Germany unlocks tale of war's "comfort women"

15th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

16 January 2007, Fuerstenberg, Germany (dpa) - Breaking a long-time taboo in the world of Nazi horrors, German history officials unveiled an exhibition on the "comfort women" exploited by male concentration- camp inmates. Between 300 and 400 women were forced to provide sexual services to queues of slave labourers from the Nazi armaments factories. "These brothels were provided as a 'performance incentive' so that the male prisoners would increase their output," said Horst Seferens of the Brandenburg Monum

16 January 2007

Fuerstenberg, Germany (dpa) - Breaking a long-time taboo in the world of Nazi horrors, German history officials unveiled an exhibition on the "comfort women" exploited by male concentration- camp inmates.

Between 300 and 400 women were forced to provide sexual services to queues of slave labourers from the Nazi armaments factories.

"These brothels were provided as a 'performance incentive' so that the male prisoners would increase their output," said Horst Seferens of the Brandenburg Monuments Foundation, which funded the exhibition at the Ravensbrueck Concentration Camp Memorial.

Most male prisoners never admitted after their release that they had exploited the women, who also kept the story of their shame secret. The Nazis employed hundreds of thousands of Jews and political prisoners to keep their weapons factories running.

The women were selected from Ravensbrueck camp, the main Nazi site for detaining women, and sent to 10 other concentration camps.

"In the story of the concentration camps, the SS's exploitation of women inmates for men inmates has been just so covered up and avoided by everyone," said Insa Eschebach, head of the memorial. "And what did come out was just so distorted and prejudiced against the women."

Items in the show include eyewitness interviews, some of the Nazis' index cards on the victims describing them as "brothel women," and the vouchers that were given to male inmates to be redeemed in sexual services.

Historians said the story had so embarrassed the women that the Nazis responsible were never prosecuted after the War. The camps were run by the SS, the Nazi Party's own paramilitary organization.

DPA

Subject: German news

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