August Bebel. Woman and Socialism
Woman at the Present Day

Chapter XII.
Prostitution a Necessary Social Institution of Bourgeois Society.

1. – Prostitution and Society.

Marriage constitutes one phase of the sex relations of bourgeois society; prostitution constitutes the other. If men fail to find satisfaction in marriage, they, as a rule, seek it with prostitution; and those men who for one reason or another refrain from marrying, seek satisfaction with prostitutes also. To those men then, who voluntarily or involuntarily lead an unmarried life, and to those who do not find their expectations realized in marriage, opportunities for satisfaction of the sexual impulse are far more favorable than to women.

Men have always regarded it as their “just” privilege to employ prostitution. But they are relentless in condemning a woman who is not a prostitute, when she has “fallen.” That natural impulses are implanted in women as well as in men and that these manifest themselves particularly strongly at certain periods of a woman’s life, does not alter their judgment. By means of his ruling position man compels woman to suppress her most powerful instincts, and makes chastity the condition of her social position and of marriage. Nothing can prove the dependent position of woman in a more emphatic and revolting way than these vastly differing conceptions in regard to the satisfaction of the same natural impulse.

Man is especially favored by conditions. The results of sexual intercourse have been assigned to the woman by nature, while man has the enjoyment only without trouble or responsibility. This natural advantage of men over women has fostered the unbridled lust which characterizes a great many men. But as a great many causes prevent or limit the legitimate satisfaction of the sexual impulse the result is its illegitimate satisfaction.

Prostitution thus becomes a necessary social institution of bourgeois society, just as the police, the standing army, the church and the capitalist class. This is no exaggeration; we can prove it. We have shown how prostitution was regarded as a necessary institution in ancient society and how it was organized by the state in both Greece and Rome. We have also shown what views prevailed in regard to it during the Christian middle ages. Even St. Augustin who was, after Paul, the staunchest pillar of Christianity and ardently preached asceticism, could not refrain from exclaiming: “Suppress the public prostitutes and the force of passion will overturn everything.” St. Thomas Aquin, who is still considered the greatest authority on theology, has expressed the same opinion more forcibly still by saying: “Prostitution in the cities is like the cess-pool in the palace; if you remove the cess-pool the palace will become an unclean and evil smelling place.” The provincial council at Milan in 1665 held the same view. But let us consult some modern opinions, Dr. F. S. Huegel says – . “Advancing civilization will gradually clothe prostitution in more pleasing forms, but only with the destruction of the world will it come to an end!”[1] That is a bold assertion, but whoever cannot think beyond the form of bourgeois society, whoever does not admit that society will transform itself to attain healthful and natural conditions, must agree with Dr. Huegel. M. Rubner, an authority on hygiene, professor at the University of Berlin, and director of the Hygienic Institute, expresses a similar opinion. He says: “Prostitution of women has existed at all times and among all peoples. It is indestructable because it serves the sexual impulse and springs from human nature and because in many cases the tendency to prostitution is due to an innate vice of some women. just as we find in every population geniuses beside idiots, giants besides dwarfs, and other abnormities, so we also find by the chance of birth abnormities which must lead to prostitution.”[2]

None of the above-named conceive the thought that a different social order might remove the causes of prostitution, and none seek to investigate the causes. Some who take up this problem faintly recognize that unfortunate social conditions, weighing heavily upon countless women, might be the chief cause why so many sell their bodies. But they do not draw the conclusion that if this be the case, it becomes necessary to bring about different social conditions. Among the few who recognize that economic conditions form the chief cause of prostitution is Th. Bade.[3] He says: “The causes of the boundless moral degradation from which the prostitute girls emerge are founded on social conditions. They are especially due to the decline of the middle classes, particularly the artisan class, among whom only very few continue to ply their trade independently.” Bade concludes his observations by saying: “Material need which has destroyed many middle class families and continues to destroy them also leads to their moral degradation, especially to that of the female sex.”[4]

But prostitution is not an institution of nature that, as R. Schmoelder says: “Will remain a constant companion of humanity,”[5] it is a social institution without which we cannot conceive bourgeois society.

The police physician of Leipsic, Dr. J. Kuehn, says: “Prostitution is not only a bearable, but a necessary evil. It protects women from adultery (which only men have a right to commit – the author) and guards virtue (of course the virtue of women because men are not required to be virtuous – the author) against assault and destruction.”[6]

These words grossly characterize the incarnate selfishness of men. Kuehn maintains the correct position of a police physician, whose duty it is to guard men against unpleasant diseases by the police surveillance of prostitution. Only the man is taken into consideration to whom celibacy is horrible and a torture, but the millions of women doomed to celibacy must content themselves. What is considered right in the man’s case, is considered wrong, immoral and criminal in the woman’s.

Another interesting gentleman is Dr. Fock, who regards prostitution as a “necessary correlation of our civilization.”[7] He fears an overproduction of human beings if all persons should marry after having attained maturity, and therefore considers it important that prostitution should be regulated by the state. He considers police surveillance of prostitution justifiable, and that the State should furnish men with prostitutes who are free from syphilis. He declares himself in favor of closest surveillance of all women who can be convicted of leading a disorderly life. But can this surveillance be carried out, if ladies leading a disorderly life belong to the tipper classes? It is the old story. Dr. Fock also recommends that a tax should be levied upon prostitutes and that they should be confined to certain streets. In other words, the Christian state should make prostitution a source of income by state organization and protection of vice in the interest of men.

Dr. Henry Severus,[8] who also favors legal recognition of prostitution maintains an original point of view. He regards it as a useful institution, because it is a necessary correlation of marriage, and that without it the free choice in marriage would be impaired. According to him prostitution is a sort of safety-valve of bourgeois society. He claims: “Much of the poverty that leads to such deplorable social conditions may be traced to the fact, that marriages are recklessly contracted, without questioning how the necessary means of livelihood might be obtained. It is in the interest of the state, that such marriages should not be contracted, for the children that spring from them cannot be sufficiently provided for by their parents, nor do they belong in the foundling hospital, being legitimate children, and thus become a peril to society. “Prostitution,” he goes on to say, “prevents that the force of natural instinct should lead to the contracting of marriages that result in an increase of those elements of the population who, owing to lack of education and an unfortunate childhood, develops sentiments that are hostile to the state and become enemies of society.” So according to this, state regulation of vice furnishes a protection and a remedy against socialism – a view that may at least lay claim to originality.

So we may reiterate our assertion, prostitution is a necessary social institution of bourgeois society, just as the police, the standing army, the church and the capitalist class.

2. – Prostitution and the State.

State supervision and organization of prostitution does not exist in the German empire as it does in France; prostitution is merely tolerated. Disorderly houses are prohibited by law and procurers may be severely punished. But notwithstanding these laws in many German cities, among others in Mayence, Magdeburg, Altona, Kiel, Nuremberg, Worms, Freiburg, Leipsic, Regensburg, Hamburg, Augsburg, Wuerzburg, disorderly houses exist that are tolerated by the police.[9] This seems an incredible state of affairs and its contradiction to the laws must be well known to our government officials. According to German law, persons renting an apartment to a prostitute are subject to punishment. On the other hand, the police are obliged to tolerate thousands of prostitutes and to protect them in their trade if they submit to the prescribed rules, for instance, to regular examination by a physician. But if the state makes concessions to prostitutes and supports them in the plying of their trade, it is necessary for them to have a residence also; in fact, it becomes necessary to public health and order that their trade should be carried on in definite quarters. What contradictions! On the one hand the state officially recognizes prostitution ; on the other hand it persecutes and punishes prostitutes and procurers. Moreover, this attitude of the state confirms, that to modern society, prostitution is a sphynx whose riddle it cannot solve. Religion and morality condemn prostitution, the laws punish it, and yet the state tolerates and protects it. In other words, our society that prides itself on its morality, its piety, its civilization and culture must stiffer itself to be polluted by the slow poison of immorality and corruption. Still another conclusion follows from these conditions: the Christian state admits that marriage is insufficient and that the man is justified in seeking illegitimate satisfaction of the sexual impulse. The woman is taken into consideration by this same state only, inasmuch as she yields to the illegitimate satisfaction of male lust, that is, becomes a prostitute. The police supervision and control of enlisted prostitutes does not include the men who mingle with the prostitutes, which ought to be a matter of course if the medical surveillance were to be partly effective at least, quite disregarding the fact that justice demands that the law should be equally applied to both sexes.

