extreme circumstances from cultural standards in normal circumstances several centuries earlier.
Jewish behaviors in the Middle Ages are irrelevant to discussing Jewish behaviors in the Holocaust, but fit into a certain "essentialist" view of race and culture which holds that people never change. While prostitution was rare among Jews before the 19th century, by the end of the 19th century, it had became a major issue for Eastern European Jewry, wherever around the world they were found. While many girls entered it knowingly, many others, from pious families, were tricked, “ruined,” and, once shamed, felt they couldn’t return home. Evidence that piety and prostitution were not mutually exclusive can be seen in the fact that in some places, like Rio, separate synagogues were opened up for Jews in the sex trade.

3. It’s not terribly helpful to draw conclusions about behaviors in extreme circumstances from cultural standards in normal circumstances several centuries earlier, especially when you’re in error about those circumstances. He wrote:
Technically, the husband or father was responsible for slaying the females in his family if they were in danger of this sort of exploitation. This happened a lot during the middle-ages and Spanish Inquisition. However, I am unsure how often it occurred during World War Two.
What evidence do you have for this? The mass suicides in 1096 weren’t out of fear of sexual exploitation, but to avoid either converting, or being killed at the hands of the Crusaders. “Slaying the females” was certainly not a common practice for which Jewish men were responsible, technically or otherwise. As for the Inquisition, I have no idea to what you’re referring—are you suggesting that converso men were frequently killing their wives and daughters to keep them from being raped by Inquisitors?

As for the blond Jews, stereotypes notwithstanding (and obviously, most Jews are brunettes), there were plenty of blond Jews before the war, and in places that weren’t touched by the war.

And I love when people write things like:
Taking advantage of any woman in such a way is odious. I wouldn't have thought the SS would have stooped to such a thing.
Ah, of course, the nobility of the SS. Murdering a Jewish woman? Of course. But rape her? Es passt nicht

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Re: Jewish women used in Wehrmacht brothels?

Post by Okyzm » 18 Sep 2010 02:46

Ah, of course, the nobility of the SS. Murdering a Jewish woman? Of course. But rape her? Es passt nicht
There are numerous examples mentioned of SS rapes in the study given above.

http://www.victimsheroessurvivors.info/ ... vivors.pdf

Indeed also exploitation of Jewish women is noted in Wehrmacht brothels:
There is still more evidence of the Germans picking women from camps to staff
brothels, often in the east. Christa Paul found in the Häftlingsberichten of former inmates of the
women’s concentration camp Ravensbrück relevant references to women who were taken from
that camp to work in Wehrmacht brothels.128 This reference also corresponds with statements
from women who were selected for brothels in concentration camps and in SS brothels. “They
were sought out by the doctor and commander, went on a transport, the ‘best’ for the SS and
officers, those of ‘lesser quality’ for prisoners.”129 Auschwitz survivor Judith Isaacson, mentions
that upon arrival at Auschwitz there were three different directions the prisoners were directed:
“Straight ahead – slave labor. To the left – death. To the right – mass rape at the Russian
front,”130 which suggests a field brothel. A former Ravensbrücker Revierschreiberin stated in a
letter that women were chosen in the camp for Wehrmacht brothels.131 Erika Buchmann in her
book on Ravensbrück wrote that “the Wehrmacht and the SS demanded women.”132 Finally,
Anna Nieznana’s (pseudonym) also reported to American newspaper journalist John Creecy that
the Nazis picked women from Ravensbrück for brothels.133
Thus, despite traditional beliefs based on German racial laws,
Jewish, Polish, and other alleged “inferior” women were included in this kind of sexual slavery,
and the German leadership was aware of this.
Since 1939 Jewish prostitutes were supposed to be excluded from
any police regulated brothels.138 After the establishment of Wehrmacht brothels, the High
Command of the Germany Army (OKH) ordered in March 1942 that the use of Jewish women in
these brothels was forbidden, and it was reiterated that “sex with members of other races” was
forbidden, including Jewish, Black, and Gypsy women.139 This order was written two years after
the first Wehrmacht brothels had been established, presumably because there were such
“inferior” women already in brothels. Otherwise, there would have been no need for the OKH to
emphasize this.
Yet the research completed so far indicates
that enough Jewish women and girls were involved in military and camp brothels to consider
their victimization in this sexual manner as well. Despite the many regulations surrounding sex
with non-German, non-Aryan women and girls and the widespread knowledge of them, the
reality seems to have been much different, especially if we examine the situation from the female
perspective
In France it also became known that Jews and Blacks were
staffed in the brothels.148 Despite the laws, soldiers in Africa visited native brothels staffed with
African women.149 In Lustig's novel, SS-Oberführer Schimmelpfennig threatened the females in
Field Brothel #232 Ost to bring in Gypsy women as replacements. Schimmelpfennig said he
“knew of at least five brothels in Bessarabia where they were employed. ‘No-one here is
indispensable,’ he said.”150 Peter O. Vlcko, survivor, recorded in his papers that in Slovakia the
“the deportation of all Jewish girls was initiated...Those who were beautiful were sent to the East
Front, where they were induced to amuse German officers in military brothels.”151
Despite all the exceptions, there are a couple of examples which document Jewish
prostitutes being excluded from brothels, presumably because of the German laws. There is an
example from OFK 365 where the “wild” prostitutes were being rounded up and registered with
the police. The Jewish women were let go and replaced with Ukrainians and Polish women in
November 1941.169 In Latvia, 1942, it also was noted in the process of registering independent
prostitutes that twenty-one Jewish women were removed from the list.170 Still, the examples
documenting Jews and other “inferiors” having a presence in the brothels far outnumber these
two.

