The role of concentration camps in the Nazi repression of prostitutes, 1933-39

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Colleges, School and Institutes


This article uses prostitutes as a case study in order to investigate the role of the early concentration camps as centres of detention for social deviants. In contrasting the intensification of repressive policies towards prostitutes against narratives which demonstrate the unexpectedly lax treatment of these women, it explores what the reasons behind these contradictions might have been, and what this demonstrates about the development of these institutions. It asks the following questions. How and why were prostitutes interned? Which bureaucrats were responsible for incarcerating these women and what did they view the role of the camp to be? Were such policies centrally directed or the product of local decision-making? Through asking these questions, the article explores to what extent these camps were unique as mechanisms for the repression and marginalization of prostitutes.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-698
JournalJournal of Contemporary History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010