This protection of the man from the woman by the state overturns the nature of conditions. It appears as if men were the weaker, and women the stronger sex, as if women were the seducer, and poor, weak man the seduced. The myth of temptation of Adam and Eve in Paradise continues to influence our conceptions and laws and sustains the Christian assumption, that “woman is the great seducer, the source of sin.” Men ought to be ashamed of the pitiable and unworthy part they are playing, but it is pleasing to them to be regarded as “weak” and as “victims of seduction” for the more they are protected the more they may sin.

Wherever men come together in great numbers, they do not seem to be able to enjoy themselves without prostitution. That was seen among other instances by the occurrences at the rifle match in Berlin during the summer of 1890. These occurrences caused 2,300 women to sign a petition to the mayor of the German capital, which read as follows: “We beg your honor to permit our quoting what has been reported in regard to this festival by the press and other sources. These reports, which we read with the greatest indignation and disgust, among other things thus described the entertainments provided at the festival: ‘First, German Herold, greatest Cafe Chantant of the world’; hundred ladies and forty gentlemen; besides small variety shows and rifle ranges from which exceedingly obtrusive women molested the men; furthermore free concerts, where lightly garbed waitresses boldly and unrestrained, with seductive smiles forced their attentions alike on men and youths, on college boys and fathers of families. But the ‘lady’ who was almost nude and who invited them to visit the booths ‘The Secrets of Hamburg, or a Night in St. Pauli,’ might at least have been removed by the police. But the worst, something that plain men and women from the provinces can hardly accredit to the far-famed capital of the empire, was the fact that the committee on arrangements had permitted, that instead of waiters, young women in great numbers were engaged as waitresses and bar-maids without pay. We German women, as mothers, wives and sisters, frequently have occasion to send our brothers, husbands, sons and daughters to Berlin in service of the fatherland, and so we beg your honor, trusting to your influence as chief executive of the national capital to investigate these occurrences and to prevent a repetition of these orgies, especially at the forthcoming celebration of the victory at Sedan.”

During all large festivals, including the national ones, when men come together in great numbers, similar scenes occur.[10]

The German governments made frequent attempts to do away with the contradiction that exists between the legal theories and actual practice in regard to prostitution. They introduced bills among other things, which authorized the police to assign definite places of residence to the prostitutes. It was admitted that prostitution could not be suppressed and that it would therefore be better to limit it to certain places and to control it. Such a law – on this all were agreed – would have reinstated the public brothels that had been officially abolished in Prussia during the forties of the last century. The introduction of these bills caused great excitement and aroused much protest. It was stated that the state by extending protection to vice spread the opinion that prostitution was not averse to morality and was an officially sanctioned trade. These bills that met with much opposition in Parliament, have until now, remained unsettled. But their very introduction shows the predicament of the state.

State regulation and control of vice not only create the belief among men that the state favors prostitution, it also leads them to believe that this regulation protects them from disease, and this belief makes men more reckless and increases the employment of prostitution. Public brothels do not diminish sexual diseases, they promote them, because men become more reckless and careless. To what conceptions the official protection of brothels leads may be seen from the term applied to the licensed prostitutes in England, who were called “Queen’s women” because they had obtained official recognition through a law enacted by the queen. Experience has taught, that neither the introduction of public brothels under police supervision nor regular medical examination insure safety from contagion.

To an inquiry from the woman’s committee of Vienna for “combatting the state regulation of vice Dr. Albert Eulenburg wrote as follows: “In regard to the question of police supervision of prostitutes I fully share, as a matter of principle, the point of view set forth in your petition, though, of course I recognize the practical difficulty of its immediate application. I regard this practice which has been introduced in most countries as unjust, unworthy, and moreover as entirely unsuited to attain the object stated with any certain degree of safety.” On July 20, 1892, the Berlin Medical Society declared that the reinstatement of public brothels would be undesirable, both from a hygienic and moral point of view.

The nature of these diseases is such that in many cases it cannot be recognized easily, or at once, and to attain a certain degree of safety several daily examinations would be necessary. But this is impossible, owing to the great number of women in question and the large expense it would entail. Where 30 to 40 prostitutes have to be examined in one hour, the examination is nothing more than a farce, and in the same way one or two weekly examinations are entirely insufficient. Dr. Blaschko[11] says: “The belief, that control of prostitutes furnishes protection against contagion, unfortunately is a widespread and detrimental error. Rather can it be asserted that everyone who associates with a prostitute or a frivolous girl faces a grave danger each time.”

The success of these measures fails also because the men who carry the germs of disease from one woman to another remain entirely free from control. A prostitute who has just been examined and found healthy may become infected by a diseased man in the very same hour, and before the next examination takes place, or before she herself has become aware of the disease, she may have infected a number of other visitors. The control is an imaginary one. Besides the obligatory examinations by male instead of female physicians deeply injure the sense of modesty and help to destroy it completely. This statement is confirmed by a great many physicians who perform such examinations.[12] The same is admitted even in the official report of the Berlin police department, where it says it must be admitted that official enrollment still increases the moral degradation of those affected by it.[13] The prostitutes do whatever they can to escape this control.

Another evil result of these measures is, that it is made very difficult, indeed almost impossible to prostitutes, to return to a decent means of livelihood. A woman who has fallen into police control is lost to society; as a rule she miserably perishes after a few years. The fifth congress for combatting immorality, held in Geneva, thus expressed itself forcibly and correctly against the state regulation of vice: “The obligatory medical examination of prostitutes is a cruel punishment to the woman, for in those who are subjected to it the last remnant of modesty that may still exist in the most depraved, is forcibly destroyed. The state that seeks to regulate prostitution by police control forgets that it owes equal protection to both sexes, it degrades and demoralizes the woman. Every system of official regulation of vice permits of arbitrary police rule and leads to the infringement of personal safety against arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, against which even the lowest criminal is guarded. As these encroachments occur only at the expense of the woman, they lead to an unnatural inequality between her and the man. The woman is degraded to a mere object and is no longer treated as a person. She is excluded from the law.”

How little police and medical control avail has been strikingly shown in England. Before the beginning of official regulation, in the year 1867, the number of venereal diseases in the army were, according to a military report, 91 per 1,000. In 1886, after the regulation hail been in effect for nineteen years they were 110 per 1,000. In 1892, six years after the regulation laws had been repealed they were only 79 per 1,000. Among civilians the cases of syphilis were 10 per 1,000 during the years 1879 to 1882, that was during the years of public regulation. After the abolition of public regulation, from 1885 to 1889 they were only 8.1 per 1,000.