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Re: Jewish women used in Wehrmacht brothels?

Post by michael mills » 18 Sep 2010 06:21

Auschwitz survivor Judith Isaacson, mentions
that upon arrival at Auschwitz there were three different directions the prisoners were directed:
“Straight ahead – slave labor. To the left – death. To the right – mass rape at the Russian
front,”
Did males arriving at Auschwitz also get that choice? Sounds to me like the southward-moving product of a northbound bull.

Concerning the recruitment of female inmates at Ravensbrueck Concentration Camp for war service in Wehrmacht brothels, these were professional sex workers who had been arrested and incarcerated as "anti-socials" (It was illegal in Germany for a sex worker to provide commercial sexual services outside the few licensed premises, such as the famous area in Hamburg, and those who did so were regarded as "anti-socials). There was a large number of such women in Ravensbrueck and Auschwitz, such that there was no real need to recruit inmates who were not sex-workers. No doubt the incarcerated sex workers were glad to be able to continue their preferred line of work rather than be forced to perform less congenial types of labour, such as draining swamps.

Obviously the Wehrmacht preferred to staff its brothels with professional sex workers, since they provided a better service than inexperienced and unwilling women.

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Re: Jewish women used in Wehrmacht brothels?

Post by Penn44 » 18 Sep 2010 06:38

michael mills wrote:Obviously the Wehrmacht preferred to staff its brothels with professional sex workers, since they provided a better service than inexperienced and unwilling women.
Do you have a source for this claim or do you simply make things up as you go along?

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Re: Jewish women used in Wehrmacht brothels?

Post by mick » 24 Sep 2010 22:40

Although this thread is most interesting, it appears that most of the contributers seem to be speculating on what actually occurred in these brothels and the treatment of these unfortunate ladies. I personally find it hard to believe that if a prostitute was unfortunate enough to find herself pregnant that she would be taken to a hospital to have an abortion. Consider for example at Auschwitz more that 2000 men, women and children were being murdered daily.My understanding is that these unfortunate prostitutes were murdered once they had served their purpose. I also find it hard to understand why the Nazis had a need to keep this operation a secret. Has any original documentation been made public on this subject, if so perhaps a member of the form would make a link available.

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Re: Jewish women used in Wehrmacht brothels?

Post by michael mills » 25 Sep 2010 02:59

I personally find it hard to believe that if a prostitute was unfortunate enough to find herself pregnant that she would be taken to a hospital to have an abortion.
Rather than imagining, try to acquire knowledge.

