Auschwitz Brothel – World War II the “Negative Legacy”

During World War II, the Auschwitz Brothel was established in Germany. Comfort women were established as military prostitution, but the Auschwitz brothel was a different form of prostitution: it was a brothel in a concentration camp.

The purpose of this article is to avoid repeating the past mistakes.

Summary of Auschwitz Brothel


The Auschwitz Brothel was in Auschwitz concentration camp used for prisoners.
Originally planned to be built in Block 11, instead Commandant Heinrich Himmler installed it in Block 24A (now the Museum Archives) in June 1943.

  • What is the Auschwitz concentration camp?
  • Various types of Brothels in German concentration camps.
  • Who were the women targeted to work in the brothel?
  • Why were the brothels established in the camps?

Auschwitz Concentration Camp

The Auschwitz concentration camp was built by Germany during World War II and three other concentration camps were built in the vicinity of the camp.

Each of them is collectively known as the Birkenau Concentration Camp and registered as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization in 1979.

The Committee decided to enter in the World Heritage List the following 45 properties: 31 Auschwitz concentration camp / Poland.

The Committee decided to enter Auschwitz concentration camp on the List as a unique site and to restrict the inscription of other sites of a similar nature.

The Committee decided to enter in the World Heritage List the following 45 properties:
31 Auschwitz concentration camp / Poland
The Committee decided to enter Auschwitz concentration camp on the List as a unique site and to restrict the inscription of other sites of a similar nature.

Reference : “Consideration of Nominations to the World Heritage List – UNESCO World Heritage Centre – Decision – 3 COM XII.46”

In 1945, the camp was liberated by the Soviet Union, but many lost their lives.The site of the Auschwitz concentration camp is now open to the public as a national museum, and a ceremony is held every ten years to commemorate the victims.

Various types of Brothels in German concentration camps.

In Germany, it is said that brothels were established in ten camps.
Each brothel as follows.

Name of prison camp Term of use Current Status
Mauthausen 1942 Restoration
Gusenburg 1942 Private housing
Flossenbürg 1943 Demolished
Buchenwald 1943 Demolished
Auschwitz 1943 Book Depository
Auschwitz Monowitz 1943 Demolished
Neuengamme 1944 Demolished
Dachau 1944 Demolished
Sachsenhausen 1944 Demolished
Mittelbau Dora 1945 Demolished

Many of the camps have been dismantled, but some, like Auschwitz, are still standing.
As for Auschwitz, only the looking glass remains.

Who were the women targeted to work in the brothel?

The number of women targeted are said to be hundreds, but the actual number is unknown.

The women who became prostitutes were female prisoners, sent from the Rafensbrück women’s concentration camp. Most of them were
German but others were Poles, Ukrainians, and Russians.
These women became prostitutes on the condition that they would “provide a better life”.

Why were brothels established in the camps?

The reason for the establishment of brothels in concentration camps was to increase the labor productivity of prisoners in the camps.

The brothels were available to privileged male prisoners, who received services on a predetermined schedule in exchange for a certain amount of money.
Heirinich Himmler writes, “I believe that hard-working prisoners need to feed their women in brothels in the most liberal way possible.” He tells us.
For this reason, the use of SS guards was prohibited. Two of the camps, Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Monowitz, are said to have been in operation until a few days before the camps were evacuated.

Historical Background of Auschwitz Brothel.


Brothels in Germany were introduced in 1942, and the number of brothels increased every year.

June 1942 The first brothel was established in Mauthausen concentration camp.
May 1943 Work regulations on remuneration, permission and provision for inmates were introduced for all concentration camps.
June 1943 Establishment of a brothel in Auschwitz I concentration camp.
July 1943 Women inmates are transported from the Rafensbrück women’s concentration camp.
1943 Establishment of a brothel in Buchenwald protective detention camp.
October 1943 Start of the use of prostitution facilities.
May 1944 Start of use of prostitution facilities in Dachau concentration camp

By 1945, ten brothels had been established.

Edita Grosman : Survivors of Auschwitz


Edita Grosman is a female survivor of Auschwitz.

Edita Grosman’s Early Life

Edita Grosman was born in July 1924, the third of seven children.

he spent her childhood in the home of a Jewish religious family. Then, in March 1942, she and her sister, Lee, were transported to Auschwitz. Lee died in December 1942, and Edita Grosman herself survived Auschwitz, although she suffered from bone tuberculosis. She returned to her parents home after the war and met her current husband, Ladislav Grosman. She now lives with her son in Toronto, Canada.

Edita Grosman’s Life in Auschwitz

Her life, even as a child, had not been a good one.

“They took our jewellery from us, then our fur coats. Then we couldn’t live on the main street, we couldn’t own a cat. We had to wear a yellow band – the yellow stars were introduced later – and then we were prevented from going to high school and the non-Jewish neighbours stopped greeting us.”

Reference:”I will never be free of it’: Auschwitz survivor recalls horror 75 years on – I will never be free of it’: Auschwitz survivor recalls horror 75 years on – Second world war – The Guardian”」
At the time, these women were taken to Auschwitz in a wagon without being told what is going to happen next.

When she arrived at the camp, she was made to change her clothes and put into an internment facility. She was also forced to go on a death march in 1945.

In January 1945 she was among the 58,000 forced on death marches as the Nazis tried to flee the approaching Red Army. “I had tuberculosis in my knee and could hardly walk. My friend Elsa was pushing and pulling me, urging me on, because anyone not strong enough was shot. It was the second time I saw blood in the snow, watching people who had survived that whole time with me, now dying.”

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Q&A: Auschwitz Brothel


This section will explain the most frequently asked questions about the Auschwitz brothel.

  1. What kind of person was Heinrich Himmler?
  2. \How much did the prisoners pay the prostitutes?
  3. Why was it registered as a World Heritage Site?

Who was Heinrich Himmler?

Heinrich Himmler wasthe head of the SS in Nazi Germany, which had powerful rights in areas such as security
In 1943, at the end of his regime, he also served as Minister of the Interior in Hitler’s cabinet. In World War II, Himmler’s power extended over a wide area of Europe, which led to the brothels.
However,、 in the latter stages of the war, he betrayed Hitler and tried to make peace with the Allied forces for his own survival and was dismissed.

How much did the prisoners pay the prostitutes?

Why was it registered as a World Heritage Site?

Auschwitz was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 as lasting evidence of the tragedy of World War II.
Like the Atomic Bomb Dome in Japan, it was registered as a negative heritage.
At the time of registration, the name was “Auschwitz Concentration Camp,” but on June 27, 2007, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee changed the name to “Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi Extermination Camp (1940-1945).

The memory of the Auschwitz brothel must not be forgotten.

The actions that took place in the Auschwitz brothel had a profound impact in World War II.

The brothel was one of them. During the Second World War, many countries created comfort women, but Germany was probably the only country that practiced such acts as the Auschwitz brothel.

We should talk about this memory so that it is passed down as a negative legacy.

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