The prostitutes themselves were far more affected by the regulation laws than the soldiers. In 1866 there were among 1,000 prostitutes, 121 cases of disease. In 1868 after the law had been in force for two years there were 202 cases among 1,000. After that the number gradually decreased, but in 1874 there still were 16 cases more per thousand than in 1866. The death rate among prostitutes also increased appallingly during the reign of that law. When at the close of the sixties of the last century the English government attempted to extend the regulation laws to include all English cities, a storm of indignation arose among English women. They regarded the law as an insult to their entire sex. The habeas corpus, they claimed, that fundamental law which guaranteed protection to every English citizen, was to be abolished for women; every brutal police officer impelled by revenge or other base motives, would be permitted to attack the most respectable woman if he suspected her of being a prostitute, while the licentiousness of men would not be interfered with, but would on the contrary be protected and fostered by law.

The fact that English women under the leadership of Josephine Butler championed the most degraded of their sex, caused ignorant men to misconstrue their intentions and to make insulting remarks about them. But regardless of these attacks they opposed the extension of the obnoxious law with utmost energy. In newspaper articles and pamphlets arguments in favor of it and against it were fully discussed, until its extension was prevented, and in 1886 is was repealed.[14]

The German police has a similar power, and sometimes cases have been called to public attention in Berlin, Leipsic, Cologne, Hannover and many other places, showing that abuses or “misunderstandings” easily occur with the exercise of this power, but not much is heard among us of an energetic opposition to such transgressions.[15] In Norway, brothels were prohibited in 1888, and in the capital, Christiania, the obligatory registration of prostitutes and the medical examination connected with it was abolished. In January, 1893, the same ordinance was enacted for the entire country. Very correctly Mrs. Guillaume-Shack says in regard to state “protection” for men: “To what purpose do we teach our sons to respect virtue and morality if the state declares vice to be a necessary evil; if young men, before they have even attained intellectual maturity, are given women stamped like commodities by the public authorities as playthings of their passions?”

A man inflicted with a sexual disease may indulge in unbridled licentiousness and may infect any number of these unfortunate beings, most of whom have been driven by seducers or by bitterest need into this abominable trade. The law leaves him unmolested. But woe to the poor, diseased prostitute who does not immediately submit to medical treatment! The garrison towns, university towns and sea port towns, where many strong, healthy men aggregate, are the chief centers of prostitution and its dangerous diseases, which are disseminated all over the land and everywhere spread suffering and destruction. The moral qualification of a great number of our students is described in the following manner in the “Gazette for Combatting Public Immorality.”[16] Among a majority of the students the views concerning moral questions are appallingly base, almost depraved.” From these circles that boast about their “German spirit” and “German morals,” our public officials, prosecutors and judges are obtained. How bad matters must be, especially among students, may be seen from the following: “In the fall of 1901, a large group of professors and physicians, among them leading men in their professions, published an appeal to German students, in which they called special attention to the deplorable results of sexual debauchery, and also warned the young men of excessive indulgence in alcoholic drinks, which in many cases have a stimulating influence on sexual debauchery. At last people are beginning to recognize that the policy of silence is a mistaken one, and that we must call a spade a spade, if we would check an immeasurable disaster. Among other classes of society also this warning should not remain unheeded.

The Biblical utterance that the sins of the fathers shall be visited upon their children applies in its fullest measure to the man afflicted with a sexual disease; unfortunately also to his innocent wife. “Apoplectic strokes among young men and women, forms of paralysis of the spine and softening of the brain, various nervous diseases, weakening of the eye sight, inflammation of the bowels, sterility and general debility are frequently due to no other cause than a neglected case of syphilis, that has, for good reasons been kept secret. As conditions are to-day ignorance and carelessness transform blooming daughters of the nation into weak and sickly creatures who must pay with chronic diseases for the extravagances of their husbands before and outside of marriage.”[17] Dr. A. Blaschko says among other things: “Epidemics like cholera, small pox, diphtheria and typhoid terrify the people, because the suddenness of the results are clearly visible to everybody. But syphilis is regarded by society with an appalling indifference. And yet syphilis is far more widespread and much more terrible in its effects than any of the above-mentioned diseases.”[18] The fact that we regard it as “indecent” to discuss such matters, accounts for this indifference. Even the German diet could not bring itself to provide legally for the treatment of persons afflicted with sexual diseases by means of the sick benefit funds, as in the case of other diseases.[19]

The poison of syphilis is the most tenacious and the hardest to eradicate of all poisons. Many years after the disease has been apparently cured the evil results frequently manifest themselves in the wife of the diseased or in his new-born children, and countless sicknesses of married women and children are due to the sexual diseases of husbands and fathers. In a petition addressed to the German Parliament in the fall of 1899 by the society “Jugendschutz” (protection of the young) it was stated that there are about 30,000 children in Germany who are blind from birth due to contagion from gonorrhoea, and that among 50 per cent of childless women, sterility is due to the same cause.[20] As a matter of fact an alarmingly large number of marriages is childless, and moreover the number of childless marriages is increasing. Feeble-mindedness and idiocy among children is also not infrequently due to the same cause, and many instances have shown what disasters can be caused with vaccination by a single drop of blood inoculated with the poison of syphilis. The great number of persons suffering from a sexual disease has caused several suggestions to be made for the enactment of a national law providing special treatment for persons so afflicted. But until now no such step was taken, probably because one feared the enormity of the evil that would then become manifest. Medical authorities have generally gained the conviction, that gonorrhoea, which was formerly regarded as harmless, is one of the most dangerous of these diseases. This disease continues to act upon the human system even after it has been apparently cured. As Dr. Blaschko reported in a lecture in Berlin on the 20th of February, 1898, the medical examinations of prostitutes reveal only one-fourth, or at best one-third of the actual number of cases. As a matter of fact, the overwhelmingly great majority of prostitutes are afflicted with this disease, while only a small percentage of the cases are properly diagnosed. Of those in whom the disease is recognized it is again only a small percentage with whom a permanent cure is effected. Here society is confronted by an evil for which it has no remedy as yet, but which is an imminent peril to mankind, especially to its female half.

3. – The White Slave Trade.

As the number of men increases who refrain from marriage, be it by choice or under the pressure of circumstances, and who seek illegitimate satisfaction of the sexual impulse, the temptations and opportunities for illegitimate satisfaction increase likewise. Because immoral enterprises yield high profits many unscrupulous persons are engaged in them, and resort to the craftiest methods to attract customers. Every requirement of the patrons according to position and rank and means is taken into consideration. If the public brothels could reveal their secrets, it would become known that their inmates, who are of lowly birth, ignorant and uneducated, but possessed of physical charms, have intimate relations with educated and cultured men who occupy prominent social positions. Here they freely come and go, public officials, military men, representatives of the people, judges, the aristocracy of birth and finance, of commerce and industry. Many of these men are regarded as upholders of public morality and guardians of the sanctity of marriage and the family, and some are leaders of Christian charitable undertakings and members of organizations “to combat prostitution.” In Berlin, the owner of one of these establishments serving immoral purposes even publishes an illustrated gazette, in which the doings of his patrons are described. In this establishment 400 persons can be seated, and every evening a fashionable gathering assembles there, among them (so the gazette tells us) many members of the aristocracy.” Frequently well known actresses and famed belles of the demi-monde are present. The merriment reaches its height when in the wee hours of the morning the proprietors arrange an eel-catching tournament. Then the fair patronesses squat about the tanks with their clothes tucked up and try to catch the eel, and so forth. The police is well aware of these doings, but carefully refrains from interfering with the amusements of fashionable society. The following circular, sent by the management of a Berlin dancing establishment to fashionable men, is another shameless form of pandering. It reads: “The undersigned management of the hunting establishment to whom you, dear sir, have been recommended as a passionate hunter, beg to call your attention to a newly-opened hunting ground with a splendid stock of deer and to invite you to the first chase on August 26th. Special circumstances make our new hunting grounds particularly convenient and pleasant: they are located in the heart of the city and the game-laws are not enforced.” Our bourgeois society is like a great masquerade in which all seek to deceive one another. Every one wears his official gown with dignity, while unofficially he indulges his passions without restraint. Yet, outwardly, all feign decency, religiousness and morality. In no age was hypocrisy as widespread as in ours.

