from the book

Sexual History of the World War

by Magnus Hirschfeld 1930



Chapter 9



"Wild Marriages" of Army of Occupation - Prostitution in Belgium - The Mad Chase after the Male - Warning Posters - Child Prostitution - German "Vice Squad" - Macedonia "House of all Nations" - Gypsy Quarters of Prostitution - Exploiting of Wife and Daughter by Husband - Poverty and Prostitution - Institution of Field Bride-Love for an Artillery Bread - Child "Panderers and Pimps" - Reception of Officers by Women in Conquered Towns - "Sign" Negotiations - Estaminets, Dispensers of Good Cheer - The Largest "Woman Market" of Ghent - The "Coffee Shop" Deception - Prostitute Victims not on Casualty Lists



BROTHELIZED prostitution, which we have analyzed in the previous chapter, constituted an unsuccessful attempt on the part of the military authorities to place under sanitary control the sexual relations of their soldiers. This attempt was unsuccessful because the number of brothel inmates near the battlefields and behind the lines, or the halting stations as they were sometimes called, was not sufficient to meet the enormous demands.

As far as the occupied districts in the west were concerned, Lille can be regarded as the chief seat of prostitution. In the course of their lengthy occupation, many of the soldiers quartered at Lille entered into a sort of field-marriage or ‘wild’ marriage with the women of Lille. Many of the female inhabitants maintained, over a period of many years, intimate relations with German soldiers. These relations led to the well-known result - the constant struggle of the German military leaders against venereal disease seemed doomed to failure. These women, among whom were many belonging to the better classes, disseminated their diseases in large numbers and became the chief focus for its spread. Despite the sharp separation of the city of Lille from the nearby Roubais and Tourcoing, there were numerous cases in which frivolous women came to Lille to have sexual relations. These abuses could only be handled when, as a result of continuous and urgent requests by German physicians, the military police of Lille exercised a sharp watch over all hotels, estaminets (a word of French derivation borrowed from Spain and designating a cabaret which provides harlots), inns, secret quarters, boarding houses, rooms for hire, etc. Those women who were caught having sexual relations in these places were immediately brought before the military physician, as were also those women who were accused by various soldiers as having been the source of their infection. On the basis of the military physician's examination, the military police either assigned the woman to control by the military authorities or to the hospital. The reader who is interested in the elaborate system of regulations and precautions by which sexual relations were guarded at Lille is referred to the interesting book by Dr. Herms, entitled Lille vergewaltigt?

The same condition was true of other cities, as, for example, Douai. This city had a very large number of estaminets and a large number of frivolous women for whom many of the sex hungry German soldiers were very fortunate windfalls. It was interesting to note how elderly French women fairly threw themselves upon the necks of the very young Germans. As a result there was a veritable epidemic of gonorrhea. The worst of the estaminets, those in which microscopic examination had revealed that everyone was diseased, were dissolved. It was determined somewhat later to erect new puffs under German control. Every day the women were examined, but withal venereal diseases flourished.

Conditions in Belgium were not much different. In this connection it is interesting to observe how German soldiers reacted at the beginning of the occupation to the very derogatory reports concerning sex conditions in Belgium. In the diary of a fallen soldier named Franz Schmiedt, which was found by Allied troops and used by them in the interests of their anti-German propaganda, there occur the following remarkable lines: "The whole city that we occupied is empty and destroyed. The houses that haven't been burnt down are vacant. All the inhabitants have fled save a few women who have remained behind. Prostitution is extremely common. Brother and sister live as man and wife, and, in addition, women go in for all kinds of prostitution."

