‘Country whores’, the horror of women prostituted by the Nazis in Ravensbrück

As soon as you arrive at Nazi concentration camp Ravensbrück The guardians chose the youngest, most beautiful and healthy deportees. They must not have been Jews, since sleeping with them would cost any Aryan death. Those dams were forced to prostitute: were raped between 15 and 30 times a day by German soldiers and officers and they were also a prize for the bosses. For further humiliation, they were tattooed on their chests, in German, ‘feld-hure’: “country whore”, along with her inmate number and the black inverted triangle reserved for lesbians and prostitutes. At least 26 of those women were Spanishlike the republican Isadora Ramirez (1922-2008), who after exiling herself to France in search of her brother who disappeared in the Civil War, joined the resistance, being detained and tortured by the Gestapo before ending up in Ravensbrück at just 19 years old. Now, the historian Fermina Cañaveras (1977), after researching and speaking with survivors, rescues from oblivion their silenced history in the documented novel ‘The Women’s Barracks’ (Espasa).

At Ravensbrück, an initially women-only camp 90 kilometers from Berlin, they arrived at least 130,000 dams; 50,000 died. 200 of the approximately 400 Spaniards survived who went through that hell, among them the Catalan Neus Catala, who died in 2019, who “always said that you should never cry in front of a Nazi.” “She always talked about a larger number of Spanish women,” says the author. Probably, all the figures fall short since “being one of the last liberated camps, the Nazis had time to destroy many records of inmates and many were directly gassed without being registered first.”

A las presas les inyectaban semen de chimpancé y les metían ratones en la vagina


Explica Cañaveras cómo “a las ‘feld-hure’ más niñas y adolescentes las separaban a un campo anexo, Uckermak, con el objetivo de ‘curar’ o ‘reeducar’ a homosexuales arios”. Las demás acababan en el barracón del burdel o como “concubinas de los altos mandos y obligadas a participar en noches de orgías que se organizaban periódicamente en todos los campos, también en Auschwitz”.   

Women in Ravensbrück with their babies, most of them the result of rape in the camp, and sent to a barrack where they were subjected to medical experiments. / ARCHIVO

Experimentos médicos


La autora pudo hablar con algunas de las supervivientes que los nazis convirtieron en esclavas sexuales, la mayoría polacas. “Tras la guerra, muy pocas de las destinadas al prostíbulo se habían casado y formado familia propia. Las desinfectaban y les inyectaban un líquido en la vagina, no sabían qué era. Pero no les volvió la regla hasta 1956 o 1957. Las que no tenían suerte y quedaban embarazadas a causa de las violaciones estaban sentenciadas a muerte, pero antes dejaban que avanzara la gestación y los ‘médicos’ experimentaban con ellas. Les practicaban cesáreas y las dejaban abiertas, con el feto colgando, apuntando cuánto tardaban en morir. Otras recuerdan cómo debían sortear en el patio los cadáveres de bebés que dejaban como alimento para los perros. Era el colmo de la perversión”, clama la historiadora.