The supply of women for immoral purposes increases faster than the demand. Unfavorable social conditions poverty, seduction, and the fact that many women are attracted by the outward glitter of an apparently free life, help to furnish victims from all strata of society. In a novel by Hans Wachenhusen[21] we find a characteristic description of the conditions that prevail in the German capital. The author thus describes the purpose of his novel: “My book especially tells of the victims of the female sex and their increasing depreciation as a result of our unnatural social conditions, partly through their own fault, partly through a neglected education and the love of luxury. It tells of the surplus of this sex that makes the lives of those, who are born and grow up, more hopeless each day. 1 wrote as a public prosecutor might write, who had gathered data from the life of a criminal to determine his guilt. If a novel is supposed to be drawn from imagination, then the following is not a novel, but a faithful portrayal of life.” In Berlin conditions are neither better nor worse than in other large cities. Whether orthodox St. Petersburg or Catholic Rome, Christian Berlin, or heathenish Paris, Puritan London or frivolous Vienna is more nearly like ancient Babylonia, it is hard to determine. Similar social conditions bring forth similar results. “Prostitution has its written and unwritten laws, its resources, its various resorts from the lowliest, to the glittering palace, its countless degrees from the lowest to the most cultured and refined. It has its special amusements and its special places of meeting, its police, its hospitals, its prisons and its literature.”[22] “We no longer celebrate the festivals of Osiris, the Bacchanalia and the Indian orgies in the spring month, but in Paris and other large cities in the darkness of night behind the walls of public and private houses, orgies and Bacchanalia take place that beggar description.”[23]

Under such conditions the traffic in women assumes huge dimensions. It is carried on in the midst of civilization on a large scale and in a well organized manner, and is but rarely detected by the police. An army of male and female jobbers, agents and transporters carry on the trade in as cold-blooded a manner as if they were bartering a commodity. Certificates are made out that contain an exact description and qualification of the various “pieces” and are handed to the transporters as a bill of lading for the customer. As with all merchandise, the price varies according to the quality, and the “goods” are assorted and shipped from different places and countries according to the taste and requirements of the customers. By skilful manipulations the traders seek to escape the pursuit of the police, and sometimes large sums are employed to bribe the guardians of law and order. A number of such cases have been revealed in Paris.[24]

To Germany belongs the deplorable reputation of being a market for women to half the world, The rambling spirit, which is innate in the German people, also seems to affect a portion of the German women, so that they furnish a larger quota to international prostitution than the women of other nations, with the exception of Austria and Hungary. German women populate the harems of the Turks and the public brothels in the interior of Siberia and as far as Bombay, Singapore, San Francisco and Chicago. In his book on travel “From Japan, through Siberia to Germany,” the author, W. Joest, says the following about the German white-slave trade: “In our moral Germany people often grow indignant over the slave trade carried on by some negra sovereign in western Africa, or over conditions in Cuba or Brazil, while we ought to consider the beam in our own eye. In no other country of the world white slaves are bartered to the same extent, from no other countries are such large quantities of this living merchandise shipped as from Germany and Austria. The course taken by these girls can be clearly traced. From Hamburg they are shipped to South America, Bahie, Rio de Janeiro; the greater part are bound for Montevideo and Buneos, Ayres, while a few go through the Straits of the Magellan to Valparaiso. Another stream is directed over England to North America, but there competition with the domestic product is unfavorable to the trade, so the girls are shipped down the Mississippi to Texas and Mexico. From New Orleans the coasts down to Panama are furnished. Other troops of girls are sent across the Alps to Italy and on to Alexandria, Suez, Bombay, even to Hongkong and Shanghai, Dutch India and eastern India, especially Japan are poor markets, because Holland will not tolerate white girls of this sort in its colonies, and because in Japan the native girls are far too pretty and cheap. Moreover, the trade must reckon with American competition from San Francisco. Russia is supplied by eastern Prussia, Pomerania and Poland. The first station is Riga. Here the dealers from St. Petersburg and Moscow assort their merchandise and send it in great quantities to Nishny Novgorod across the Ural Mountains to Irbit and Krestowsky and even into the interior of Siberia, In Tschita, for instance, I met a German girl who had been traded in this way. This trade is thoroughly organized-agents and traveling salesmen carry on the negotiations. If the foreign office of the German Empire would ask its consuls for reports on this trade interesting tables might be compiled.”

That this traffic is flourishing, has been repeatedly stated by Socialist deputies in the German Parliament.

Other centers of the white-slave trade are Galicia and Hungary, from where women are sent to Constantinople and other Turkish cities. Especially many Jewesses, who are otherwise rarely met with in public brothels are bartered to the Turks. The prices for the journey and other expenses are usually paid the agents in advance. In order to deceive the public authorities, fictitious telegrams, that are not likely to attract attention, are sent to the customer. Some of these telegrams read: “Five kegs of Hungarian wine will arrive in Varna to-morrow,” meaning five beautiful girls”; or “Have shipped three barrels of potatoes by S. S. Minerva.” This refers to three less beautiful girls: “Common goods.” Another telegram reads: “Will arrive next Friday per S. S. Kobra; have two bales of fine silk on board.”

4. – The Increase of Prostitution. – Illegitimate Motherhood.

It is difficult to estimate the number of prostitutes – impossible to determine it exactly. The police may approximately determine the number of women for whom prostitution is the sole or chief source of income, but they can not determine the far greater number of those who resort to prostitution as a partial support. Nevertheless the numbers that have been determined are enormous. According to Oettingen at the close of the sixties of the last century the number of prostitutes in London was estimated to be 80,000. In Paris on January 1, 1906, the number of enrolled prostitutes was 6,196, but more than one-third of these manage to evade police and medical control. In 1892 there were about 60 public brothels in Paris, harboring from 600 to 700 prostitutes; in 1900 there were only 42. Their number is constantly decreasing (In 1852 there were 217 public brothels). At the same time the number of private prostitutes has greatly increased. An investigation, undertaken by the municipal council of Paris in 1889, estimated that the number of women who sell their bodies had reached the enormous figure of 120,000. The chief of police of Paris, Lefrine, estimates the number of enrolled prostitutes at 6,000 and the number of private prostitutes at 70,000. During the years 1871 to 1903 the police inhibited 725,000 harlots and 150,000 were imprisoned. During the year 1906, the number of those who were inhibited amounted to no less than 56,196.[25]

The following numbers of prostitutes were enrolled with the Berlin police: In 1886, 3006; in 1890, 4,039; in 1893, 4,663; in 1897, 5,098; in 1899, 4,544, and in 1905, 3,287. In 1890 six physicians were employed, who performed examinations for two hours daily. Since then the number of physicians has been increased to twelve, and since several years a female physician has been employed to perform these examinations, notwithstanding the objections of many male physicians. In Berlin, as in Paris, the enrolled prostitutes only constitute a small fraction of the entire number, that authorities on this subject have estimated to be at least 50,000. In the single year 1890 there were 2,022 waitresses in the cafes of Berlin, who, with very few exceptions were given to prostitution. The yearly increase in the number of harlots inhibited by the police also shows that prostitution in Berlin is growing. The numbers of those inhibited were: In 1881, 10,878; in 1890, 16,605; in 1896, 26,703: in 1897, 22,915. In the year 1907 17,028 harlots were brought to trial before the magistrates, which was about 57 for each day the court was in session.