From an essay by Alex von Frankenburg, entitled Brussels as Love Station, we learn that the love life of Brussels bore abundant fruit as a consequence of the Code Napoleon under which it probably still lived. That city boasted a famous pimp and bully called Macro, one of the leading dancers at the Gaiety, for whom many women sold their bodies to Germans. And no wonder, for the lower classes in the city were very miserable. Begging on the streets continually increased. This explains why prostitution grew so enormously. Aside from the numerous cocottes of an earlier day, of whom the better class had fled to London or Paris, the great majority of these femmes entretenues were girls whose cavaliers had gone into service or skipped, so that the poor creatures, unable to earn a penny, saw themselves compelled to sell their bodies to the hated Germans. Thus the bars, cinemas, cafés, etc., were overrun by girls; and by noon the merry chase after the man was on, only in a more discreet way than among the Germans. But after the closing of the cafe's at eleven o'clock, a great stream of girls poured out into the streets and accosted soldiers and civilians alike with the greatest freedom. The sanitary control of the Belgium authorities, which at the start was loose enough, soon broke down completely so that in the Belgian capital the alleged number of 150 girls were under police supervision.

All sorts of prophylactic measures were adopted here more for the soldiers, who were tarrying there for a brief while, than for those garrisoned there. Warnings and actual instructions, both orally and through the distribution and conspicuous placing of posters as well as free distribution of prophylactic devices at sanitary headquarters and free injections were also administered. At this center they had, in addition, a very large stock of Viro which was also distributed free. Inasmuch as the soldiers who had refused to submit to these treatments were punished, the number of diseased soldiers was rather small. The first thing that German soldiers saw when they arrived at Brussels was a large sign warning them against the hazards to health common in that town and urging them to consult the sanitary orderlies who were posted at these halting-stations.

Furthermore, Brussels saw some activity of a social-hygienic sort which was headed by the Red Cross. The women who belonged to this organization had to visit questionable taverns, uncover dives and to take under their protection corrupt children of evil parents.

Like Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Luttich were known as breeding places of prostitution even before the war. Naturally conditions grew very much worse during the war when masses of soldiers overran the towns, their bodies bursting with lusts accumulated over months, and their purses bulging with the pay they had accumulated in the trenches. Frequently these soldiers would pay between twenty to fifty marks for a night.

However, the most horrible aspect of this whole affair was the prostitution of children. One could observe little girls of twelve and fourteen garishly painted despite their rags, accosting soldiers and saying, "Monsieur, pour une livre de pain?" For a pound of sugar mothers offered their children, emphasizing their virginity; and little boys and girls of eight would tug at the soldier's coattails to drag him to their sister, while making the symbolic gesture of sexual intercourse( the thumb between two fingers, while repeating a monosyllabic vulgarism).

Conditions in the country were somewhat more humane for here the soldier might actually take the place of the paterfamilias who was fighting at the front or had perhaps died in battle. In this way the soldier who had entered into intimate relations with some woman of the household might literally grow to be regarded as the vader van't huis; and the children who sprang from this union are even today called duitschmaneke.

As far as the middle class is concerned, German officers were welcomed in many distinguished Belgian homes and found considerable éclat among Belgian girls and women. Indeed there is even a story of a duel fought by two temperamental Flemish women over a German lover. A case is known where one girl called her rival by the honorific epithet of German whore and had to answer to the court for it; despite the fact that she was able to establish the truth of her accusation, she was sentenced to pay a considerable sum of money in view of the fact that her own linen was considerably soiled.

As we have already mentioned, sex relations assumed the most friendly aspect in Flanders where the inhabitants of the occupied areas were more or less sympathetic to the German troops. At least it was asserted that the two groups, descended from a common stock, understood each other. (One need only remember the activistic movement in Flanders, and the Flemish university and the German-Flemish societies at Dusseldorf and Berlin.) It was a matter of proven fact that numerous tender love relations blossomed forth between Flemish girls and German soldiers, particularly between ladies of good society and German officers. But these relationships must not be overestimated inasmuch as in nearly every case the women were driven to this by their desperate circumstances; and hence their amorous relations with the German soldiers must be regarded as being virtually a gesture of desperation whereby an unfortunate woman sold her body to keep herself and her family from dying of hunger.