Female prisoner doctors, such as Ella Lingens-Reiner or Gisela Perl, report in their memoirs that they performed abortions on female prisoners who had become pregnant, also that they killed new-born babies since their existence would imperil the lives of the mothers.

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Re: Jewish women used in Wehrmacht brothels?

Post by mick » 25 Sep 2010 19:36

michael mills wrote:
I personally find it hard to believe that if a prostitute was unfortunate enough to find herself pregnant that she would be taken to a hospital to have an abortion.
.

Female prisoner doctors, such as Ella Lingens-Reiner or Gisela Perl, report in their memoirs that they performed abortions on female prisoners who had become pregnant, also that they killed new-born babies since their existence would imperil the lives of the mothers.
Michael Mills you wrote,
This thread concerns brothels in concentration camps and the prostitutes that were held there. I too have read Dr Ella Lingens-Reiner book - Prisoners of fear 1946, and I am not disputing that she carried out abortions on inmates. However to my knowledge she does not state that she carried out abortions on prostitutes. Perhaps I can now draw your attention to a documentary which was broadcast in the UK by the BBC some two years ago. The program was in two parts. Part one concentrated on the day to day running of Auschwitz. Part two concentrated on the lives of the detainees. This also included the daily running of a brothel. The documentary showed you the rooms used by the prostitutes. Furthermore the program gave you a day to day view of how these brothels operated. It also stated that if and when a prostitute showed signs that she was pregnant. She was removed from the brothel and sent for special treatment or ordered back into the camp to face certain death. For your information Michael Mills, I have researched the subject in detail and I have not come across any source of information which has stated prostitutes who were pregnant received abortions. I believe it would be fair to state that a pregnant prostitute was merely a burden. The Nazis remember could choose from thousands of young attractive females to take the place of a pregnant prostitute. :milwink:

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Re: Jewish women used in Wehrmacht brothels?

Post by michael mills » 26 Sep 2010 03:17

The Nazis remember could choose from thousands of young attractive females to take the place of a pregnant prostitute.
This statement is open to questio, and suggests a male sexual fantasy rather than historical fact.

The vast majority of non-Jewish inmates of German concentration camps were male, Ravensbrueck being the only concentration camp specifically for female inmates.

Auschwitz Concentration Camp did eventually acquire a women's section, which was filled primarily by Jewish women, initially from Slavakia and then from other places of origin. Jewish women were not officially used to staff camp brothels established for use by privileged non-Jewish prisoners, since that was contrary to the racial laws, and there were no brothels for Jewish prisoners. (That of course does not rule out illegal and clandestine sexual contacts between individual male camp staff and individual female Jewish prisoners; even Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Hoess was rumoured to have had a Jewish mistress, Edit Hodys).

When brothels were established in concentration camps for use by privileged inmates as a reward for good behaviour, they were staffed by sex workers who were inmates of Ravensbrueck Concentration Camp, having been incarcerated there as "anti-socials". There was a sufficient number of them to staff the brothels, but certainly not a constant stream of "young attractive" sex workers coming into the camps. Whether the sex workers who had been sent to Ravensbrueck and were subsequently recruited to staff camp brothels were all "young and attractive" is debatable; anecdotal evidence suggests that, as is common among commercial sex workers today, a large proportion of them were lesbians, many being rather masculine in appearance, and not all that young, since in many cases they had been practising their trade for quite some time.

The great majority of young women entering the concentration camp system, that is women in their late teens or twenties, were Jewesses, who began to enter the Auschwitz and Lublin Concentration Camps in 1942, pursuant to Himmler's order of late January that year to send 50,000 Jewesses to the concentration camps for important economic tasks. The largest contingent of Jewesses came in 1944, with the Hungarian deportation. Initially restricted to Auschwitz and Lublin, female Jewish began to be sent to other concentration camps in 1944.

But as I said, Jewesses were not used in camp brothels for non-Jewish inmates because of the racial laws, and there were no brothels for use by Jews. Thus, the tens of thousands of young Jewesses who passed through the concentration camps, many of them no doubt quite attractive when they first arrived, were simply not available for employment as sex workers.