How large is the number of prostitutes throughout Germany? Some claim that there are about 200,000. Stroehmberg estimates the number of enrolled and private prostitutes in Germany to be between 75,000 and 100,000. In 1908 Kamillo K. Schneider attempted to determine the exact number of enrolled prostitutes. His table for the year 1905 includes 79 cities. “As besides these there are other large places in which a considerable number of girls may be found, he believes 15,000 to be fairly correct estimate of the entire number. With a population of approximately 60,600,000 inhabitants that means one enrolled prostitute for 4,040 inhabitants.” In Berlin there is one prostitute for 608, in Breslau for 514, in Hannover for 529, in Kiel for 527, in Danzig for 487, in Cologne for 369, and in Brunswick for 363 inhabitants. The number of enrolled prostitutes is constantly decreasing.[26] According to various estimates the ratio of the number of public controlled prostitutes is to the number of private prostitutes, as 1 to 5, or 1 to 10. We are, accordingly dealing with a vast army of those to whom prostitution is a means of subsistence, and conformably great is the number of victims claimed by disease and death.

That the great majority of prostitutes grows thoroughly tired of their mode of life, that it even becomes ,revolting to them, is an experience on which all authorities are agreed. But very few of those who have fallen victims to prostitution ever find an opportunity to escape from it. In 1899 the Hamburg branch of the British, Continental and General Federation undertook an investigation among prostitutes. Although only few answered the questions put to them, these answers are quite characteristic. To the question “Would you continue in this trade if you could find some other means of support?” one replied, “What can one do when one is despised by all people?” Another replied “I appealed for help from the hospital”; a third, “My friend released me by paying my debts.” All suffer from the slavery of their liabilities to the brothel keepers. One gave the information that she owed her landlady $175. Clothes, underwear, finery, everything is furnished by the keepers at fabulous prices; they are also charged the highest prices for food and drink. Besides, they must pay the keeper a daily sum for their room. This rent amounts to $1.50, $2 or $3 daily. One wrote that she was compelled to pay her procurer from $5 to $6 daily. No keeper will permit a girl to depart unless she has paid her debts. The statements made by these girls also cast an unfavorable light on the actions of the police, who side more with the brothel keepers than with the helpless girls. In short, we here behold in the midst of Christian civilization, the worst kind of slavery. In order to better maintain the interests of their trade, the brothel keepers have even founded a trade paper that is international in character.

The number of prostitutes increases at the same rate at which the number of working women increases, who find employment in various lines of trade at starvation wages. Prostitution is fostered by the industrial crises that have become inevitable in bourgeois society, and to hundreds of thousands of families mean bitter need and desperate poverty. A letter sent by the chief of police. Bolton, to a factory inspector on October 31, 1865, shows that during the crisis of the English cotton industry caused by the Civil War in the United States, the number of young prostitutes increased more than during the preceding twenty-five years.[27] But not only working girls fall victims to prostitution. Its victims are also recruited from the “higher professions.” Lombroso and Ferrero quote Macé,[28] who says of Paris: “The certificate of a governess of a higher or lower grade is far less an assignment to a means of support than to suicide, theft and prostitution.”

Parent-Duchâtelet has at one time compiled statistics which showed the following. Among 5,183 prostitutes there were 1,441 who were driven to prostitution by utmost need and misery. 1,225 were orphans and poor. 86 had become prostitutes to support old parents, young brothers and sisters, or their own children. 1,425 had been deserted by their lovers; 404 had been seduced by officers and soldiers and had been carried off to Paris. 289 had been servant girls who were seduced by their employers and subsequently discharged, and 280 had come into Paris to seek employment.

Mrs. Butler, the ardent champion of the poorest and most unfortunate of her sex, says: “Accidental circumstances, the death of a father or a mother, unemployment, insufficient wages, poverty, false promises, seduction, the laying of snares may have driven her into her misfortune.” Very instructive is the information given by Karl Schneidt in a pamphlet on “The Misery of Waitresses in Berlin,”[29] in regard to the causes that drive so many of them to prostitution. He says that a surprisingly large number of servant girls become waitresses, which means in nearly all cases that they become prostitutes. Among the answers Schneidt received to his list of questions that he circulated among waitresses are the following: “Because I became pregnant by my employer and had to support my child”; “because my book of references was spoiled”; because I could not earn enough by sewing and such work”; because I had been discharged from the factory and could not find other employment”; “because my father died and there were four younger ones at home,” etc. That servant girls, who have been seduced by their employers, constitute a large quota of the prostitutes is a well known fact. Dr. Max Taube[30] makes some very incriminating statements concerning the great number of seductions of servant girls by employers or their sons. The upper classes also furnish their quota to prostitution. Here poverty is not the cause, but seduction, the inclination to lead a frivolous life, the love of dress and enjoyment. A pamphlet on “Fallen Girls and Police Control”[31] contains the following statement in regard to the prostitutes from these classes: “Horror stricken many a worthy citizen, minister, teacher, public official or military man learns that his daughter is secretly addicted to prostitution. If all these daughters could be named a social revolution would have to take place, or the public ideas concerning virtue and morality would be seriously impaired.” The high class prostitutes, the smart set among them, are drawn from these circles. A great many actresses also owing to a glaring disparity between their salary and the cost of their wardrobe, are compelled to resort to this vile means of support.[32] The same is true of many other girls who are employed as salesladies and in similar positions. Many employers are so infamous that they seek to justify low wages by hinting at the assistance from “friends.” Seamstresses, dressmakers, milliners, factory workers numbering many thousands are subjected to the same conditions. Employers and their assistants, merchants, landed proprietors, etc., frequently regard it as their privilege to make female workers and employees subservient to their lusts. Our pious conservatives like to point to the rural conditions in regard to morality as a sort of ideal compared to the large cities and industrial districts. But whoever is acquainted with the conditions knows that they are not ideal. We find this opinion confirmed by a lecture delivered by the owner of a knightly estate in the fall of 1889, which newspapers in Saxony reported in the following manner:

“Grimma. Dr. v. Waechter, owner of a knightly estate, at a meeting of the diocese which was held here delivered a lecture on sexual immorality in our rural communities, in which local conditions were depicted in no favorable light. With great frankness the lecturer admitted that the employers themselves, even the married ones, frequently maintained intimate relations with their female employees, and that the results of such relations were either atoned for by a payment of money or were hidden from the eyes of the world by a crime. Unfortunately it could not be denied, that immorality was introduced into the rural districts not only by country girls who had been employed in the cities as wet nurses and by boys who had become demoralized while serving in the army, but also by educated men, by managers of the large estates and army officers, who come into the country during manoeuvres. Dr. v. Waechter claims that here in the country there actually are few girls who have attained their seventeenth birthday without having fallen.” The honest lecturer had to pay for his love of truth by being socially ostracised by the offended officers. Reverend Dr. Wagner had a similar experience when he ventured to say some disagreeable truths to the landed proprietors in his book on “Morality in the Country.”[33]

