There Was and Is Nothing Joyful About Forced Sex Slavery

By Bundesarchiv, Bild 101II-MW-1019-07 / Dietrich / CC-BY-SA 3.0, <a href="" title="Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 de">CC BY-SA 3.0 de</a>, <a href="">Link</a>

German soldiers entering a Soldatenbordell in Brest, France (1940). The building is a former Synagogue. Picture by Bundesarchiv, Bild 10111

During the second world war brothels were set up throughout much of occupied Europe for the use of the Wehrmacht and SS soldiers. Some of the women used in these camps had been in prostitution before hostilities broke out, but not all. According to records at least 34,140 women were made to serve as prostitutes against their will, in many cases kidnapped in police roundups or raids called lapanka or rafle.

Polish Catholic girls mostly were used by the German officers before they went to fight on the Russian front. But the clients included the prison guards. The odd logic behind this was the belief providing pretty women would stop camp attendants having any sexual urges towards the male Jewish and homosexual inmates

These sex workers became known as the Joy Division.  The London Theatre has made this little-acknowledged event in history the subject of a play to be staged this week in New Cross. It examines some of the bizarre perceptions of those enslaved in this way, including their jealous hatred of Jewish women who they saw as having it easy in their own camps, only having to wait on tables or clean  To find out more about “Joy Division” The Polish Nazi Sex Workers Story go to the Tuesday 21st March through until March 25th, the Saturday evening performance is in Russian only. The all-female cast includes Issy Knowles as Kat, Julia Pategg as Nadia, Maya Moliere as Moya, Daniela Ologeanu as Anna, Arabella Burfitt-Dons as Lara and Aisling Dunne as Erin.

About Louise Burfitt-Dons

Writer and social critic
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