I recall an interesting anecdote told by Ella Lingens-Reiner, who worked as a doctor serving female Jewish prisoners in Auschwitz, most of whom were young teenagers or in their twenties. Those girls could not understand why the German guards, who in most cases were young men of their own age, treated them so harshly; they were used to being objects of desire to young men, and being courted and treated well by them.

Dr Lingens-Reiner explained that the psychological cause of the hard and cruel attitude of the young German guards to the female prisoners in their power was sexual frustration. In most cases where one population has power over another, the men of the ruling group have free sexual access to the women of the subordinate group, and the ensuing sexual relations tend to soften their attitude to those women. In the case of Auschwitz, however, the male guards were forbidden by the racial laws to have any sexual contact with female Jewish prisoners, and their resultant frustration was abreacted as hostility and violence toward the women over whom they exercised power.

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Re: Jewish women used in Wehrmacht brothels?

Post by Penn44 » 26 Sep 2010 06:41

michael mills wrote:Whether the sex workers who had been sent to Ravensbrueck and were subsequently recruited to staff camp brothels were all "young and attractive" is debatable; anecdotal evidence suggests that, as is common among commercial sex workers today, a large proportion of them were lesbians, many being rather masculine in appearance, and not all that young, since in many cases they had been practising their trade for quite some time
Dear Lord, from where do you get this information about Lesbians? What is your source? Do you make up this stuff as you go along?

As you said:
michael mills wrote:This statement is open to questio, and suggests a male sexual fantasy rather than historical fact.
Yes, indeed.
michael mills wrote:I recall an interesting anecdote told by Ella Lingens-Reiner, who worked as a doctor serving female Jewish prisoners in Auschwitz, most of whom were young teenagers or in their twenties. Those girls could not understand why the German guards, who in most cases were young men of their own age, treated them so harshly; they were used to being objects of desire to young men, and being courted and treated well by them.

Dr Lingens-Reiner explained that the psychological cause of the hard and cruel attitude of the young German guards to the female prisoners in their power was sexual frustration. In most cases where one population has power over another, the men of the ruling group have free sexual access to the women of the subordinate group, and the ensuing sexual relations tend to soften their attitude to those women. In the case of Auschwitz, however, the male guards were forbidden by the racial laws to have any sexual contact with female Jewish prisoners, and their resultant frustration was abreacted as hostility and violence toward the women over whom they exercised power.
From a psychological perspective, I find it interesting that you found Dr Lingens-Reiner’s “explanation” “interesting":
michael mills wrote:This statement is open to questio, and suggests a male sexual fantasy rather than historical fact.
Yes, indeed.

Using the logic of Dr Lingens-Reiner’s so-called “explanation,” the male SS guards must have also been homosexually attracted to the male KZ inmates because they also brutalized these inmates.

A better explanation for the brutality of SS guards towards KZ inmates, both male and female is more multi-faceted:
- one, there was the hatred of the enemy be that enemy racial, social, political, etc.
- two, the dehumanized, degraded state of the KZ inmates made it easier for the SS guards to brutalize them;
- three, the KZ guards brutalized the inmates more because they guards had to brutalize them (in a projection of blame, the KZ guards felt anger at the inmates for their having to beat them).

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Re: Jewish women used in Wehrmacht brothels?

Post by michael mills » 26 Sep 2010 06:59

A better explanation for the brutality of SS guards towards KZ inmates, both male and female is more multi-faceted:
Where men have power over women, who are not rivals for power but an object of their sexual desire, they prefer to have sex with them rather than beat them up. Indeed, beating them up is counter-productive since it renders them less physically attractive.

Where men have power over other men, who are potential rivals for power, they beat them up to keep them under control and prevent them from mounting a challenge.

For men to beat to beat up women in their power rather than have sex with them is abnormal behaviour, and is indicative of the men doing the beating being in an abnormal situation, such as the one described by Dr Ella Lingens-Reiner, where men had power over women but were denied sexual access to them.