The majority of prostitutes are driven into their unfortunate trade at an age at which they cannot be regarded as competent to judge their actions. Among the women who secretly prostituted themselves arrested in Paris from 1878 until 1887, 12,615 equal 46.7 per cent. were minors. Of those arrested from 1888-1898, 14,072 equal 48.8 per cent. were minors. Le Pilleurs gives the following resume of the prostitutes of Paris, which is as concise as it is pathetic: “Defloured at 16, prostituted at 17, afflicted with syphilis at 18.”[34] Among 846 newly enrolled prostitutes in Berlin in 1898 there were 229 minors. There were:

7 at the age of 15 59 at the age of 18
21 at the age of 16 49 at the age of 19
33 at the age of 17 66 at the age of 20[35]

In September, 1894, a scandalous affair was revealed in Budapest, where it became known that about 400 girls not more than fifteen years of age had become the victims of rich libertines. The sons of our “Propertied and cultured classes” not infrequently consider it their right to seduce the daughters of the poor and then to forsake them. These confiding, inexperienced daughters of the poor, whose lives are often devoid of all joy and who sometimes have no friend or relative to protect them, easily fall victims to the art of the seducer, who approaches them with all the temptations of pleasure and affection. Bitter disappointments and despair and eventually crime are the results. Among 2,060,973 children born in Germany in 1907 179,178 were illegitimate. One can imagine the amount of care and heart-ache that the births of these illegitimate children mean to their mothers, even if some of them are legally married later on by the fathers of their children. Infanticide and the suicide of women are in a great many cases caused by the misery and need of forsaken women. The trials for infanticide present a sombre but instructive picture. In the fall of 1894 a young woman was on trial in Krems, Austria. Eight days after her confinement she had been discharged from the lying-in hospital in Vienna, with her infant and penniless, and being desperate she had killed her child. She was condemned to death. In the spring of 1899 the following was reported from the province of Posen: “On Monday last the 22-year-old working girl, Katherine Gorbacki, from Alexanderruh, near Neustadt was on trial for murder. During the years 1897 and 1898 the defendant had been employed by the Provost Merkel in Neustadt. As a result of intimate relations with her employer, she gave birth to a daughter in June last. The child was placed with her relatives. The provost paid $2 for the child’s board during each of the first two months, but then refused to meet any further expenses. As the girl could not meet the expenses for the child’s maintenance, she decided to do away with it. On a Sunday during September last she smothered the child with a pillow. The jury convicted her of murder in the second degree and admitted extenuating circumstances. The public prosecutor moved to inflict the maximum penalty, five years imprisonment. The judge sentenced her to three years in prison.”

Thus the seduced and forsaken woman, disgraced and desperate, is driven to the utmost, and kills her own offspring. Then she is brought to trial and is sentenced to long periods of imprisonment, or even to death. But the real unscrupulous murderer is allowed to go unpunished. Perhaps shortly after the tragedy he will marry a girl from some good and righteous family, and will become a highly honored and pious man. Many a man is held in great esteem who thus polluted his honor and his conscience. If women had a voice in the making and administration of the laws things would be different. Evidently many cases of infanticide are never discovered. In July, 1899, in Frankenthal on the Rhine a servant girl was accused of having drowned her new-born, illegitimate child in the Rhine. The public prosecutor asked all police departments along the Rhine from Ludwigshafen to the boundary of Holland to report whether within a definite time the body of a child had been washed ashore. The surprising result of this inquest was, that the police departments within the stated time reported no less than 38 bodies of infants that had been fished from the Rhine, but whose mothers had not been found.

The most cruel system is resorted to, as previously stated, by the French legislation, which forbids to seek the father, but instead maintains foundling hospitals. The law framed at the convention of June 28, 1793, reads: “La nation se charge de l'education physique et morale des enfants abandonnes. Desormais, ils seront designes sous le seul nom d’orphelins, Aucunne autre qualification ne sera permis” (The nation undertakes the physical and moral education of abandoned children. Henceforward they will be known only by the name of orphans. No other designation will be permitted.). That was a very convenient method to men, for thereby they could turn over their individual obligations to the community and were spared from being publicly exposed. National orphan and foundling asylums were erected. In 1833 the number of orphans and foundlings amounted to 130,945. It was estimated that every tenth child was a legitimate one that its parents wished to get rid of. As these children were not properly cared for, their mortality was very great. At that time 59 per cent. died during the first year; up to the twelfth year 78 per cent. died; so only 22 from 100 children attained the twelfth year. At the beginning of the sixties of the last century there were 175 foundling asylums; in 1861 there were admitted into these 42,934 enfants trouvés (foundlings) 26,156 enfants abandonnés (abandoned children) and 9,716 orphans; together this made 78,066 children who were maintained at public expense. All in all the number of abandoned children has not decreased during recent decades.

Foundling asylums maintained by the state were also established in Austria and Italy. “Ici on fait mourir les enfants” (here children are made to die); a monarch is said to have suggested these words as a suitable inscription for foundling asylums. In Austria the foundling asylums are gradually disappearing. At present only eight remain, but at the close of the nineties of the last century these still contained over 9,000 children, while more than 30,000 children were placed outside of the asylums. During recent years the number of foundlings has greatly decreased, for in 1888 there still were 40,865

children who were public charges in Austria; 10,466 were in asylums; 30,399 were placed in private care. Their maintenance cost 1,817,372 florins. Mortality was not as great among the children placed in asylums as among those privately cared for; this was especially so in the province of Galicia. Here, during the year 1888 31.25 per cent. died in asylums – far more than in the asylums of other countries; but of those who were privately cared for 84.21 per cent. died; a wholesale butchery. It seems as if Polish mismanagement endeavored to kill off these poor, little creatures as quickly as possible.

In Italy 118,531 children were admitted into asylums from 1894 to 1896. Annual average: 29,633; boys: 58,901; girls: 59,630, illegitimate, 113,141; legitimate, 5,390 (only 5 per cent.). How great the mortality has been may be seen from the following table.[36]

1890-1892 1893-1896 1897
Number of children admitted 91,549 109,899 26,661
Died during first year 34,186 41,386 9,711
Percentage 37.3 37.6 36.4
Mortality of illegitimate children in Italy 25.0 27.2 23.4
Mortality of legitimate children 18.0 17.5 15.9

The record was broken by the foundling asylum Santa Cosa dell’ Annunziata in Naples, where in 1896 of 853 infants 850 died. In the year 1907 the foundling asylums admitted 18,896 children. During the years 1902 to 1906 the mortality of these unfortunate little ones, was 37.5 per cent; that means that more than one-third of the children maintained by the state die during the first year.[37] It is a generally known fact, that the rate of mortality is always higher among illegitimate children than among legitimate ones. According to Prussian statistics the following number of deaths of infants occurred for every 10,000 births.

1881-1885 1886-1890 891-1895 1896-1900 1904
Legitimate city 211 210 203 195 179
Country 186 187 87 185 172
Illegitimate City 398 395 385 374 333
Country 319 332 336 336 306

“It is a striking fact which clearly shows the connection between prostitution and the unfortunate condition of servant girls and menials employed in the country, that of 94,779 illegitimate children born in 1906, 21,164 were the children of servant girls and 18,869 were the children of girls otherwise employed in the country. Together this made 40,033 or 42 per cent. If servants employed in the country and female farm hands are taken together, they constitute 30 Per cent., while girls industrially employed constitute 14 per cent (13,460).”[38]

The difference in the rate of mortality between legitimate and illegitimate children is especially marked during the first month, when the mortality of illegitimate children is on an average three times as great as that of legitimate children. Lack of care during pregnancy and during the confinement and improper care of the child after birth are the simple causes of this great mortality of illegitimate children. III treatment and neglect help to increase the number of the victims. The number of stillborn children is greater among the illegitimate than among the legitimate also. This is probably chiefly due to attempts on the part of the mother to bring about the death of the child during pregnancy.