Wandt has revealed to us, without any trace of romanticism, the connection between the misery induced by the war and the clandestine prostitution that raged in Belgium. Ghent, which for more than four years was the most important center of operations, offered the richest material for the study of the limitless misery which the madness of war had brought upon millions of women and girls. More than four-fifths of the occasional prostitutes whom the police had under their control were married women and mothers of from three to eight children. Their husbands gone either to the front or captivity, or dead, they were driven into the arms of the enemy soldiers, not by any pleasure in vice but by the cry of their children for bread. As for the unmarried occasional prostitutes, they were recruited almost exclusively from jobless servants, factory girls and seamstresses. The more factories and business establishments were shut down in Ghent, the greater the number of unemployed grew, the more did the mass of occasional prostitutes increase. Into the place of the unemployed husband or father now stepped the mother or daughter, or both, who supported the family by selling their bodies.

The same situation was found on the Eastern front Viktor Jungfer has reported that there were a large number of unmarried women in the town they occupied, whose misery was intense. No wonder then that they sought to establish relationships with whatever troops were occupying the town. They washed the soldiers' linen and darned their socks, receiving in return victuals. The number of women who added to the above list of tasks the sale of their love was continually on the increase. Moreover, young country girls were at this time attracted to the city where an easier and less toil-ridden life seemed to wait for them. This sort of prostitution was regarded by the soldiers as being something so natural that they regarded it as quite de rigueur to use every opportunity so offered. As a result very few of the married men remained faithful to their wives and those who did had to suffer the mockery of their comrades. In many cases the men quite forgot that they had a wife and children at home and even neglected them for long intervals so that the company commanders would receive the most pitiful letters from the forgotten wives inquiring if their husbands were still alive.

In central and southern Poland, the women and girls of the working class, and to some extent of the middle class as well, participated in vast numbers in prostitution of the lowest sort. Lodz and Lowicz were breeding places of this evil. The summer of 1915 is assumed to have been the beginning of the epidemic of venereal diseases which assumed tremendous proportions later on. Nor did Warsaw, after its capture, remain behind the industrial centers just mentioned. As one arrived at the depot there, one ran a veritable gauntlet of prostitutes. And even smaller places like Ostrow or Wolkowiesk offered numerous invitations to venal love which constituted grave dangers to the health of the army. In northern Poland this type of prostitution decreased, but other varieties flourished instead. But it must never be forgotten that, especially in the early days of the occupation, it was hunger that produced these conditions. That these extremely hazardous phenomena of venal love later decreased in scope or intensity was not attributable to any improvement in morals but to the rigid efforts and control put forth by the German authorities. It was only then that a true picture could really be obtained of the widespread ramifications of prostitution.

But as a result of intercourse with unsupervised private women, venereal diseases assumed terrifying proportions along the Eastern front. This may be gathered from a whole series of measures issued against luetic women who had intercourse with soldiers. On June 22, 1915, the German authorities issued an edict governing that portion of Poland left of the Weichsel, warning all women that a prison sentence of between two months and a whole year would be imposed on any one who, knowing that she had a venereal disease, would, despite this fact, cohabit with soldiers.

The remarkable thing about this ordinance was that the awareness that one had a venereal disease was sufficient to expose one to punishment and that the infection of the woman's visitor was not even necessary. Naturally it was a very difficult matter to prove that these women were aware of their condition. An improvement over the original formulation of this ordinance was the subsequent provision that in the future there would be no need for an accusation to be filed by an infected man, but that the military authorities themselves could and would bring suit. A similar decree was issued in the division of Gaede in Alsace during the spring of 1916 by the terms of which men and women who had extra-marital intercourse, although they knew or could assume that they were venereally diseased, were punishable by a year's imprisonment, or in milder circumstances, by arrest or by fine up to 1500 marks.