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Re: Jewish women used in Wehrmacht brothels?

Post by Penn44 » 26 Sep 2010 09:24

michael mills wrote:For men to beat to beat up women in their power rather than have sex with them is abnormal behavior …
This is an 100% Mills-ism. That you believe that tells us a great deal about you.

A psychologically health man would not need to beat a woman because he could not sexually have her. A psychologically healthy man need not have sex with a woman simply because he has the power to do so without her concent. You have heard of consensual sex between men and women, I assume? A moral man would not force himself on a woman against her consent. Of course, a moral man wouldn’t be an SS man, would he?

You also ignore the other reasons why an SS man would physically abuse any KZ inmate of either sex.

Why don't you provide sources for some of your previous claims in which sources are requested?

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Re: Jewish women used in Wehrmacht brothels?

Post by David Thompson » 26 Sep 2010 12:36

Drop the personal remarks, Penn44. Our readers want to know about the subject, not the posters.

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Re: Jewish women used in Wehrmacht brothels?

Post by mick » 27 Sep 2010 21:36

SEXUAL SLAVERY IN CONCENTRATION CAMPS

An understudied aspect of sexual violence on the eastern front is the brothels in the many German concentration camps. Officers and soldiers of the wehrmacht and SS and productive or well-behaved prisoners frequented these.Women of all different backgrounds were forced into positions of prostitution in camps throughout the German Reich. Establishment and Time line.In June 1941 during an inspection of concentration camp Mauthausen Himmler made a decision to build a brothel for the prisoners. During the summer of 1942 the brothel in Mauthausen was the brothel to be set up in a concentration,and in December 1942 another brother in Aubenlager Mauthausen-Gusen opened. At about the same time, IG Farben conducted discussions on how to raise the work potential of its workers. in a 1942 weekly company newsletter the idea was put forth to promise the workers in Auschwitz certain things such as bonus meal allowances or visits to women's houses (Frauenhausern) as a reward for reaching certain production goals. After a visit to Buchenwald,Himmler complained in a letter that there had not been a brothel opened in that concentration camp; In every camp the third level (of incentives) must be the possibility for the man to visit the camp brothel one or two times in the week. Thereafter, the general order for the introduction of the system of incentives was issued in May 1943. The fifth incentive listed was a visit to the camp brothel. According to historian Christa Paul's research, during 1943 brothels were opened in the following camps. Auschwitz-Stammlager ( June 30,1943), Buchenwald (July 15, 1943), and Sachsenhausen ( August, 8 1944). In 1944 Neuengamme ( Spring 1944, Flossenburg (March 25,1944, (Dachau (May 1944, closed January 1945),and Mittelbau-Dora (late summer 1944 opened brothels. It is not certain when the brothels in Auschwitz-Birkenau and Auschwitz-Monowitz opened. There likely were brothels in other camps throughout the Reich. In addition to incentivizing prisoners to work harder, there were other reasons why the Germans established camp brothels. Evidence exists that shows some hope among leading Germans to undermine homosexuality, providing a kind of deterrence from this kind alleged depravity for the prisoners.One less obvious reason for establishing the brothels came out of cruelty of leadership of the camps. Women and girls in camp brothels primarily originated from Auschwitz-Birkenau and Ravensbruck. From there, prisoners went to work in camp brothels in Mauthausem, Gussen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Dora-Mittelbau,Flossenburg, Neuengamme, and Sachsenhausen, and conceivably further east as well-to brothels in the cities, field brothels, and perhaps other camp brothels. Many rooms had spy windows.Pregnancy Birth Control, Illness,Beatings, and Death. Women in the camp brothels, had to endure more than sexual slavery. They also had to endure medical experiments, forced sterilisations, beatings and other forms of abuse. Often a woman was killed if a pregnancy or birth was discovered In Sachsenhausen woman who became pregnant were murdered. Primo Levi writes that in Auschwitz an economic boom period occurred with the arrival of a fresh contingent of robust polish girls in place of the old inmates we can probably guess that the Germans murdered them.
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