To this must be added the cases of infanticide that are not found out because the murdered child is counted among the still-born. Bertillion claims, that to the 205 cases of infanticide recorded in the legal documents of France, should be added at least 1,500 alleged still-births and 1,400 cases of intentional killing by starvation.[38]

The following table shows the number of legitimate and illegitimate children in various European countries for every 100 still-births.

During the years Legitimate Illegitimate
Germany 1891-1900 3.15 4.25
Prussia 1900-1902 3.02 4.41
Saxony 1891-1900 3.31 4.24
Bavaria 1891-1900 2.98 3.61
Wurttemberg 1891-1900 3.30 3.48
Baden 1891-1900 2.62 3.35
Austria 1895-1900 2.64 3.86
Switzerland 1897-1903 3.40 6.14
France 1891-1895 4.40 7.54
Netherlands 1891-1900 4.38 8.13
Denmark 1893-1894 2.40 3.20
Sweden 1891-1895 2.46 3.30
Norway 1891-1900 2.47 4.06
Finland 1891-1900 2.54 4.43
Italy 1891-1896 3.89 5.16[39]

The survivors revenge themselves on society for the ill-treatment accorded them by furnishing an unusually high percentage of the criminals of all grades.

5. – Crimes Against Morality and Sexual Diseases.

We must still briefly dwell upon another evil that is often met with. An excess of sexual enjoyment is far more harmful than the want of same. An organism abused by excesses is eventually destroyed. Impotence, sterility, idiocy, feeblemindedness and other diseases result. Temperance in sexual intercourse is as necessary as temperance in eating and drinking, and other human requirements. But young men living in luxury seem to find it very difficult to be temperate. Therefore we often find senility among young men of the upper classes. The number of old and young roués is large, and because they are satiated and dulled by excesses, they require special stimulants. Beside those in whom love for their own sex (sodomy) is innate, there are many who succumb to this perversity of the Greek age. Sodomy is far more widespread than most of us imagine; the secret documents of many police departments might reveal appalling facts.[40] Among the women, too, the perversities of ancient Greece have been revived. Lesbian, or Sapphic love is, so Taxel claims, prevalent to an enormous degree among the fashionable ladies of Paris. In Berlin about a quarter of the prostitutes indulge in this perverse passion and it is not unknown among the fashionable women, either.

Another unnatural satisfaction of the sexual desire are the criminal assaults upon children that have greatly increased during the last decades. The following numbers of persons were convicted of crimes against morality in Germany: In 1895, 10,239; in 1905, 13,432; in 1906, 13,557. Among those were 58 persons in 1902 and 72 in 1907, who were convicted of criminal assaults upon children. The following number was convicted of fornication with persons under fourteen: In 1902, 4,0()0; in 1906, 4,548; in 1907, 4,397;. In Italy the number of crimes against morality was: 1887 to 1889, 4,590; 1903, 8,461; which is 19.44 per cent. and 25.67 per cent. for every 100,000 inhabitants. The same fact has been observed in Austria. Very correctly H. Herz says: “The rapid increase in crimes against morality during the period 1880-1890 shows that the present economic structure with its decrease in the marriage rate and its instability of employment is in no small degree the cause of the low standard of morality.”[41]

In Germany members of the learned professions furnish about 5.6 per cent of the criminals; but they furnish about 13 per cent. of those convicted of criminal assaults upon children. This percentage would be higher still if members of those circles would not have ample means to conceal their crimes. The terrifying revelations made by the “Pall Mall Gazette” at the close of the eighties of the last century concerning the criminal abuses of children in England, have shown the widespread existence of frightful conditions.

Concerning venereal diseases and their increase, the following table, showing the number of cases treated in German hospitals, contains valuable information:

Gonorrhoea Syphilis Gonorrhoea Syphilis
1877-1879 23,344 67,750 1892-1894 50,541 78,093
1880-1882 28,700 79,220 1895-1897 53,587 74,092
1883-1885 30,038 65,980 1898-1901 83,374 101,225
1886-1888 32,275 53,664 1902-1904 68,350 76,678
1889-1891 41,381 60,793

If we take the average annual number of persons afflicted we find that within a period of 25 years the cases of gonorrhoea have increased from 7,781 to 22,750 and those of syphilis from 22,583 to 25,559. The population has increased only by :25 per cent. while the cases of gonorrhoea. have in creased by 182 per cent and those of syphilis 19 per cent! We have another statistic that does not cover many years, but just one single day which shows how many patients afflicted with venereal diseases were under medical treatment on April 30, 1900. The Prussian minister of public instruction has caused this investigation to be made. A list of questions was sent to every physician in Prussia. Although only 63.5 per cent. of these replied, the investigation showed that on April 30, 1900, there were about 41,000 persons in Prussia afflicted with venereal diseases. 11,000 were newly infected with syphilis. In Berlin alone there were on this day 11,600 persons afflicted with venereal diseases, among them 3,000 fresh cases of syphilis. For every 100,000 adult inhabitants, the following number were under medical treatment for venereal diseases.

Syphilis Men. Syphilis Women.
In Berlin 1419 457
In 17 cities having more than 100,000 inhabitants 999 457
In 42 cities having 30,000 to 100,000 584 176
In 47 cities having less than 30,000 450 160
In other cities and rural communities 80 27
In the entire German Empire 282 92

The cities mainly afflicted are those situated at harbors, college and garrison towns and large industrial centers (In Koenigsberg for every 100,000 inhabitants, 2,152 men and 61g women are diseased; in Cologne 1309 men and 402 women; in Frankfort 1,505 men and 399 women).

of Berlin Dr. Blaschko says: In a large city like Berlin annually of 1,000 young men between 20 and 30 years, almost 200, about one-fifth, become diseased with gonorrhoea and about 24 with syphilis. But the time during which young men are exposed to venereal infection is much longer than one year. For some it is five years, for others ten years and more. After five years of unmarried life then a young man will become diseased with gonorrhoea once and twice in ten years. After five years every tenth young man, after eight to ten years every fifth young man would acquire syphilis. In other words, of the men who marry after their thirtieth year every one would have had gonorrhoea twice, and every fourth or fifth one would be inflicted with syphilis. These figures have been compiled by careful calculation, and to us physicians who learn of so many misfortunes that are concealed from the eyes of the world, they do not appear exaggerated.”

The results of the research of April 30, 1900, are confirmed by a careful study of this problem in connection with the Prussian army compiled in 1907 by the surgeon-major, Dr. Schwiening.[42] It was shown that the various divisions of the army annually show about the same number of recruits afflicted with venereal diseases. Some divisions have a particularly large number of cases, especially the division recruited from the province of Brandenburg. Berlin is mainly to blame that 2 per cent. of these recruits are diseased. Dr. Schwiening’s compilation of the percentage of diseased recruits from the various government districts clearly shows the extension of venereal diseases among civilians. Of 1,000 enrolled recruits the following number was afflicted:

1903 1904 1905
Berlin 40.9 37.2 45.2
27 cities having more than 100,000 inhabitants 14.9 16.7 15.8
26 cities having 50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants 11.6 9.6 9.5
33 cities having 25,000 to 50,000 inhabitants 8.2 6.8 9.1
Cities having less than 25,000 inhabitants and rural communities 4.3 5.0 4.0
State 7.6 8.1 7.8

The greatest number of diseased recruits came from Shoeneberg, having 58.4 for every 1,000 enrolled. In large cities outside of Prussia, the following numbers were recorded: Hamburg, 29.8; Leipsic, 29.4; Dresden, 19; Chemnitz, 17.8; Munich, 16.4. According to G. v. Mayer the increase of venereal diseases for every 1,000 inhabitants from 1903 to 1904 was: Prussia, 19.6; Austria and Hungary, 60.3; France, 27.1; Italy, 85.2; England, 125; Belgium, 28.3; the Netherlands 31.4; Russian 40.5; Denmark, 45. The increase in venereal diseases is especially great in the navy. In the German navy from 1905 to 1900 the number of cases were: On ship-board abroad, 113.6 per thousand; in domestic waters, 58.8; on land, 57.8. In the English navy there were in 1905 121,55 cases and in 1906 121,94 cases.