As far as the individual cities of the eastern sector are concerned, we learn that in Lemburg conditions were very bad, especially after the invasion of the Russians, for the incidence of venereal diseases among these troops was terrifically high. Ever since 1848, when the Russian army had brought it thither, there had been a veritable epidemic of lues in Galicia which had remained active even at the outbreak of the war. Thus in 1913 there were ten thousand venereal patients in the Galician hospitals, and the total number of the unhospitalized sufferers from these ailments was estimated at over a quarter of a million at least. We have already mentioned that in 1916, 1340 women were brought to the hospitals by the police as against one hundred in peace times. In Lodz and Warsaw the German authorities had to install a vice-squad and institute bi-weekly examinations. Of the 145 women who were to be found in the Alexanderspital at Lodz in June, 1915, no less than 113 were venereally diseased prostitutes. In Warsaw at the end of 1917, 557 out of 'oil prostitutes were infected.

It is well known that in Wilna a military post had to be stationed before the soldiers' home to keep the strumpets away, for they would continually be annoying and seducing the soldiers. There were an extraordinary number of these creatures in Wilna and most of them were infected as a result of the horribly unsanitary conditions which had existed during the Russian period. Even those that were not yet diseased and had to present themselves for examination twice every week, were by no means without danger to the soldier, for in between examinations they could become infected and wreak their havoc.

The same conditions obtained on the Southern line of battle with the possible exception of Serbia where the native women regarded the invaders with unconcealed hatred.

Concerning Pirizrin in Macedonia, we learn that in the midst of the city there was a large hotel. The proprietor of this institution was very hospitable to the officers of the Austro-Hungarian army who had come hither from Northern Albania to recuperate, and among the other comforts he provided, women were also included. The host would ask the guest of what nationality the lady was to be and as soon as he got his answer he went out in search of the desired woman. In a few moments he would return from his hunt in the city with whatever sort of lady had been requested. Most of these purchaseable females had lived in the vicinity before the war and among them there were a few French women.

When officers would parade through the streets of this town they would be surrounded by street gamins who would call out, Ima zena and if the officers followed these youngsters they would come to a house where they would be received in the utmost secrecy by a little old Turkish woman. The little old mother would lead them into a room, set some black coffee before them and summon the two or three Turkish girls who were the professional inmates of the little house. The officers of the monarchy would invariably be pleased by one thing: that these girls would be clean shaven from head to foot.

In the town of Uskub, the sight most worth seeing was the gypsy quarter with its squalid lime huts. In the evening a fire would be burning in front of each of these houses and crouching around it the gypsy women. Whenever a soldier passed, the girls, who were all between fourteen and sixteen, arose and began to dance with obtrusive umbulations of the hips in order to draw attention to their physical charms. Somehow the latter would conclude his transaction with the gypsies and soon found himself within the hut. Before the love act itself the soldiers were treated to another dance spectacle purveyed by four absolutely naked girls. It was notorious that all the gypsy girls were, without exception, luetic; and many of the German soldiers must have become infected by them.

Concerning clandestine prostitution in that portion of Macedonia which was occupied by the Bulgarians, we have considerable information from the pen of Dr. B. Beron of Sofia. According to the testimony of the physicians who had lived there ever since the Turkish times, prostitution was reglemented under the regime of the Turks and Serbs. Under the Serbian government prostitution was very widespread; whereas under the Turks the city possessed fifteen brothels whose number gradually diminished so that at the time of the Bulgarian occupation there were only two which soon had to quit their activity. However, aside from the brothels, there remained numerous houses and inns which served the cause of prostitution in one way or another. The number of whores could not be determined therefore but it was estimated that they ran into several hundred. It is quite certain that their number was considerable, what with the low moral condition of the Serbs and the economic distress. After the Bulgarian occupation there were no brothels, but all sorts of private houses, hotels, cafes, etc. In addition the whole gypsy quarter served as a haven of venal love. In Skopie there were numerous coffee houses which were actually brothels.

