Prostitution And The Second Reich Essay

1081 Words Nov 17th, 2014 5 Pages
One last group to consider is prostitutes, whose experience further demonstrates that the Third Reich did not treat all sexual deviants in a uniform way. Although the Nazis were strictly opposed to prostitutes in theory, their actions were inconsistent. While some prostitutes spent time in concentration camps, others were sent to institutions, and others faced no penalties. Meanwhile, the Nazis tried to restore regulated brothels, even in camps. While at first the history of prostitutes appears as a narrative of escalating repression, the reality was not so simple.
As with gays and lesbians, the history of prostitutes within the Third Reich can be understood in relation to the type of threat the Nazis believed these sexual outsiders to pose. In their rhetoric, the Nazis presented prostitution as a moral vice bringing ruin to Germany. In Mein Kampf, Hitler argued that prostitution was polluting the German peoples’ morals, thereby undermining their strength. Simultaneously, it was corrupting the health of citizens through its transmission of STDs, which was facilitating Germany’s decline. Finally, prostitution was a threat because in Nazi ideology women were to be valued for their roles as mothers, not for their sexuality. Prostitutes, with their explicit sexuality, challenged this conception of femininity.
At first, the actions taken by the Nazis against prostitutes seem to reflect such concerns. From March 1933, thousands of prostitutes were arrested under the Ordinance…

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