following was taken from the Die Neue Feldpost newsletter
& was done so with permission of the publisher.
We would like to thank him for his generosity as well
as thank all those who have contributed to this
article. It is with their efforts, we are able
to share this valuable research with the rest of you.
of the Feldgrau
and German Military Efficiency
Army recognized early in the war that its men, like
all those from every other army, would at any moment
they could take advantage of the nearest town that
offered women and alcoholic beverages. The booze
was not so much a problem but the women were.
Local prostitutes carried several diseases which at
times took out several men from duty. In reality
it might be said that the French prostitutes
incapacitated more German soldiers than their Army in
the 1940 campaign.
to stem the tide of disease, and provide quite a
moral-booster to the troops, Military brothels were
established. There were generally two types,
Garrison brothels were set up in large towns that has
high volumes of troops present or passing through.
Field brothels traveled behind the lines to give
comfort to the men just rotated in from the front but
at rest for only a day or two.
"units" were administered by the
Feldgendarme and Medical troops. The women fell
into several different categories. Professional
prostitutes were recruited from all over Germany and
the occupied countries. Some wee women convicted
of crimes, civil or political, that opted for this
rather than serving in a work camp such as Dachau.
Others were female prisoners of war, mainly Russians
(there must have been some good-looking ones).
There were reported cases of "forced labor"
from the local populace but this seems to have
occurred only in the East. One of the collective
terms for these women was "Offizierdecke"
- Officers Mattress.
be made clear that these "units" were
generally for enlisted men. Officers had
separate "facilities", especially in
garrison situations. In both the field and
garrison brothels the procedure was much the same.
First the soldier went to the Sanitatssoldat to be
certified clean and healthy. He was given a pass
which stated this and which was stamped and dated.
On the pass was the name and number of the brothel it
was good for and a line for the woman to sign and
place her number. The soldier was issued his
condom and a small grey or green spray can of
disinfectant. Armed for service, he went on his
way. The "Chained Dogs" (Field
Police) checked his pass and then he waited in line.
The wait was always longer than the time spent with
the "service" women.
can best be described by those men who were there:
Martin Eichenseer of Stabs
Kompanie, G.R. 916:
first time I went I was a lad of
17-½ and still somewhat of a
virgin, I never had intercourse
but had done other things with the
local girls. With my pockets
filled with the 'regulation
equipment', I went to the
brothel in St. Laurent. I
was very nervous and did not know
what to expect. When my turn
came I went into a room with a
very good-looking girl about my
age from Slovakia. She had
dark hair and big breasts.
Sex with her was great even though
I didn't know what she was saying.
We weren't supposed to pay them in
the Army brothels but I gave her
some money anyway. The worst
part was when she spread her legs
and I had to spray her with the
can of disinfectant. Only
then would she sign my card.
You had to bring back the empty
can with the pass. If you
didn't spray or bring it back you
got two weeks extra labor and
guard for punishment.
next time I went I was excited at
seeing this Slovak girl again but
to my disgust I got this German
woman who was in her late
thirties, although I wouldn't mind
her now, ha ha. She was
big-breasted but flabby and had
"a lot of wear on her
tires" if you know what I
mean. I just couldn't do it.
She finally told me to close my
eyes and she performed oral sex on
me. It wasn't too bad as I
thought of the other girl.
She signed my pass and I left.
On the way back I realized I still
has a full can. In order not
to get in trouble I sprayed it
empty in the woods. I would
have gone again but the war got in
Josef Brass, Nr. 1 Kompanie,
Pionier Bn. 352:
Russia we didn't get to go to any
but in France they were quite
plentiful. The women were
about average in appearance but
certainly knew how to please a
man. But as young and virile
as we were then it didn't take
much. Many of the younger
men, 17-19 year-olds, didn't go
because they were embarrassed by
the things they were required to
do, such as disinfecting the
(woman's genitals). I always
felt that the army procedures were
a bit too much but then again
no-one I know of ever got a
disease from an Army brothel.
And if you did they knew which
girl gave it to you and who ever
else she had sex with and everyone
could get cured. Some of us
did go to the local civilian ones,
the girls were prettier and acted
like they enjoyed it.
However if you got V.D. from one
of them it was bad luck. You
got cured then sent East to serve
in a Penal Battalion for two weeks
to three months. Being a
"500" (Slang for
military prisoner) was no easy
life and chances were slim you
would make it back anyway.
In any event the Army tried to
give us the best it could under
sex for their soldiers, not a bad idea. Although
I'm not sure it would fly in today's
politically-correct world. In 1944 it was a
reality and part of the soldier's life in the German
Army. Obergrenadier Karl Wegner, Nr. 6 Kompanie,
G.R. 914, also a benefactor of the system, puts it the
it right or wrong? All irrelevant
questions for the time. The girls were
nice to us, we had some fun and it made us
feel, at least for little while, that our
Army really appreciated us. That's all
we ever wanted then."
- M. Eichenseer - Letter dated Dec. 12,
- J. Brass - Letter dated April
- K. Wegner - Interview on June
Support for Mr. Milano's Article:
Hubert Fischer's comprehensive work on the
German Medical Services entitled, "Der
deutsche Sanitatsdienst 1921-1945",
there appear a number of official records
dealing with the topic opened in Mr.
Milano's article. Some of those which
would provide additional information would
page 3510): By 1942, the
Wehrmacht was running over 500 so-called
that setting-up, running, and supply of
these establishments was the responsibility
of the Area Commander (Ortskommanturen).
Disease control was the responsibility of
the area medical officer, and the girls
would be checked twice a week by local
doctors. There were "special
rules" for Officer's facilities, for
which a "hotel character" was to
brothel was required to have a prophylactic
station (Sanierstube), the detailed
regulations for which can be found in the
Bundesarchiv/Militarachiv manuscript MA 388
S.727234ff. There were to be marked
with a small blue light marked with the red
A bordel pass
for troops stationed in Holland is also
to enter Army Brothel
Intercourse only with condom!
Prophylactic treatment immediately
Have dogtag ready!
Name of partner..........................................................................
of subsequent prophylactic
Number and unit on dogtag.....................................................
Field-post number of
The above received prophylactic
treatment at......... hours under
a control number of prophylactic
station no. ............ and is
thus certified by:
This document is to be kept for 3
months and is to be presented in
the event of sickness.
(from page 3511): Between August 1939
and August 1943, there were a total of about 250,000
reported cases of venereal disease in the German Army
also an Army-regulations pamphlet (Heeresverordungsblatt
1943, Richtlinien fur die Einrichtung von
Sanierstellen und Durchfuhrung der Sanierung)
which lays down the official procedures for setting up
prophylactic stations and carrying out the
prophylactic treatments themselves. One small
note of interest here is that the regulations
prescribed that in all of the (typically-German)
detailed records which were to be kept on the patrons
of Army brothels, the soldier's name would appear
nowhere on any of these records; at most, only his
dogtag data and a control-book number. There was
also a manual dated Nov. 1, 1943 under the Army ID of
"HDv 59" named "Merkblattes uber
Sanierungen", which provided additional
information on the same subject.
page 3515): Venereal disease is to be
found (in the summer of 1942) in France, Poland,
particularly in Warsaw, and in the home territory.
The Russian civilian populace is seldom a source of
infection. Spread of disease is aggravated by
the HIWIS, because exact information regarding their
sex-partners is not available in many cases.
appears that the "Osttruppen" were also
covered under a separate set of regulations:
Manuscript RH 36/v.491 in the Bundesarchiv/Militararchiv
has a section covering "Bordels for Osttruppen!"