These coffee houses and saloons generally consisted of one room which was furnished like a little tavern, but overhead, on the first floor, there were a few rooms occupied by several prostitutes, generally not more than three. These women sought their clients among the patrons of the floor below for which they paid their host a certain percentage. In all of these quarters one could find Bulgarian and German soldiers. It need not be said that all the houses of the gypsies were dens of vice. Generally the man did not work and lived off the prostitution of his wife and daughters. When men visitors would come he not only remained home without any shame or discomfort, but would actually lead the men customers into the chamber of his wife or daughters. It was an old established custom of the gypsy women to prostitute themselves for their families and they found nothing shameful at all in it.

The numerous instances that we have cited are sufficient to give us a very clear picture concerning the true nature of prostitution in the war sector. They show us without any question of doubt that the enormous spread of private prostitution in the various areas of operation as well as in the halting-stations were attributed even by the participants in the war themselves as due to economic necessity. Concerning the tremendous influence of the economic motif in driving myriads of women to sell their bodies, not even the most touching love stories from Flanders or Galicia can delude us. It is true that the institution of field brides was known everywhere, but only a tiny percentage of these relationships can be attributed to true feelings of love. In the vast majority of cases, these relationships were entered into by the woman because she was driven by the indescribable misery and suffering that reigned in the occupied area. Neither Belgium nor Northern France, and least of all, the Eastern sector, were able to maintain their production after the occupation, certainly not enough to meet the vast number of new consumers, especially since many of the domestic workers had fled. As a matter of fact, even in peace times Belgium was dependent on imports of foodstuffs. Hence there is nothing strange in the fact that in all the reports concerning amorous relationships between members of the army of occupation and native women, insofar as these reports are not disguised in false sentimentality and decked out to establish the internationalism of love, the economic question stands at the very center. The reports of an hour of love, given in return for an artillery bread, are absolutely unvarnished truth; all else is, in the majority of cases, mere decoration. There is ample ground for the concluding quatrain of a song that was very popular among Flemish prostitutes:

Wir sind von flam'schen Blut, die Deutschen f gut; fur em Kommissbrot und einen Franc, f- 'wir stundenlang.

The same thing holds true of Northern France and, it may surprise us to learn, also in those portions of the area of occupation which were not occupied by Germans. Here, too, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse tore over all the fertile fields stamping out all life; and here, too, necessity drove the French women, who had been robbed of their husbands, to sell their bodies. Graves has informed us in his novel how in the French province he and his comrades were greeted by a whole group of youngsters, all of whom, tugging at the officers' coats, begged them to come to their sisters who were pretty and cheap. The same conditions were true on both sides. Henel, for example, has left us some very typical pictures of how officers of the Austrian and German army were received in Galicia. And when our well-known Perhobstler finally got to the Eastern battlefield in Vossa in the Carpathian mountains he reported that the town was full of women, and girls who looked like women because they all had children. For a few cigarettes one could sleep with a woman or a girl. The negotiations were carried on by signs as it was impossible to talk with them, all the girls being Ruthenians. These women lived like widows. They never received letters from their husbands since the latter couldn't write and they couldn't read. No men were ever permitted to return home to Vossa for furlough, for on several previous occasions it had been found impossible to recover them.

There is no need to bring any further instances to establish this point. We have done enough to prevent our making any fallacious conclusions concerning the true nature of the love relationship in the war sector between the soldiers and the women of the native population. Let us leave to a cheap and dizzy dabbling in emotion all the gush about love which is stronger than national differences. The love episodes of the halting- station have nothing to do with this faith, creditable as it may be in itself. In these cases it was always a question of bare prostitution due to elementary necessity and only in rare cases was it a question of sex hunger which drove a certain number of temperamental women to let themselves in for an amorous escapade with whatever men were at hand-which happened to be the troops of the army of occupation. Those cases in which there was any question at all of truly humane attraction were exceedingly few.