We have seen that our social conditions have produced all sorts of vices, excesses and crimes that are constantly increasing. The whole social organism is in a state of unrest by which the women are most deeply affected. Women are beginning to realize this more and more and to seek redress. They demand in the first place economic independence. They demand that women, like men, should be admitted to all trades and professions according to their strength and ability. They especially demand the right to practice learned professions. Are these endeavors justified? Can their aims be realized? Will they bring relief? These are the questions we must seek to answer.


1. F. Huegel. – “History, Statistics and Regulation of Prostitution in Vienna,” 1865.

2. Max Rubner – “Text Book of Hygiene.” Leipsic, 1907.

3. H. Bade. “Procurers and public dance halls.”

4. Statistics gathered by the Berlin police in 1871-72 concerning the parentage of 2,224 enrolled prostitutes showed the following figures: 1,015 equal 47.9 per cent. came from the artisan class; 467 equal 22.0 per cent. were daughters of factory laborers; 305 equal 14.4 per cent. of minor officials; 222 equal 10.4 per cent. of merchants, etc.; 37 equal 4.1 per cent. of farmers, and 26 equal 1.2 per cent of military men. With 102 the father’s profession could not be determined,

5. R. Schmoelder, “Punishment of fornication as a trade.”

6. J. Kuehn. “Prostitution in the nineteenth century from the standpoint of police sanitation.”

7. Dr. Fock – “Prostitution in its ethical and sanitary aspect.”

8. Dr. H. Severns – “Prostitution and the state.”

9. Paul Kampfmeyer – “Prostitution as a social class phenomenon and the social and political struggle against it.”

10. “When the Farmers’ Association convenes in the Circus Bush, or large conventions are being held in Berlin, there is a rise in price of human flesh.” Satyr – “Life at Night in the Friedrich Strasse,” Berlin, 1907.

11. “Handbook of Hygiene,” published by Th. Weyl, M. D. Hygiene of Prostitution and Venereal Diseases, compiled by Dr. A. Blaschko, Berlin.

12. “As a matter of fact the system of regulation does not successfully fight the venereal diseases, nor even noticeably diminish them. The delusive feeling of safety given to men makes them more reckless. The increase in the number of correlation heightens the danger of contagion by at least as much as it has been diminished by the removal of a few who were seriously diseased.” August Forel – “The Sex Question,” Munich, 1907.

13. Third report of the royal police department of Berlin for the years 1881 to 1890.

14. The most reliable supporters of the women were the English workingmen. In her famous publication on “The History of a Crusade,” Josephine Butler says: “We resolved to appeal to the nation. In the fall of 1869 we sent personal letters to every member of Parliament of both houses and to many other leaders of political and religious parties. Of all the replies received only very few expressed complete agreement with our point of view. As we obtained so little encouragement from those circles whose interest we had hoped to win, we turned to the working class population of the country. I am conscious of the fact that the working class has its faults and is no less devoid of egotism than other classes of the population. But I am firmly convinced that when the people are appealed to in the name of justice they almost invariably show a loyal and reliable conviction.”

15. In 1901 it occurred in Vienna that a French lady was abused by the police agent, Newhofer, amidst the shouts of a mob, was imprisoned among prostitutes and subjected to a forcible medical examination. This case led to five interpellations in the diet. In 1902 in Hamburg and Kiel ladies were arrested as prostitutes and were treated with brutality. These occurrences led to a gigantic meeting of protest in Hamburg on September 9, that was attended by members of all parties.

16. August 15, 1893, Berlin.

17. “The detrimental results of prostitution.” Dr. Oscar Lassar, Berlin, 1892, August Hirschwald.

18. “Treatment of sexual diseases in sick benefit fund institutions and hospitals,” Berlin, 1890.

19. The ordinance of the insurance laws which enabled communities to refuse the payment of sick benefits in cases of sexual diseases was repealed by a law on May 25, 1903, that went into effect January 1, 1904.

20. Examinations in asylums for the blind showed that the following number of persons were blind from birth through infection: Berlin, 21.3; Vienna, 31; Breslau, 35.1; Budapest, 47.9; Munich, 73.8. – Th. Weyl, “Social Hygiene,” Jena, 1904.

21. “What the street engulfs.” Social novel in 3 vols., Berlin. A. Hoffmann & Co.

22. Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell – “The Moral Education.”

23. Mantegazza – “L’Amour Dans L’Humanité.”

24. The relation of the police to prostitution is an interesting one in more than one respect. In 1899 it was shown in a trial in Berlin that a police commissioner employed a prostitute to watch and question a student whom he suspected of being an anarchist. In Prague the wife of a common policeman had her license for maintaining a disorderly house revoked because her husband had ill-treated a prisoner. So the police rewards its officers by giving them licenses for the maintenance of disorderly houses. What lovely conditions!

25. Dr. Licard de Planzoles – “La Fonction Sexuelle.” Paris, 1908.

26. Kamillo Karl Schneider – “The Prostitute and Society – a Sociological and Ethical Study,” Leipsic, 1908.

27. Karl Marx, “Capital.%#8221;

28. Ibid.

29. Berlin, 1893.

30. Max Taube. M. D. – “Protection of Illegitimate Children,” Leipsic, 1893, Veit & Co.

31. Berlin, 1889, Wm. Iszleib.

32. In a pamphlet on “Capital and the Press,” Berlin, 1891, Dr. F. Mehring relates that a talented actress was employed at a well known theatre at a monthly salary of $25, while the expenses for her wardrobe amounted to $250 in a single month. The difference was made up by a “friend.”

33. At the conference of the purity societies on September 20, 1894, at the instance of Dr. Wagner an investigation was decided upon. The results of this investigation have been published in two volumes, entitled: “The Sexual Morality of Protestant Country People in the German Empire,” 1895-1896,

34. Prof. S. Bettman – “ Medical Supervision of Prostitutes.” “Handbook of the social science of medicine,” Jena, 1905.

35. Ibid.

36. S. Turcranji and S. Engel. “The Foundling System in Italy.” “Quarterly journal of public hygiene,” 1903.

37. “Encyclopedia of Social Science;” 3d edition, vol. iv., 1909. Article: “Foundling Asylums.”

38. Schnapper Arndt.

39. F. Prinzing – “The Causes of Still-Births.” “General records of statistics,” 1907.

40. The trials of Moltke, Lynar and Eulenburg have since revealed a more revolting picture than one could suspect. They have shown how widespread is this perversity among the higher strata of society, especially among military men and in court circles.

41. Dr. Hugo Herz – “Crimes and Criminals in Austria,” Tuebingen. 1908.

42. Director general of the army medical department, Dr. Chumburg, “The Venereal Diseases, Their Nature and Dissemination.”