This greyscale image depicts the Dolls House at Block 24, photographed at Auschwitz I, Więźniów Oświęcimia 20, 32-603 Oświęcim, Poland.
The Dolls House or (Brothel Houses) was one of several such institutions established by the Nazis within their network of camps to reward and incentivise prisoners and, Himmler hoped, re-orientate the sexuality of those wearing pink triangles.
Today, the brightly coloured pink triangle is now often worn proudly, but it was born from a dark period in LGBTQ history and world history.
Just as the Nazis forced Jewish people to wear a yellow Star of David, they forced people labelled as gay to wear inverted pink triangles (or ‘die Rosa-Winkel’). Those thus branded were treated as “the lowest of the low in the camp hierarchy,” as one scholar put it.
The (non-Jewish) women obliged to work in these brothels came mainly from Ravensbrück, although Auschwitz recruited sex slaves from its own inmate population.
Usually aged in their 20s, the women had sex with an average of six or seven men every evening between 8 and 10 pm. They also had to work on Sunday afternoons. Some women underwent forced sterilisation; those who didn’t and became pregnant were forced to have abortions.
The (non-Jewish) male prisoners had to pay two Reichsmarks for a fifteen-minute session with a girl who was chosen for them.
They were first examined to ensure they were (relatively) clean and healthy and were instructed that only vaginal intercourse in the missionary position was permitted.
The doors of the girls’ rooms had peepholes so that SS guards could keep an eye on proceedings and ensure no perverse or violent acts were committed.
As might be imagined, there was a relatively high turnover of women who were fucked until either too exhausted or too ill to continue, at which point their services – and sometimes their lives – were terminated.
Despite this, other women were desperate to take their place, as they at least got to have a small room within the brothel, wear clean clothes, and be given additional food from the SS kitchen.
They were even given rudimentary medical care. Naturally, this caused anger and resentment among other female inmates, but it made surviving the camp significantly more accessible, and survival was ultimately the game’s name.
After the war, the women rarely spoke of their experiences and were not awarded any compensation – indeed, their existence was scarcely even acknowledged.
Image size: 3379×2879
File size: 2.5MB
Bit: 24 bit
Property/model release: No
Edited: Yes. Adobe Lightroom CC
Location: Auschwitz I, Poland
Year took: 2020
Copyright owner: J. J. Williamson