Clandestine prostitution was increased by the institution of civil workers' battalions to which we shall return in the following chapter. The women of Belgium and Northern France who were drafted for compulsory work were exposed to the advances of the soldiers. We may assume that in addition to being compelled to work twelve hours a day, a great many of these women were also forced into prostitution-but there is 'io proof of this matter. However, a note of the French government, concerning the drafting of their women into these compulsory work battalions, complained that at night the women were exposed to the advances of German soldiers and that the girls were quartered with men whereby immorality naturally had to be rife. Perhobstler has described one experience with a girl from such a work battalion.

But the largest contribution of these compulsory work battalions to the spread of prostitution lay in the fact that the supporter of the family was dragged away for this enforced labor and that, therefore, the mother who remained home alone and the daughter, who was unprepared for any sort of work, had no other way of helping themselves than by prostitution. The German soldiers used to wonder concerning the tremendous masses of women and girls who offered themselves as prostitutes, but they never considered with what systematic cruelty these unfortunates had been handed over to shame by militarism; and that these pitiable creatures, whom the long war had robbed of every possibility of earning a penny, had literally no choice if they did not choose to die of hunger.

From the foregoing account it is clear that the real breeding place of prostitution in the West was the notorious estaminet. The vast number of these institutions is also attributable to the economic misery by which the native population, in the absence of normal production, sought to make ends meet by catering to the soldiers who were still comparatively able to buy things. This was true on both sides, the only difference being that the estaminets in the allied territory enjoyed more freedom. Of course one danger always hovered over the heads of all these taverns, namely, that of closure by the authorities. It is clear that the hostesses of these establishments could not live merely from the sale of their products and that, therefore, they had to practice prostitution with the majority of their clientele. Inasmuch as the young men, who had formerly been the most frequent and most welcome guests at these establishments were now gone to the wars, and inasmuch as the elder natives who remained behind were virtually penniless, the German troops were now the best customers. But the common German soldier who came in from the field and had already been separated for too long a time from his mamma was not content with a large pint of beer or a warm pot of coffee, but wanted something warmer for his heart and spirit. These soldiers honored the estaminets with their presence primarily because they wanted a hearty hostess or a pretty daughter to present them with their food and drink. With these friendly females at their side or on their lap they felt very much better. In the village of Aisné near Ghent there was one estaminet which was always full to overflowing. The proprietor had seven daughters of whom the youngest, though only fourteen, was not far behind her six sisters in co- quetry. The German soldiers always felt very comfortable in the homelike atmosphere of this simple, low-ceilinged, smoke-filled room, and called this estaminet by the picturesque and telling name of At the Fourteen Cheeks. This tavern was undoubtedly the most popular one in the whole Ghent sector.

Early in 1916 most of these establishments received their death blow. The chief of the German staff at Thielt issued a decree prohibiting all German soldiers from visiting Belgian inns and estaminets and threatening all Belgian hosts, who sold food and drink to German soldiers, with immediate closure of the business and considerable punishment, including a money fine as well as imprisonment. By this order ten thousand Flemish saloons and estaminets were closed. The sign Prohibited to German Soldiers that was set on their establishments robbed these folk of their only source of income and caused their ruin. Only a few establishments, whose owners, generally females, or daughters had intimate relationships with the police officials of the district, were exempt from the general prohibition and set apart from the others by a special sign which read, Only for German Soldiers. The prohibition seems the less comprehensible to us inasmuch as it was introduced a year and a half after the German soldiers had been in Flanders and were already at home everywhere. Its purpose was said to have been the prevention of espionage; but the effect that it actually had was to rob the Germans of the friendship of the numerous estaminet owners and turn these ruined people into bitter enemies of their despoilers. Even if the soldiers who were toying with the wives and daughters of the innkeepers would have wished to impart military secrets, they were unable to do so because of the utter darkness in which they were kept by the Ludendorff system of lies.

Indeed any Belgian cocotte in whose lap a German officer had played, knew more about the purposes of the German military campaign than any battalion leader in the trenches. Another motive for the shutting down of the estaminets was to eliminate one of the breeding places of venereal diseases, but in this case also it was a fight against windmills. The wives and daughters of these tavern keepers, who until the shutting down of their little business had prostituted themselves only occasionally, now had to devote themselves entirely to prostitution in order to keep themselves and their family. So they walked the streets and sex intercourse would take place somewhere in the open where there would be no opportunity for immediate disinfection. In this way the opposite effect was achieved. The statistics of the military surgeons in the halting stations showed clearly that the high figures of venereal diseases which the soldiers had got in Flanders did not diminish after the estaminets were shut down, but rather increased tremendously.

One of the estaminets in Ghent which was permitted to continue its business after 1916 was the Cafe Leonidas. Wandt has characterized this place as the openest woman market in Ghent. It belonged to a Greek who had given it its exotic name. Inasmuch as it was situated in the cellar it was scarcely visible from the street. As one entered one found oneself in a large and luxuriously appointed hall where there were all sorts of delicacies for those officers who were able to pay and all sorts of beverages, from real German beer to the prohibited absinthe, and above all, women. The most beautiful and most expensive strumpets of the whole city made daily rendezvous at this place which was preferred by the officers of the station. The commander of the district had become a little bit disturbed by the undisguised love traffic carried on here, and so, to demonstrate the extent of his morality, he ordered that in the future men and women should sit separately there However, not very much was gained for morality in this way, for as soon as an officer had selected a girl, he sent her a little note by the aid of a cunning young page and nothing would stand in the way of the copulation aside from an agreement about the price. If they wished they would not even have to go out of the building, for the house, in the cellar of which the Leonidas Café was situated, was appointed in its upper stories as a maison de rendezvous.

On the Eastern front, tea-houses took the place of the estaminets, but they provided the same attractions. Many soldiers have asserted that these establishments reminded them of Japanese tea-houses. Here, too, the military officials endeavored to limit the number of these amorous establishments, but without avail, for once the vice had developed it continued in the form of clandestine prostitution. The longer the war lasted and the more acute the economic distress became, the more it devolved upon women and girls to earn something, and there was only one form of earning possible to them. Girls prostituted themselves for a whole day for a piece of bread. One sister taught another to engage in this nefarious occupation. Mothers of children were driven, by the most painful necessity, to besmirch themselves. Women who were freezing gave their bodies over to passion for clothes and shoes. Washerwomen earned so little that they had to give their bodies for a piece of soap.

Here and there these inns possibly owed their existence to other causes. Thus there is a story extant concerning the general staff of one division who had a number of pretty girls sent them from home. These they set up at a little town about an hour's distance from their scene of operation and supported by common contribution. In order to give a name to this place, they fitted up a little coffee shop for these girls so as to preclude any evil construction of the whole affair. Hither the officers came to recuperate after a day's work, but a number of lieutenants and ensigns who were fighting at the front got wind of this and were able to arrange matters in such a way that they very frequently were entrusted with official business to the division commander. On such occasions they never failed to make a little excursion to the fair coffee purveyors who did not find their unofficial guests at all unpleasant, not to speak of the fact that this brought them additional income. This secret was carefully guarded and to this very day the original entrepeneurs do not know that cuckoo's eggs were laid in their nest. We recall that it was Heine who said that lieutenants and ensigns are the cleverest fellows.

To sum up: It was not those occasional humane relationships which grew up between the conquered and the oppressed population of the occupied territories, between the liberators and the women of the allied states, it was not tender war idylls that we can regard as the creation of war. No. Rather is it misery, hunger and prostitution which we must regard as the inevitable and ineluctable harvest. The hundreds of thousands of women in the halting-stations who earned daily bread for themselves and their family by the sale of their bodies were certainly, in the vast majority of instances, not born prostitutes - a theory which bourgeois society has invented in its own defense. They were prostituted by the greatest pander in the world, namely - war, and they were ruined in body and soul. Their names are not found on any casualty list and yet they are not the least lamentable victims of the war.